Black Inkling: Hometown Paper Tips
Bullets Target the Value of Print Ads

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Jean Flanagan, managing editor, The Moorefield (WV) Examiner.

I borrowed this from the Print Council of America. We used each of the bullets as a separate ad and then ran an ad with all five. We also include it in our media kit.

Print is Credible - Having words and images you can hold in your hand and show others provides a degree of reassurance.

Print is Portable - Print can be carried anywhere - from the bedroom to the beach. You don't need a battery to read a newspaper. There is nothing to boot up and no compatibility issues.

Print is Beautiful - The combination of words and images send the message that you want your customers to see about your business. With graphic arts, print advertising can make your ad more compelling and appealing.

Print puts the Customer in Control - Print advertising is always there, when the reader has time to look at it. Print advertising creates a positive flow of information from you to your customers, Customers seek print advertising when they are ready to buy.

Print is Economical - Compared to other mediums, print advertising gives you more bang for your advertising buck. Print is Real. Print is Timeless.

Print/Online Subscription Offer

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Jerry Bellune of The Lexington (SC) Chronicle!

One thing that's working well for us is a half price offer - a $42 subscription in print and online (ours is no longer a free online site) for only $21. Our publisher MacLeod Bellune) designed a business card we pass out at festivals, after hours and other events. Subscribers can take advantage of it, too. We tack the additional years on to the end of their current subscription. It picked up a lot of online subscribers we never had before.

Easy Alternative to Photoshop

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Bill Nich, The Wakarusa (IN) Tribune

Rather than purchasing/using "Photoshop" for picture editing, I found a free download program from Olympus Cameras that is far simpler, and free. (We don't do the exotic adjustments available in Photoshop.) The learning curve for new stringers and such is so much shorter that "newbies" to the software can be up and running in an hour, rather than seeming days with Photoshop.

(Ken's note: Do readers know of other less expensive, less complex alternatives to Photoshop?)

Camera Recommendations

What cameras work best for newspapers? The following are recommendations from readers in response to a question from Margo Ashmore of the Northeaster, Minneapolis, MN.

Kodak Works Well

From Jean Flanagan, managing editor, The Moorefield (WV) Examiner

I've got a Kodak Easy-Share camera that's as good, if not better than my Nikon D80 as far as picture quality is concerned. It's a little point-n-shoot that fits in my purse. I've also had very good results with Nikon CoolPix cameras. Not real expensive if a reporter drops and breaks it. They are especially good if you have to take notes and photos at the same time.

Canon is Versatile

From Mary Huber, The Archbold (OH) Buckeye

I have a Canon 50D with a 24-70mm f2.8 lens. It takes great photos of everything from grip-and-grin shots to sports because it has a special setting for sports photos, which adjusts everything automatically. My news editor has a Canon Rebel with two lenses; one is a 300 mm lens. My sports photographer (a stringer) has a Canon Rebel also.

I feel Canon is definitely the way to go. I'd be happy to e-mail her some sample photos if she wants to see some.

Loves His Nikons

From Scott McIntosh, editor, Kuna Melba (ID) News

I've been using a Nikon D70 for the past three years and swear by it. We also bought a Nikon D40 as a secondary camera. It's not as good as the D70 but it's very light, so I can carry it with me everywhere I go. Once you add a couple of nice long lenses, you're shooting like the big boys. It's worth the expense to have nice, high-quality photos in your paper.

My Advising Service

I've worked with hundreds of hometown newspapers to help build revenue, profits and deal with any problem or opportunity specific to the paper and market. The process involves a 1.5-day visit to get to know you and your paper, a comprehensive report, and then I'm here for you at any time at no additional cost. A project is affordable for any paper and, if you prefer, we can use a payment plan that will allow plenty of time to recoup your investment many/many times over.

For complete details including the cost, just drop an e-mail to

Ken Blum, Publisher
Butterfly Publications
909 N. Crown Hill Rd.
Orrville, OH 44667


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