90-Year-Old Daily Looks to Boost Sales With Print, Direct Campaign
BOSTON–Hoping to reverse a decade of circulation declines, The Christian Science Monitor last week unveiled a $3 million national print and direct marketing effort.
Print executions, the first media advertising from the Boston-based daily newspaper in a decade, use the theme, “Monitor readers know better.”
The entire campaign seeks to give potential readers a feel for the depth and breadth of the paper’s coverage, said Stephen Gray, the Monitor’s managing publisher.
“The long-term goal is to drive circulation and differentiate the product as much as possible” from more sensational media, said Glenn Kelley, president of Kelley & Co., formerly Kelley/Dexter, which was tapped by the Monitor more than a year ago.
A single execution, showing the paper’s in-depth coverage of neo-Nazis in Idaho, breaks this week in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and elsewhere.
A pair of freelancers, Bill Borders and Tom Kelly, handled copy and art direction, respectively, Gray said. Both are veterans of Borders, Perrin and Norrander in Portland, Ore.
New executions will appear in January, said Gray, adding that more than $500,000 is being spent on the print push.
The direct mail effort, developed by the paper in tandem with New York consultant Paul Goldberg, is scheduled to drop in January. At least $2 million is being spent on direct mail, twice as much as the Monitor spent last year, Gray said.
Apart from brand building, print and direct executions tout a free one-month subscription offer. Circulation has hovered between 75,000-80,000 in recent years. In the 1980s, the paper enjoyed a circulation near 250,000.
The push comes on the heels of a redesign intended to make the paper more reader-friendly. It also coincides with the anniversary of its founding 90 years ago by Mary Baker Eddy, who also established the First Church of Christ, Scientist.
Kelley & Co., which recently relocated from Boston to Wellesley, Mass., changed its name to reflect the departure of Russell Dexter, who served as creative director since 1994. Dexter, who could not be reached for comment, held no equity in the agency, Kelley said.
Kelley & Co. claimed $30 million in billings last year but has since lost Salomon North America and most of its Vail Resorts assignment. Kelley declined to give current staffing numbers, and the status of the shop’s other clients could not be determined.
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