S.C. Newspaper ‘Makes a Difference’

ATLANTA As newspapers continue to struggle nationwide, a campaign for The Post and Courier features subscribers detailing ways the Charleston, S.C., daily improves their lives.

The work includes three 30-second television commercials, several radio spots and print ads that are all running in the Charleston area. The campaign introduces the new tagline, “Knowing makes a difference.”

Rawle Murdy, an independent shop in Charleston that has handled the newspaper’s account for 15 years, created the campaign.

“These are real people telling real stories,” said Bruce Murdy, president of the shop. “It’s about people connecting with people.”

In one spot, a woman named Carol explains how information in the paper helped her learn how to care for her son, Luke, who has diabetes. Luke circles her on a skateboard as she speaks.

In another commercial, Alexis, who describes herself as a mother and teacher, explains how reading the newspaper helps her stay informed about developments in the city’s educational system. In a third spot, Ashley, the mother of two young children, explains how the paper helped her avoid dangerous additives in food.

Newspapers have become more aggressive advertisers in recent years as circulations continue to decline. Papers in some of the nation’s larger markets have launched campaigns emphasizing their roles in their communities.

In December, The Boston Globe launched a new campaign positioning itself as “The pulse of Boston.” The SunPost in Miami and the Orlando Sentinel have also recently introduced campaigns emphasizing their local connections to help them stand out from more over-arching electronic media.

The Newspaper Association of America currently is running a campaign designed to encourage advertisers to continue buying ads in papers. It’s the first national effort from the NAA in three years.

“It’s certainly an industry that is challenged,” Murdy said. “We are trying to find ways to make the paper relevant and indispensable to people in their 20s and 30s.”