By: John K. Hartman
What can newspaper editors to do beef up the front pages of their print products and reach out to defecting reader groups in 2007? To find the answer I turned on my television, looked at the magazine rack at the grocery checkout, and browsed a bookstore.
The answer is Oprah Winfrey. The best way to reach out and grab new readers is to put Oprah on page one every day.
Set aside your top left column of your front page and devote it all to America’s Everywoman.
Report on the content of her latest television program.
Report on the latest issue of her latest magazine.
Report on the new contents on her web site.
Report on her latest book selection.
Report on her physical fitness and nutrition initiatives.
Report on her latest cause.
Report on her travels.
Don’t forget to report on Oprah’s personal life and the latest gossip about her.
Publish reader feedback about Oprah at the end of the column.
Assign a reporter/columnist to the Oprah beat.
Important: Refer readers to your web site for more news on Oprah and Oprah links.
Why should editors throw out the rule book about what belongs on the front page and devote precious space to someone best known as a celebrity entertainer? The reason is because Oprah has a better handle on the pulse of the people than you do.
Because people like and respect Oprah in numbers exponentially greater than the number who watch her TV show weekdays.
Because she would get elected President in a landslide.
Because her influence is worldwide.
Most importantly, the reason to put Oprah on page one very day is because she is strong with four groups that you have trouble reaching: women, minorities, young adults and youth.
Why does her monthly self-titled magazine move so many copies?
Why do supermarket tabloids with her picture on the cover sell so well?
Why do books she advocates become best-sellers?
Why is her syndicated television show so highly rated?
Why is she well on her way to becoming the first African-American woman to be worth $1 billion?
The answer is that Oprah has the touch with the four groups that newspapers are desperate to reach.
While you are putting Oprah on page one every day, make a cross-promotion with the local TV station that carries Oprah’s show.
Take the “Put Oprah On Page One Every Day Challenge” for a year.
If it does not help, send me a bill.
If it does, send me a check.