Paper Uses Its Web Site to Attract More Print Advertisers

By: Steve Outing

Boulder County Business Report has had a World Wide Web site for a couple years now, making it one of the first publications in Colorado to experiment with online publishing. While the site has yet to directly earn money for the Colorado-based monthly business newspaper, editor and co-owner Jerry W. Lewis says it has positively affected his bottom line.

Even if not designed, at present, to bring in revenues directly, BCBR's Web site has resulted in additional advertising for the newspaper, according to Lewis. He gets between 6 and 10 Internet-related companies advertising each month, and groups those ads in a print Internet section. (That's about 5-7 percent of total display ads in the paper.)

For a community like Boulder that's home to many high-technology companies, "having a Web site is an important image enhancer for us," Lewis says. "It's important for us to be online," not only so that readers view the newspaper as technically savvy, but also so that high-tech advertisers view the publication as an appropriate venue for their message.

The key to attracting Internet-savvy advertisers has been to encourage companies to publish their Web addresses (URLs) in their print ads. Those companies that do so -- and agree to run their ads for several months -- also get listed on BCBR's home page, as a free added benefit for advertising in the business newspaper. Lewis believes this has resulted in longer ad runs than the paper otherwise might have gotten, because these advertisers want the online placement, too.

When you visit BCBR's home page, note the "On-Line Advertisers" button at the top of the page. This takes you to the bottom half of the page, where all BCBR advertisers with Web sites are listed in an advertisers' directory. Lewis says he may have to move the directory to another page as it grows, but for now likes being able to offer "front page" online placement for his advertisers.

This ad approach seems to work. Lewis says that running URLs in the print edition resulted in a tripling of hits on his Web home page.

While the Web site may not be directly adding to Lewis' revenues, it does seem to be having an impact. "We equate this with helping us sell (more) ads in the regular newspaper," he says.

BCBR also publishes a second monthly newspaper, the Northern Colorado Business Report, which also has its own Web site.

Contact: Jerry W. Lewis,

FIEJ tour of European electronic publishing scene

Here's a great trip: FIEJ, the International Federation of Newspaper Publishers, is organizing a study tour of newspapers and electronic publishing initiatives. A small group of newspaper executives will spend April 15-19 in Lausanne, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp and Paris, visiting publishers who will demonstrate some of the hottest online sites in Europe and discuss their experiences.

On the program:
Lausanne, Switzerland -- International Telecommunications Union, Multi-Media Development (A Publicitas company), Swiss Online, and Webdo (Ringier Romandie).
London -- Associated Newspapers Ltd., The Times - News International, The Financial Times, The Irish Times (Ireland), The Press Association (PA), and The Electronic Telegraph.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands -- British Telecom, De Volkskrant, Politiken (Denmark), Aamulehti (Finland), and Dagens Nyheter (Sweden).
Brussels & Antwerp, Belgium -- De Financieel Economische Tijd, and Central Station (cooperative venture of all Belgian newspaper publishers).
Paris, France -- Hachette Filipacchi Grolier, Agence France Presse (AFP), Apple Computer, Inc., Minitel, America Online, and Europe Online.

For information on prices and logistics, contact Deirdre O' Callaghan,

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