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Newspapers shifting growth plans to Internet

Ad sales are continuing to slide big time for big newspaper companies, including The New York Times, Tribune and McClatchy. This from an article in today’s New York Times, making clear that newspapers are shifting their revenue growth plans to the Internet.

Executives of all of the newspaper companies said they were hurt by stagnant advertising, particularly in the automotive and entertainment categories, and a continuing rise in the cost of newsprint. The Times Company and Tribune also cited the cost of severance packages after cutting hundreds of jobs.

At the same time, the companies said that their Internet activities were thriving. Those activities still account for only a small share of total revenue and are not big enough to offset the losses from traditional advertisers. But revenue from the Internet is clearly a growth area where the newspapers are shifting their focus.

Though Internet revenue is not enough to make up for lost hard copy ad sale declines, it’s clear our society is shifting to the Internet for news and information.

What does this mean for lawyers and professional service providers? You can publish to the Internet content on a niche area and compete on equal footing with local newspapers.

In years past, marketing and PR people could only dream of getting lawyers and other professionals featured in newspaper articles. And even then, newspapers were shotgun marketing. They were not focused on one’s target audience. Now, professionals can publish a blog and reach their target audience.

Time for law firms and professional services not making effective use of the Internet to wake up.

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