June 2012
Volume 7
No. 6



Charging for the News- A Look into the Strategy of the New York Times


E-books Gain Foothold   



The Love/Hate Relationship of Social Media


Mission Not Accomplished  












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Eiler Communications is a public relations and marketing  firm in Ann Arbor, MI.  We specialize in new and traditional media marketing, serving established and emerging companies in the communications
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Charging for the News- A Look into the Strategy of the New York Times


The switch from printed news consumption to media outlets has left newspapers as the fastest shrinking industry in America. According to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence's State of the News Media 2012 report, the industry has shrunk by 43% since 2000, resulting in a mass migration from newspapers to digital formats.


However, this switch has resulted in an excess of news sources online, from shared Facebook articles to, converting what was once a selectively competitive field into a free-for-all between professional and citizen publications. Though many digital news consumers go directly to news websites to gather information (92% of online users according to State of the News Media 2012 report), with such an abundance of sources, charging for the news has become increasingly difficult.


Though the rise of digital media and resources has resulted in a complex and efficient environment for the consumer, newspapers have seen rising difficulties in generating revenue. The interactive and user-generated aspects of the Internet, while beneficial in many ways, have similarly caused an abundance of free (though often unevaluated) information and materials.


For example, due to sites such as Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace, the revenue generated from classified ads within news publications has lost nearly three-quarters of its value since its peak in 2000 as stated by the State of the News Media 2012 report. Similarly, ad revenue has dropped as well as businesses look to spend more marketing dollars on social media sites such as Facebook (as projected by the State of the News Media report, by 2015 Facebook is expected to account for one out of every five digital display ads sold).


With such a daunting blow to newspaper publication's traditional revenue supply, many are given no choice but to resort to charging for online subscription. Though, with information being so easily accessible, why would someone pay for something they could get for free elsewhere?


In Jeff Sonderman's article "Why Would Anyone Pay to Read The New York

Times Online" posted on on August 16th 2011, he notices an interesting phenomenon with the Times' choice to enact a digital subscription program. The program has been live since March 2011, and since then has gathered about 454,000 paying subscribers.


Non-subscribers are allowed to view 10 free articles per month in addition to having free access to the homepage and section fronts. Similarly, non-subscribers are also able to view any article that is arrived at through search results or a social network. But, despite these exemptions, the paywall is still otherwise fairly easy to bypass when it comes up, through downloadable programs designed for this purpose (Google Chrome even has an extension for avoiding the paywall).


However, even though readers may easily avoid paying for content, the Times' strategy is working. In the words of Sonderman, "It turns out people will pay for things even when payment is not required. Motivations such as convenience, duty or appreciation are more compelling than coercion."


Because the Times is still making money through the ads viewed on its pages (though at a much reduced amount), it can afford to coax its subscribers rather than force them. Through allowing people easier access to their content, tapping into people's sense of obligation, and allowing people so show support for the work they produce, the Times has managed to both retain and gain long-term, paying customers for an intangible and easily accessible product.


So, in light of the Times' success, what does this mean for marketing news as a whole? In the digital environment, severely restricting access to content is more conductive to alienating potential subscribers and reducing traffic rather than encouraging customers and gaining support for a publication. Through engaging the target audience with a patient approach and consistent, accessible proof of the publication's quality, the decline of professional journalism may be avoided.


The switch to online news is inevitable, meaning that evolving to fit the rapidly changing digital environment is a necessity in order to both remain relevant and to forefront new methods of revenue gain. While the field is bound to continue to change and progress, if an online publication can access its audience's needs of ease, duty, appreciation, it will be able to effectively establish trust, loyalty, and ultimately, paying customers.


 Emmy Mills




E-books Gain Foothold


The sarcastic jokes about your book running out of batteries can't stifle the growing emergence of the e-book. The convenience and capacity of e-reader devices has allowed users a mobile, compact, and eco-friendly library, resulting in a growing audience among the teen and adult communities. Between December and February of this year, the ownership of e-book reading devices among adults increased from 10% to 19%, a rise which correlated to the increase of Americans who reported having read an e-book within the past year from 17% to 21%.


In studies done by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the growth of e-books has also caused a rise in book reading among adults, at greater rates than those who do not have an e-reader device. The average reader of e-books reads has read around 24 books (the mean number) over the past 12 months, in comparison to the average of 15 books by non-e-book consumers.


However, while the e-reader populace in growing, printed books still remain the most used medium for readers. In Pew's December 2011 survey, 72% of American adults reported having read a printed book as opposed to the 17% of adults who had read an e-book. Similarly, while e-books excel in areas of accessibility and portability, printed books were still preferred for purposes such as reading to children and sharing books with others.


Still, while print books may still hold dominance over their digital counterparts, the emergence of e-books contributes to the larger trend of America's shift from printed to digital material. With the rise mobile technology, the desire for similarly portable content has grown. In a survey ending in December 2011, 42% of Americans 16 and older had read an e-book or a different type of long-form content such as news articles or magazines in digital format on a portable device. Though, as mobile technology advances and e-reader libraries expand, this percentage is sure to increase.


Emmy Mills 







The Love/Hate Relationship of Social Media


Every night before I go to bed, I plug in my phone, set my alarm, and check my: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, university email and general email before I can rest peacefully, knowing I haven't missed out on anything "important". When I wake up in the morning, I turn my alarm off, and check the same things I did the night before, because heaven forbid something happened within the last eight hours. I know the point of social media is to be connected, but is it possible to be too connected?


As human-beings, we are very funny creatures. Relying on a small device to make our lives easier without realizing its potential to completely take over. Both my father and I have joined the iPhone bandwagon, but use it in entirely different ways. My 64-year-old dad is content with the iPhone's ability to send and receive emails and talk via speakerphone. However, I constantly communicate through Facebook statuses, blog posts and tweets, I feel a sense of anxiety when my phone rings and I realize I have to say something longer than 140 characters. Which is a problem. What my dad and I have in common, is that we can't put the phone down. We can't "unplug". We put our phones on silent, but I think that's just cheating.


It really is an interesting thing to think about how much time we spend on social media outlets. In May of 2011, Nielsen Statistics figured out that Americans spent 53.5 billion minutes on Facebook, they averaged between the 300+ million users that each spent about 12 minutes a day on Facebook. I know that average is being too fair because I was victim and witness to seeing my friends spend at least an hour a day on the social media vortex during finals week.


Being the 20-year-old young woman I am, living in the generation I do, I can't help but love social media. It is a powerful tool that allows people to connect in ways and reach target audiences they could not do before. But I hate the way it devalues the importance of relationships. I should not be hesitant to call someone and prefer to text or email them despite its convenience. People and human connections will always remain life's most precious "engaged time", no matter what capacity technology has.


Emily Magyar 





Mission Not Accomplished


We recently met Ritu Rastogi, a highly accomplished healthcare and technology specialist and single Mom whose mission is not accomplished.  Simply put, she needs a job that utilizes her extensive experience and grand attitude.  We want to help Ritu by spreading the word about her credentials and availability.  Read on to learn more of this woman's fascinating story.


"Dear Candidate, The position you applied for has been filled or cancelled."


The phrase may sound familiar to many people who are unemployed or underemployed for any reason and looking for a job. After reading this reply over and over again with each new job I apply for, I pose a big question to myself, "What else do I need to learn to get a decent job in my career field, what else am I passionate about?"

Working in healthcare is my passion; I wish to work on the population level for the betterment of community health. I believe this passion was hereditary: My father was a concerned and responsible Community Development Officer and my mother was a compassionate and devoted home maker, always helping people. I knew I was destined to go into the same field.


People are constantly becoming aware about prevention and wellness, efforts are being made in the community, and jobs in this field are out there. The question is, how to get one?


I believe I am more than qualified for a position in this field. I hold a multitude of degrees pertaining to the field, including an Associate's Degree in Extended Respiratory Therapy from Oakland and a Masters in Public Health from Benedictine University.


I see myself as a compassionate and concerned healthcare professional with a passion to bring positive changes in people's health. With a firm belief in holistic health and a vision of improved community health by using different preventive strategies, I thrive to adapt strategies based on individual and particular needs, in order to get the best possible positive outcome.


Right now, circumstances have led me to where I am: a single mother with no family support in this country. I've had to go through an adventurous journey to accomplish my goals without dropping off my single most important responsibility: being a parent. I am proud that I have held strong through these challenges, and I feel they only increase my desire and qualifications for a position in my chosen field.


My professional goal is to get an opportunity in healthcare management/administration in order to utilize my well-versed knowledge.


My personal goal is to get an opportunity in healthcare management/administration in order to provide for my daughter and strive to be the best parent possible. I believe both are attainable.  


 Ritu Rastogi 




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