Why Newspapers Shouldn’t Write Off Millennials


In today’s age of social media and 24 hour news cycles, it’s easy to assume that Millennials no longer rely on newspapers to learn about the world around them. But a recent study from the Newspaper Association of America reveals that 56% still regularly enjoy newspapers. Across all platforms, 40 million Millennials consume online newspapers each week. This data has specific implications for newspapers that are developing strategies for their print edition’s companion websites. Here is a closer look at what the study revealed and specific tactics that online publishers and newspaper owners can use to attract more traffic, subscribers, and revenue.

Digital editions lead in importance

71% of Millennials access digital content online each month, vs. just 10% reading the print editions. Your strategy, then, needs to prioritize both your digital platform and your content. Your content strategy should have three distinct parts. First, ensure that all of your print edition content is available digitally. Second, develop exclusive online content that can help draw readers in. For example, if you profiled a local business in a feature you might offer additional content such as photos, a Q&A with the owner, or online coupons. Last but not least, digital publishing offers the chance to introduce audio and video content into the mix.

Mobile access is critical

SEE ALSO: The Lightning Fast Rise of the Mobile-Only Newspaper Audience

Apart from your content strategy, optimizing your digital platform is also essential. For example, have you optimized your website to display beautifully and function well on a wide range of smartphones and tablets? If not, responsive mobile design should be your primary investment in the year ahead.

It’s also helpful to think about the mobile experience when formatting and chunking your content. Audio, video, and images are an important complement to written text. And excerpting, mixed media, and strategic summaries are all tactics that are working well.

Your content focus needs to keep in mind the information Millennials are looking for.

Content focus matters

Millennials rate newspapers as a trustworthy source of information. This means that they’re expecting the same level of reporting and ethics that their parents and grandparents did. In today’s highly connected world, it’s easier than ever before to find errors and see when corners are cut. In addition to the focus on quality reporting and editing, it’s helpful to think about whether your content focus and delivery are matched with a Millennial readership’s interest. Do your business and education pieces target people in the building phase of their lives? Are you tackling tough issues that are geared toward a younger demographic? If not, considering how to find and tell these stories creatively is another tool you can use to appeal to Millennial readers.

The bottom line is that today’s Millennials want to stay connected to the pulse of today’s news and most important stories. But they’re anxious for mobile-friendly experiences that prioritize reliability. If you’re developing your online presence with these things in mind, you’re setting the foundation for success for years to come.

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