Media Appraiser Kevin Kamen: Newspapers Must Provide Social Network Platforms Emphasizing Greater Community Engagement For Youth and Merchants

March 4, 2009

(Baldwin, N.Y.) – “Newspapers have no choice but to become more engaged and involved in both the educational and business community by incorporating internet and social networking and broadcast platforms that essentially engage local teenage students and Main Street business entrepreneurs if they want their publications to survive,”stated media appraiser Kevin Kamen, president of Kamen & Co Group Services in Baldwin, New York. “Nearly every single day we are learning of well known and highly circulated newspapers laying off employees, consolidating, cutting back editions or closing down and the message is clear: newspapers need to become more relevant, better business models in terms of effficiency and planning and more involved in the day to day aspects of locals by directing their resources to the youth and entrepreneurs in their respective communities 24/7.

Newspapers have no choice now but to develop and focus on generating useful and interesting social networking sites that target teenagers and college students as well as business folks who are active in their chambers of commerce and/or merchants groups. These new online communities should provide teenage social and business networking events and have news updates appear on their digital sites and in all their print media titles. It is vital that readers have an opportunity to join and contribute to blogs and online networking groups that are locally based, managed, sponsored, secured and directed to the youth and business people of their communities. By doing so, they will be increasing the financial value of their publication,” said Kamen. “The respective advertising, editorial, circulation and marketing staff at each newspaper, whether a weekly, monthly, daily or alternative title needs to work together cooperatively and be focused on generating enthusiasm for these social networks in every community that the newspaper is marketed in. Publishers and their management teams must be ambitious and invest resources in this endeavor and brand the social network brilliantly.

It is very important to also develop broadcast platforms that align each newspaper with other channels that reach out to the community and target the teenage, young adult and local business population,” said Kamen. “The sooner publishers wake up and begin to broaden their newspapers’ overall appeal with enhanced technological packaging, the more attractive and relevant each publication will become. This effort and emphasis on social outreach and engagement can only help sustain newspapers over the next few years.”