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Journal Times Pumps Up its Circulation



A total frontal marketing assault helped revive a crippled newspaper brand and reversed an 11-year circulation slide. Corporate images designed award-winning TV commercials and transit advertising that was recognized internationally for helping put The Journal Times circulation back in the black.


Local newspaper, The Journal Times of Racine, was in trouble. Circulation was dropping quickly, late deliveries frustrated subscribers, and rumors of high employee turnover and poor customer communication were growing. And then, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, with a new weekly addition devoted entirely to Racine, was siphoning off subscribers. The goal was to bring the paper back to prominence.


Corporate Images was hired to right the sinking ship. We created a plan to make it virtually impossible for anyone in Racine to go anywhere without becoming positively aware of what made The Journal Times the better brand—the newspaper’s award-winning reporting staff. Reporters were featured on billboards, on buses and in paper with an ad campaign that highlighted them. Corporate Images created and placed TV and radio spots over the air repeating this theme. We wrapped a city bus to look like a newspaper. Testimonial ads from readers reinforced how much locals valued The Journal Times for its local coverage of issues, sports, and education. Finally, Corporate Images directed staff improvement activities, training advertising sales reps and prepress production artists to create high-impact ads for advertisers.


“For the first time in 11 years, circulation is up over the year before,” declared The Journal Times circulation manager. As further proof of the quality of the marketing campaigns, the newspaper took highest honors for its size at the International Newspaper Marketing Association awards in Toronto, both for the series of TV commercials and for the billboards Corporate Images designed.