I was recently reading a study done by Newspapers Canada (2011) to help them understand the differences between rural and urban markets (Newspapers Work: Shopping Habits of Rural and Urban Canadians). Rural markets were deﬁned as those with populations of 10,000 and under. Urban markets were those with populations of over 100,000.
Rural Canada is home to seven million people! Newspapers reach rural neighborhoods that, in some cases, cannot be reached successfully with any other media. The study showed that rural Canadians rely on newspapers as key sources for information on many sectors (grocers, financial services, hardware/home improvement, home electronics, health care products and services, travel and more). Consumers had indicated that newspaper ads were perceived to be current, credible and relevant.
This should not be news to us here in Haliburton County. We all rely on our local newspapers to report relevant local events, information and stories. We know the individuals who write the columns and report the news. We sit next to the editors and publishers in the coffee shop. We consider them one of us. We count on the newspapers to advertise our services and jobs, to reflect our rural values and ideals, to present various sides of any issue.
SIRCH has been very blessed to have the support of the local newspapers in our Gifts from the Heart campaign (and frankly in every fundraising effort and new program we undertake). Much of the success of our campaign can be laid at the door of the local newspapers, and their dedicated staff. On behalf of all of us at SIRCH (staff and volunteers) I want to say a heartfelt and sincere thank you!