Connecting to Canadians with Community Newspapers

Canada is made up of hundreds of small towns and communities that over than six million people call home.

Community newspapers are the heart of these non-urban areas, providing an essential service and connecting readers with the information they need about what is happening in their neighbourhoods. Readership research confirms that 74% of Canadians are avid community newspaper readers. The strength of the industry is its local credibility and exclusive reach into hundreds of non-urban markets the country.

Because of their location, it can be difficult for advertisers to find a cost-effective way to reach Canadians living outside of metropolitan centres. Many are turning to online research panels to learn more about these communities. While online panel research is growing in popularity, panel companies are often faced with a lack of representation in non-urban markets – typical panel composition is 90% urban and 10% non-urban.

The Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) responded to this challenge with an innovative new project titled “Connecting to Canadians with Community Newspapers.” By harnessing the power of community newspapers and partnering with an established panel research company, the association’ was able to increase the number of online panelists based outside of urban areas.

With the support of member community newspapers and their regional associations, the CCNA was able to facilitate access to this “hard to reach” target group for future research initiatives. The CCNA also received financial support from the Government of Canada through Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Periodical Fund.

The CCNA ran a print recruitment campaign in community newspapers with display ads and classified ads in five regions (AB, SK, MB, ON and Atlantic) from January to March 2013. Panelists were recruited as part of an 8- to 10-week telephone research survey kicking off in January 2013.

Click here to view Online Panel Recruitment Campaign Ads »

The Connecting to Canadians with Community Newspapers research results were released in January 2014. For full details about the results, click here.

For more information, please contact Kelly Levson, Director of Marketing and Research, at