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The Onion’s prediction?

July 27, 2009

Anyone checked out the Onion lately?

It’s now “owned” by a chinese company, “Yuwanmei Fish Byproducts.”

Now, obviously, it’s a big joke, but what’s interesting is the marketing elements behind this. The Onion placed fake advertisements for products on the website, changed all of its banner ads, etc.

More importantly, The Onion is one of the few newspapers in America that makes money. And that’s because they make an effort to market themselves.

This kind of PR stunt works, since the Onion is a satire. But can you name any other American paper that has landed itself in the headlines recently?

Overseas, newspapers compete differently. An english newspaper handed out Prince’s latest CD to a select number of customers. Other papers routinely bundle themselves with paperback novels.

Who is handling the marketing department for the New York Times or any other large daily?

What would have been so wrong with printing the first chapter of Harry Potter in your paper? What is so wrong about bundling up your paper with a “golden ticket” redeemable for a prize?

These ideas would drive pickup, and some of those who pickup would eventually subscribe. The sad part is, Newspapers and Magazines are just like books, far more appealing in their physical form than they are online. But, because of awful marketing, zero innovation and generally lacking content, they’ve fallen behind.

Newspapers need to blow up their model. They should be using online as a tool. Put the story online, then bring the reader in with extra information. Make the newspaper itself, the print version, bigger and better. Stop trying to compete with TV and the Web for immediacy, and instead cover a few things thoroughly.

Or, you could just give it all up, and sell yourself to YuWanmei fish products…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 12:05 am

    Hi, good post. I have been woondering about this issue,so thanks for posting. I’ll definitely be coming back to your site. – cool!!!!

  2. August 6, 2009 8:54 am

    Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

  3. March 7, 2010 12:15 pm



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