Brushing up on growing the audience
Newspaper people from Missouri and Illinois gathered at the Westport Chalet in St. Louis on Feb. 24 in St. Louis for a workshop on growing the audience. Steve Wagenlander, director of audience development for The Evening Post Publishing Co. in Charleston, S.C., presented at the session, which was sponsored by the Missouri Press Foundation and Illinois Press Foundation. Wagenlander talked about ways to increase audience — for the newspaper and for online content, the cost of gaining a reader, the value of retaining a reader, circulation incentives, ways to cut expenses and other aspects of circulation and audience growth and retention. You need to know how much it costs to get a new reader, because if you don’t know that, you can’t know how much time, effort and money to spend to keep a customer. He hinted that newspapers usually spend far too much money trying to get new readers and far too little on keeping the readers they already have.