Magazine article Editor & Publisher

May the Force Be with ... Newspapers: Newspapers Find Success with "Star Wars" Special Section

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

May the Force Be with ... Newspapers: Newspapers Find Success with "Star Wars" Special Section

Article excerpt

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ..." Well, maybe not that far away. For two newspapers in California and Oregon, a "Star Wars" special section celebrating the release of the seventh installment in the franchise, "The Force Awakens," proved to be a great way to sell ads, connect with readers and work with the community.

Created by Content That Works, a content marketing firm based in Chicago, the special section included stories about the cast and crew, past films, and reviews for its newspaper partners.

"Newspapers in general have gotten out of the business of covering celebrities and entertainment," said Paul Camp, Content That Works CEO. "(But these special sections are) like having a staff member do in-depth coverage."

Camp said inserts like this can bring in advertising dollars and increase single copy paper sales. And when Tricia Bergeron, general manager of South County Newspapers in King City, Calif., was presented with the "Star Wars" section she thought a lot of people would want to hold on to it,

For Bergeron, the section provided an opportunity to work with a theater a couple hours away in Monterey. King City is a small town and Bergeron said it's common for residents to drive a distance to see a movie.

The theater in Monterey had previously advertised in the South County Newspapers, but when approached to advertise in the "Star Wars" section, they decided to sponsor the entire insert.

"When you approach a client at the end of the year it can be difficult to get them to advertise," she said. …

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