Advertising in the newspaper is not what it used to be. I can remember a time when almost everyone sat down with their paper and read it from front to back to see what was going on in the world. Now, it is not that way. People in general are very busy. We only want to read the headlines now. Not to mention the younger generations………they do not think about picking up a newspaper.
It is my thought that the main newspapers are not worth their cost in advertising (unless you have an endless post of money). For the small business owner, this is not where I would recommend putting your advertising dollars. It does not provide the ROI that would justify its use.
If newspapers are something that you would want to include in your media mix, I would go with the niche news publication. People are still reading items that pertain to their specific interest. There are many neighborhood news publications, business journal, and trade publications that may best suit your needs. I would also look to see if the newspaper that you would like to use has a good website. This may be the way to go to reach the most readers when they want to be reached.
The key to making this successful is clearly defining your target market. Once that is done, put yourself in easy view of the target, create a good message, and hope for the best.