Newsday’s recent decision to discontinue its monthly publication Long Island Parents & Children, as part of its decision to eliminate its magazine publications, briefly created a marketing void, since the publication was one of the more popular and effective means of reaching parents of young children. This market is especially important for many businesses, but even more so considering that parents will be more inclined to cut personal spending, but less inclined to let their kids go without services, especially those that provide educational and social enhancement.
Perhaps recognizing the business opportunity and considering that the publication was flush with advertisements, two new publications moved in, including Long Island Parent Magazine, a locally grown magazine and Nassau/Suffolk Parent, part of a national organization. They join Parent Guide and Long Island Kids Directory.
Television advertising is one of the more cost-effective alternatives to Long Island Parents & Children. News 12 in the morning (6-9 am) can be purchased for $325-$375 island-wide per :30 spot. Not cheap, but the strongest ratings on cable for this time frame. However, News 12 can be purchased in each cable system. You can purchase the Riverhead system (covering Riverhead township as well as the North and South Forks) for about $80 per spot. You can supplement this with News 12 Traffic & Weather. Cablevision is currently running a winter special featuring News 12 and News 12 Traffic & Weather.
As the weather improves, traditional radio may also help you reach parents with young children. Younger parents can be reached using WBLI. Fresh 102.7 and WALK can be used to reach older parents. However, radio is not cheap compared to cable. Consider broad rotations and advertising on the weekends to reach families.
The web provides a number of opportunities for free and low-cost advertising. However, few of these sites are branded sufficiently to drive a significant amount of web traffic. A strong web presence with an emphasis on search engine optimization may be the best alternative.
Also, I will rarely forego an opportunity to point out that the phone book will be a complete waste of money, even more so considering that most parents are younger and may not have opened one in years, if ever.
It should also be noted that Newsday is continuing its Explore Long Island (Funbook) publication that will come out in May. Although a 1/4 page ad with a full run will cost about $2,800 it is a must-do for summer entertainment and destination venues.