Kelsey: Newspapers Should Bolster Online Alliances

Newspapers can boost their online presence by partnering with Internet pure-plays, according to a white paper released Tuesday by the Kelsey Group.

"Partnering with online players to etch out a strategy is something that we've seen work, and we recommend that partnering with an online player is a good move," said Michael Boland, senior analyst with the Kelsey Group and one of the authors of the white paper.

Boland suggested that newspapers' Web sites incorporate features aimed at consumers who research products online, but complete the purchase at a brick-and-mortar store. For instance, he said, newspapers could offer online coupons, redeemable at offline venues.

Also, he said, newspapers can leverage the Web to better serve their existing print advertisers. "While newspaper advertising and classifieds have been traditionally based on leading offline conversions, new technologies are being developed to enable them to better reach new and existing customers online," the paper stated. "This is a unique opportunity to bring traditional strengths in circular, classified, and display advertising to new online channels."

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Another partnership online newspapers should look into is with search, the report stated. "One type of partnership that's very necessary is bringing in search technology," said Boland. "Right now, a lot of content and classified advertising is kind of buried. There are a lot of interesting search technologies that can be used to bring search functionalities to a newspaper's Web site."

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