Words about Tenerife – Are Printed Newspapers on their Last Legs?

Posted: September 24, 2009 in Life, News, Spain, Tenerife
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Social media gurus are predicting that printed newspapers may be in danger of becoming obsolete. After reading through one of Tenerife’s English language newspapers in a local bar, at half time during the Man Utd V Wolves game last night, I was persuaded to come round to their point of view.

I used to think that it was a half decent paper, but just about everything in it nowadays seems to be almost a straight regurgitation of official press releases. Even most of the photos were press releases. There wasn’t much originality and there was certainly nothing experiential. In other words, there was very little to give the person who represents a significant part of their target group, i.e. the visitor to Tenerife, the sort of information that could help them really get the most out of the island.

There are two factors which occurred to me whilst perusing the newspaper. The first was that, as it only came out every two weeks, much of the news was already old hat – so it failed in that department. But then it’s always been the same, so why does it stand out more as ‘yesterday’s news’ now?

The answer is basically this. Up until a couple of years ago if you didn’t read the Spanish press, the fortnightly English language papers were really the only means of keeping up to date with what was going on around the island. Nowadays, the rise of online info sites have changed all that. Anyone who regularly uses a computer already knows Tenerife’s news almost as it happens. So if you don’t have something different, something original to say – how can you continue to compete?

The second factor that occurred to me was about advertising. More people than ever are turning to the website to find out about their holiday destination – where to stay, what car hire companies to use, where the best bars are, what to do, where to eat… the list goes on and on.

Essentially what that means is that by the time a lot of people arrive on this island, they already have a good idea of where they’re going to hand over their hard earned holiday spends. The core of people who are going to be influenced by what they read in a paper is going to get smaller and smaller, whereas those who are influenced by what they read before they step foot on the silver bird bringing them to paradise is increasing all the time.

If I had a business on Tenerife that relied almost entirely on getting visitors through the door, I reckon I’d be rethinking my advertising strategy.

But hey this is Tenerife where many businesses still barely know the internet exists, let alone the incredible influence it has in modern society – the important thing that escapes them however, is this:

Millions of their potential clients from beyond the Island’s shores do.

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