Sunday, February 01, 2009

CNHI head honcho leading PR effort to promote value of newspapers

Donna Barnett, president and CEO of CNHI, the company that owns the Joplin Globe, is among those spearheading an effort to show that newspapers are not dying, but are more popular than ever.

They’ve created a Web site – – that will feature stories and commentary about the value of newspapers, and share tips on how they can cope with the tough times.

Monday, the group will launch a series of print and online ads telling, among other facts, the story of how American newspapers and their Web sites daily reach 100 million people, more than watched Sunday’s Super Bowl.

The ads will appear in major newspapers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, and also in scores of community dailies, including the 89 owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.

“The roar of misinformation swirling around newspapers is deafening,” said Donna Barrett, CNHI’s president and CEO. “We must cut through the noise to set the record straight.”

As we read the results of this publicity campaign in the Joplin Globe and other newspapers, one question obviously needs to be asked:

Isn't it a bit hypocritical for newspapers, most of which have healthy profit margins, to fire people right and left and then try to overcome the negative publicity, by launching a costly PR campaign?

Of course, CNHI and the Joplin Globe have not contributed as much to the negative perception of newspapers, since they are willing to report on other companies' firing employees, but fail to mention a word when they do it themselves.

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