Types of Circulation for Community Newspapers
Circulation refers to the number of copies of a publication distributed through various channels so that audience members can have access to it. Circulation could take place through different such as direct mail, online platforms or physical distribution. Circulation is important because it helps to understand how many readers can possibly gain access to a publication, how many eyes are on a publication and its contents.
There are different kinds of circulation which rural community newspaper publishers could consider in getting their products across to potential and actual audience members. This could be done online or offline.
Single copy paid circulation: This is where copies of the newspaper sold at newsstands, racks, retail outlets, etc. as opposed to a subscription where readers pay ahead by way of net payment to get each edition delivered to them when they are published.
Free circulation: This is where copies of the newspaper that are distributed free of charge to consumers. This could also be done through the newsstands where people can pick them for free. It could also be done using a door to door approach for delivery at residential locations to reach the audience directly. They could be distributed through racks at nonresidential locations such as racks at bus stops, supermarkets, dropping the publication at social spots, transit points, supermarkets, locations such as doctors’ offices, restaurants, hospitals, etc. for use by their patrons. This includes other places where readers could pick them for free.
Subscription: This refers to where readers pay monthly, quarterly or yearly fees for the publication to be sent to them online or offline. This could be individual subscription which is where individuals make net payment for the newspaper to be delivered to their homes or given location. It could be group subscription where copies of the newspaper are purchased by an employer intended for their employees. This is also a kind of business paid circulation strategy where companies buy the newspapers and deliver to their staff. What it means is that the company subscribes for the newspaper (group subscription) and distributes to staff. There is also the traveler paid circulation strategy which is also a form of group subscription where or instance, a hotel buys copies of the newspaper and delivers to guests in their rooms and the copies are kept at the lobby for guests to pick them up. There is another type of traveler paid circulation called guest-paid hotel distribution strategy where copies of the newspaper are paid for by the guests of a hotel (built into fees paid for each room). In this instance, guests have the option to accept or decline the newspaper. Any guest that declines the newspaper must get a refund for the cost of the paper(s) purchased on their behalf.
Online/Social media circulation: This refers to where the newspaper is distributed for free through Facebook, Whatsapp, twitter and such other platforms to reach diverse readers online. The online version of the community newspaper could get to a wider audience through this means. With the decreased use of hardcopies of newspapers as audience interests shifted to the digital space, e-papers became a trend they appealed to more readers who use them to stay abreast with the latest developments. This also increased the circulation of newspaper PDF copies online through WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
Email: Where editions of the newspaper are mailed directly to readers who are on the contact list of the publication. Digital versions of a newspaper can be uploaded as PDF copies and mailed to readers using a mailing list available to the establishment.