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Regional district looks to cut newspaper advertising costs in Okanagan-Similkameen

Regional district committee members took a look at costs of advertising in area newspapers at last week's board meeting.
November 24, 2015 - 10:30 AM

PENTICTON - After spending nearly $60,000 on advertising in newspapers last year the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is hoping to reduce advertising costs going forward.

Staff requested quotes from the region's print newspapers in late September. The hope is to reduce annual advertising costs from last year’s level of between $57,000 and $60,000 by placing bi-weekly ads in newspapers with the best reach for regional district residents, at the best price.

Statutory advertising is a requirement for some of  the regional district’s news items. The most recent regional district telephone survey revealed approximately 64 per cent of it’s residents learned about local government through the newspaper, although Osoyoos Director Sue Mckortoff says that might be changing.

“Our local papers are widely read,” she told the board, adding, “I’m sure that’s changing with the younger generation."

The quotes revealed newspaper pricing ranging from $4,550 to $7,235.80 annually for 26 quarter-page ads.

Regional departments would not be restricted solely to using the contracted ads. If necessary, departments in the regional district would still be able to advertise in more local newspapers if the need arose. The bi-weekly ads could contain a mix of corporate and service specific information that would be billed back to each department or service accordingly.

Manager of Legislative Services Christy Malden says contracts would be valid for one year, which provides time to give the regional district an opportunity to measure the performance of the initiative through a new citizen survey, as well as to assess any potential budget savings.

Currently the City of Penticton uses the Penticton Western newspaper as its primary advertising venue.

The regional district’s Corporate Services Committee suggests the board award of the 2016 bi-weekly advertisement to the Penticton Herald in an amount not to exceed $4,800, and to the Similkameen News Leader for an amount not in excess of $4,600, plus applicable taxes.

The matter will come before the board for approval at a subsequent meeting.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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