The entire newspaper industry is in a period of uncertainty, including the nations top performing newspapers. USA Today is among the best newspapers, yet the company is struggling to maintain readership. In a world where consumers have information available to them at the click of a button, USA Today has attempted to keep up with new trends in information consumption (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011).
USA Today’s biggest strength in this ever-changing world of technology is its focus on innovation (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). From its creation, the newspaper was made to be more engaging for a new generation of readers (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). The target was “young well-educated Americans who were on the move and cared about current events” (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011, p. 502). With shorter stories, and more/larger graphics, USA Today spoke to a generation who grew up on TV (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). USA Today also has shown strengths in listening to its customers and providing the format they were seeking (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011).
The weakness in USA Today’s business is the current technological environment in our world (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). More people are consuming information through the Internet and their mobile phones. This makes the printed piece less desirable to a reader who can easily find the information they are seeking through the technology at hand.
USA Today’s biggest weakness is also their biggest opportunity. They have already made strides to grow readership through USAToday.com by providing on-demand news and information (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). People in today’s high-speed world are used to immediate satisfaction, so they expect their news to be up-to-date to the minute.
Some of the threats USA Today faces include rising cost of the printed page and reduced print adverting in the newspaper (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011). With lower readership numbers, it is no wonder that advertisers would be less interested in spending money in newspapers. There are also additional threats in the amount of competition that they now face in the information market. Not only are there other newspapers still around to consider, but also many other internet-based providers that take away their customers and advertising dollars (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011).
USA Today must keep innovating to stay alive in this market. If they do not attempt to attract younger readers the company will continue to lose readership. These consumers must have access to real-time information. Through USAToday.com and their mobile app, they have already begun to grow their online readership. To really sell the younger audience, there is going to need to be more engagement available on the site. The next generation is the generation that has grown up with Facebook. Much like TV had is effect on the previous generation, social sites have had their impact on the way people consume information. These young people need to be able to comment and respond to what they are...