Q. The following appeared in an announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper:
“Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago. The Mercury’s circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.”
Discuss how well reasoned the above argument is. You will have to consider the assumptions that underlie the writer’s thinking. Describe alternative explanations or counterexamples that might weaken his or her conclusion. You must come up with evidence that would strengthen or refute the argument or identify what changes would make the argument more logically sound.
The argument states that The Mercury’s circulation has decreased by 10,000 readers since the arrival of The Bugle which started five years ago. The Mercury plans to reduce its price lower than that of The Bugle until its circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will cause more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.
Firstly, I agree to some extent with this argument. The Mercury should identify the primary reasons which caused the number of readers to decline. This could be due to bad content, lack of creativity, poor printing or low advertising. Moreover, by only focusing on price reduction will not increase the circulation of The Mercury immediately. The newspaper company should improve and update their content in order to meet the needs of its readers. They should try to cover all kinds of topics such as entertainment, music, health, world politics, sports, finance, business, economics, science, comics etc. This would make them unique and distinct amongst the rest of the competitors in the market. The number of readers, revenues and profits will increase immensely. The Mercury should promote themselves on popular social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as well as on television and radio. More people will be familiar and aware about the brand which would increase the number of buyers. They should also try to sell their newspapers at famous shops in the city so that the numbers of consumers increase. The company could launch themselves as free apps on Apple App Store and Samsung Android Play Store which would greatly benefit them in the near future. Furthermore, the company should analyse the factors that have enabled The Bugle to develop a respectable position in the market. This could include better advertising, well-developed content, lower-pricing and availability of newspapers at main shops. If these factors are analysed effectively, The Mercury would also have a competent position in the market.
In conclusion, The Mercury should focus on improving their advertising strategies, developing strong contents, lowering prices as well as listening to customer’s views and opinions regarding the newspaper. These methods will benefit the company in the future. The number of readers and sales will rise. They should analyse the factors that have caused The Bugle to be a powerful competitor during the past five years.