Lord Aylmer students visit with Aylmer Bulletin for straight talk on advertising
Mélanie Ward, Director of Publicity with the Aylmer Bulletin, welcomed two classes from Lord Aylmer who are studying the influence of advertising and persuasive writing. Grade 5 teachers Jessica Simon and Christine Potvin facilitated the visit to the Bulletin office March 29. The physical office in the Galeries Aylmer has been used only for the occasional meeting or administrative duties since the beginning of Covid-19. Despite the office closure, the Bulletin team has been working full-steam from home offices and have not missed an edition since the start of the pandemic.
Mélanie Ward explained that advertising in the local newspaper is a real life-line for many local businesses, big and small. “We have such a dedicated readership that advertisers know they will get their message across to local folks with the Aylmer Bulletin, and especially in Aylmer where a large number of our population do not use Facebook or other social media networks,'' explained Ms Ward. “Online advertising is an important part of a campaign, just like bus shelters and radio ads.” Ms Ward went on to say that newspapers in Quebec are both growing and disappearing, depending on where they are! “Everyone wants to know if their neighbourhood park will have a bathroom put in or not – that’s news you’ll find in the Aylmer Bulletin but not on big media. That’s why ads will always work with the Bulletin.”
Students were at the Galeries Aylmer to explore for themselves how advertising works to get the attention of people, and how to discern when ads are good information or just a big effort for people to buy stuff they don’t need. At the Aylmer Bulletin office, students had plenty to talk about with Ms Ward, even going over the environmental impact of newspapers. “I didn’t know that newspapers everywhere in Quebec are made from waste material and printed with vegetable ink,” remarked Leo Monetta (Student) after the visit. This means newspapers are great for composting and not as environmentally bad as say, the batteries in a telephone or the mega facilities used to cool and store the world’s internet servers (another major Quebec industry).
The visit ended with many questions about different aspects of the industry, and Ms Ward encouraged the students to read their local newspaper and to support it by buying locally or sending in letters to the editor. She even remarked to the publisher “I’ll bet some of those kids end up studying journalism or business or graphic design and end up being star employees here when they are older!”.