Fact Checked

What Are the Different Types of Free Newspaper Advertising?

Kristie Lorette
Kristie Lorette

While there are numerous paid newspaper advertising options to choose from, there are still a few free newspaper advertising options left, including free classified ads, calendar listings for events and publicity from a news story coverage. Each newspaper has its own rules as to what it allows to be advertised for free. For example, free newspaper advertising often comes in the form of classified ads, which may only be available for individuals who are trying to sell a piece of furniture or other personal item. The newspaper may not permit free classified ads for businesses that are trying to promote its products or services. Some newspapers do allow businesses to use the classifieds section as a free advertising option, so check with each paper prior to placing the ad.

Calendar listings are another type of free newspaper advertising. These listings are typically reserved for events that are taking place in the community or the area that the newspaper covers. While calendar listings typically do not cost any money, they also limit the amount of information that can be included. General information tends to include the name, date and time of the event. Many calendar listings also allow a short description as what type of an event or what type of festivities it includes and if there is any cost to attend the event.

Classified ads include employment opportunities.
Classified ads include employment opportunities.

The final form of free newspaper advertising is publicity. Obtaining publicity in a newspaper takes a little bit more work on the individual or company trying to get mentioned in the paper, but the newspaper coverage can benefit the company to an unlimited amount. Publicity is typically in the form of a news story that a journalist or writer covers that includes a particular company, service or product.

Free newspaper advertising usually comes in the form of classified ads.
Free newspaper advertising usually comes in the form of classified ads.

There are a couple of ways that a company, product or service can get a mention as a form of free newspaper advertising in a news story. One, is if the owner or one of the employees of the company is quoted in the news story on the industry or business that the company is involved. This typically happens because a writer or journalist contacts the individual for a quote on a story they are writing.

The other way to obtain free publicity is a more proactive approach. This requires the company to write and submit a newsworthy press release about the business, product or service. The company would then submit this to newspaper outlets in hope that one of the writers or journalists will turn the press release topic into a story in the newspaper.

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Discussion Comments


@MrsPramm - It depends what you're trying to advertise. I absolutely still look in my local paper to see what kinds of local events are happening during the week. I also see local authors in there and gallery shows and so forth. It wouldn't occur to me to look online for this stuff, because I don't even know if there's a place online where it gets advertised, except for the websites specific to whoever is holding the event.


@Fa5t3r - Just don't be crude or sensationalist about tragedies. People will not appreciate it if you try to sell something by latching onto a death or disappearance as if you're an expert or somehow related to it.

I actually think that anyone who wants to advertise for free should just put their ad up online on Craigslist or something like that, because that's where you are going to get the most exposure and it's most likely people will see your ad.


Often you'll be able to find free "newspaper" advertising in online publications as well. They might have a point system or something like that where you can accumulate points by commenting on articles and then spend them on ads.

Aside from that I think your best shot in terms of commercial advertising is to issue a press release as it says in the article. Try to make it relevant to some kind of current event, or give it an angle that will make it interesting for local people. It will only be used if the person who gets it can see some value in putting it up as an article. Otherwise, they will just ignore it.

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    • Classified ads include employment opportunities.
      By: Pixsooz
      Classified ads include employment opportunities.
    • Free newspaper advertising usually comes in the form of classified ads.
      By: Kurhan
      Free newspaper advertising usually comes in the form of classified ads.