The most important thing to remember when advertising your business in newspapers, or any other print ad for that matter, is to get to the point quick. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of ads each day. You should have an attractive tagline or pitch that makes the individual want to read more. The best way to find out how to advertise in a newspaper is to scan newspapers for ads that you know are successful (i.e. the ads of major corporations) and see how their ads are successfully addressing the target consumer.
When we work with clients on their business plans, almost everyone refers to wanting to place some sort of print ad. One thing I tell my business plan clients is that they must understand one imperative that is true about consumers: they are selfish. Your business will do much better if you plan to cater to the selfish nature of people in a consumer society. What does this mean? Come up with some sort of incentive. If you are planning to place an ad for your accounting practice try offering, "1-year of tax filing free," or if you are a massage therapist advertise, "an hour long massage for a 30 minute price." Maybe think up a coupon or a giveaway, but remember one thing, just telling the public what you do does not work.
Generally speaking, when you are writing your business plan and developing your marketing strategy, newspapers are best for advertising to a local audience. Also, you want to take into consideration what days the newspaper is right for you and what section is best for your product or service. The sports section can be best for targeting a male audience and a nightclub might want to place an ad on Thursday to let the market know about its Friday and Saturday night programming.