Tips for conducting an open house and marketing seminar

September 29, 2015

By Bob Berting
Sales Advice

Two of the most powerful ways to promote your publication is to conduct a marketing seminar and open house for the merchants in your market. This can include your inactives, regulars and prospects.


Marketing Seminar

The burning question you should ask in your first promotional effort is, “Do you feel you need more advertising knowledge? The answer is the upcoming complementary marketing seminar, “Creative Strategies to give you more impact for your advertising budget,” which will be held at the (name of hotel) from 9 a.m. to noon on (date). A continental breakfast will be provided at 8:30 a.m. The instructor will be (name), our sales manager.

Participants will learn:

• The nuts and bolts of a creative advertising and psychology.

• How to build great campaigns and developing top-of-mind awareness.

• Digital advertising—tips for better exposure.

• Effective ad design—use of color.

• Yearly programming—marketing plan—budgeting—media mix study.

• Small group ad campaign exercise during the workshop.

Pass out reference materials will be in individual folders for each participant. These reference materials can include the cover page and outline of the seminar, plus media kit materials, such as demographics study, circulation maps, etc. Register for this informative seminar by calling (phone number of paper) or online at (website address). Registration deadline is (date).

The salespeople will be present for this seminar and can mingle with their customers at lunchtime, as well as participating with them in any workshop exercise. The salespeople can see how their customers react to the seminar and can tailor their efforts with them accordingly.

Why let our sales manager present this seminar?

The sales manager’s background experience makes him the logical choice to help you with your advertising effort.


Open House Event

One of the most popular events was when a weekly newspaper decided to have an open house for its inactives, regulars and prospects. It decided on a provocative theme, “Once a week does it.” The theme obviously ties in with the fact this is a weekly paper sponsoring the event. Plastic buttons with the theme copy were made and worn by all members of the paper weeks before the open house. There are a variety of themes a paper can have, mostly depending on the creativity of the staff.

The open house had the following arrangements:

All personnel wore their buttons. The setting was a popular hotel with a pool, where the festivities took place. There was live music by a popular trio, a champagne punch fountain and hot hors d’oeuvres.

Local dignitaries were invited, including one state senator and the mayor of the host city. Invitations went to 400 people, and 245 attended. The paper had a colorful display booth, and their key personnel were present to give information and answer questions. Most of the expense was traded off. It was wildly successful with great increases in advertising from the participants, which covered the expenses.


Promotional pointer

A progressive newspaper needs a memory hook, a slogan that stirs the imagination and can be put on all mastheads, sales materials, sides of delivery trucks, etc. A great way to develop a memory hook is to have a contest for the staff to create a great memory hook. Or even the customers of the paper can get in on the fun. Advertising specialties are great reminders, and the greatest items are ones that can be used in the kitchen of your customers’ homes. They include yardsticks, jar openers, sponges, and magnetic signs that go on refrigerators. Your logo should be on all the refrigerators in your market area. © Bob Berting 2015


Bob Berting is a professional speaker, newspaper sales trainer, and publisher marketing consultant who has conducted over 1500 seminars for newspaper sales staffs, their customers, print media associations and trade associations in the U.S. and Canada. Bob’s advertising sales record in the industry is impressive. For 15 years, he averaged two cold contracts a week, sold 20 shopping centers on yearly contracts, and rarely sold an advertising contract for less than 52 weeks or 1,000 inches during a year. He is the author of the E-Book “Advanced Selling Skills For The Advertising Sales Pro,” which can be ordered on his NEW WEBSITE: Bob also conducts tele-seminars and webinars for advertising salespeople, their customers, print media associations, merchant groups and trade associations. Contact Bob at 800-536-5408 and He is located at 6330 Woburn Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46250.

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