Using your rate card to build revenue
September 8, 2016
By Ken Blum
Is your newspaper offering special services that will bring in additional revenue and profits?
Let’s take a look at 10 policies that apply to amenities above and beyond the norm. (Prices cited are typical for a midsize weekly newspaper.)
1. Preferred/Guaranteed ad placement
Let’s say a client wants to run a quarter-page ad with guaranteed placement on Page 3.
Honor this request under a policy, such as, “If an advertising position is guaranteed, a 25 percent surcharge will be added.”
Or, encourage a series of ads with this policy: “We try to honor page placement requests, but guaranteed page placement requires a 13-week commitment for a quarter-page or more per week.”
2. Back Page Rate (usually applies to tabloid newspapers)
“Back page: additional charge, 25 percent.”
If you opt to offer the back page permanently to a major advertiser, the surcharge would be tacked onto the applicable contract/frequency/volume rate, whatever applies relative to your paper’s rate structure.
3. Cancelled Ad
“A kill charge of 35 percent applies for cancellation of an ad after deadline.”
“Ads canceled after composition will be charged at $5 per column inch (one-third the open rate).
4. Redesigned Ads
“If an advertisement requires a redesign, time involved will be charged at $30 per hour.”
5. Stand-by Ad
“Sixty percent discount for pre-set ad that may be inserted in any issue during the month, as needed to fill space and at the publisher’s discretion.”
6. Late Set Ad
“Ad submitted after deadline, still able to be placed via overtime labor and special accommodation—25 percent surcharge.”
7. Front Page Strip Ad
“Six column by two-inch strip ad space is offered on the Bugle’s front page on a first-come/first-serve basis. $250 per run includes process color.”
“Six column by two-inch strip ad space is offered on the Bugle’s front page. Minimum 13 consecutive week commitment required. $250 per week includes process color. (Note—front-page ads are typically charged at four to eight times the open rate.)
8. Sports Page Strip Ad
“Six column by two-inch strip ad space is offered on the Bugle’s lead sports page on a first-come/first-serve basis. $150 per run includes process color.”
“Six column by two-inch strip ad space is offered on the Bugle’s lead sports page. Minimum 13 consecutive week commitment is required. $150 per week includes process color. (Note—feature page strip ads are typically charge at two to four times the open rate.)
9. Gutter Free
“Full double truck ads—two adjoining pages including gutter column—are charged out at 252 column inches; no charge for the additional gutter column.”
10. Personal Classified
Ad Tint Block
“Make your classified ad stand out! Place a yellow tint over the ad for only $5 more. Maximum 20 words, additional $5 charge per each additional 1-20 words.” (Note—if color (yellow in this case) is unavailable on the classified pages, a light gray tint block can be used.)
If you adopt any of these policies, make sure they’re printed in the rate card to serve as a reminder for both ad reps and clients. © Ken Blum 2016
Ken Blum is the publisher of Butterfly Publications, an advising/speaking/publishing business dedicated to improving the profitability and quality of community newspapers. He puts out a monthly free e-mail newsletter titled Black Inklings. It features nuts and bolts ideas to improve revenue and profits at hometown papers. To subscribe to the newsletter or contact Ken, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone to 330-682-3416.