5 ways to creatively promote your publication

October 17, 2014

By Bob Berting
Sales Advice

A brand is what a customer perceives of a publication. In its most simplistic form, branding is “emotional connections between a newspaper and the market it serves.” Let’s examine five ways to promote your publication brand in the marketplace.

Service clubs
Join a Kiwanis, Rotary, Optimist, or Lions Club. The relationships you can build in these organizations are important. This exposure is a true top-of-mind awareness experience and can be invaluable to you and your publication. Also, speak at service club events about your publication. They are looking for speakers, and you can’t ask for a better captive audience of business people.

United Way and other charity organizations
Your publication needs to be perceived as helpful, willing to run United Way articles and ads at no charge. Charity connections are important and even participating in public TV auctions and fundraising is a high profile activity in your marketplace.

Open House Event
A weekly newspaper decided to have an open house event for its inactives, regulars, and prospects. It decided on a provocative theme “Once a week does it.” Plastic buttons with the theme copy were made and worn by all members of the publication weeks before the open house. During the open house: all staff wore the button, the setting was a popular hotel with a pool, there was live music by a popular trio, there was a champagne punch fountain and there were hot hors d’ oeuvres, and a wine bar.
Invitations went to 200 people and 125 attended. The paper had a colorful display booth and its key staff were there to provide information. Most of the expense handled with trade outs. It was wildly successful.

Promotional pointers
A progressive newspaper needs a memory hook, a slogan that stirs the imagination and can be put on all mastheads, sales materials, the sides of delivery trucks, etc. Advertising specialties are great reminders and the greatest items are ones that can be used in the kitchen of your customer’s homes. They include yardsticks, jar openers, sponges, and magnetic signs that can go on refrigerators. Your logo needs to be on all the refrigerators in your market area.

Internet marketing
The big issue is promoting your publication website. Be patient with expectations. The flow of communication goes in stages: from making a prospect a friend, then into a customer, and finally into a loyal customer who will come back again and again to your website. This process is enhanced by a system of indoctrination—teaching the viewer about your publication, in effect telling the story of your publication.

Final Thought
Create an integrated promotion plan that ties together all the various strategies, marketing vehicles and objectives into a long-range program. Branding pre-sells the product and as such, is a more efficient way to sell things. Remember that branding can mean emotional connections to the marketplace. © Bob Berting 2014

Bob Berting, a newspaper marketing consultant, has published his new e-book for sales professionals in the newspaper industry: “Advanced Selling Skills For The Advertising Sales Pro.” This is a publication for beginning salespeople who can learn advanced selling techniques and experienced salespeople who can sharpen their selling skills. Salespeople can learn more about this publication by using the link www.adsalespro.com and see the table of contents as well as reading the complimentary first chapter. It costs $24.95 to download the 34-page e-book. Bob is a professional speaker, newspaper sales trainer, and publisher marketing consultant who has conducted more than 1,500 live seminars and tele-seminars for newspaper sales staffs, their customers, and print media associations in the U.S. and Canada. His 40-year background includes 15 years in newspaper management, five years as a university marketing instructor, and owner of a full service advertising agency for 20 years. Bob can be contacted at bob@bobberting.com or 800-536-5408. He is located at 6330 Woburn Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46250.

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