Advertising / Sales

Great ideas and concepts for bolstering your ability to attract and serve advertisers.

(Member login required) Annual readership survey confirms community newspaper readers are voters

August 29, 2019

PENSACOLA, Florida — Newspaper readers are voters, and the National Newspaper Association’s annual readership survey of more than 1,000 people from rural and urban communities across the country once again validated that point. 

Ad Libs: Get prospects involved in your presentations

January 1, 2020

Back in my ad agency days, I remember hearing and reading about the importance of getting prospects involved in sales presentations. At that point in my young career, I had experienced the difficulty of getting — and holding — the other person’s attention in a sales conversation. So I decided to try that strategy in an upcoming sales meeting. 

The prospective client was a residential real estate development company that was considering a new logo and print brand identity. They were testing the waters to see if there were any logo ideas that were better than the design they had been using for years. I had worked with them on a few other projects, so they agreed for me to develop something. 

Sales Advice: Publisher attitudes can hurt their sales effort

January 1, 2020

Publishers face many challenges today that didn’t even exist 10 years ago. But before blaming all your revenue woes on Facebook and Google, you need to ask yourself if you’re managing your salespeople properly. 

This means hiring well-qualified people, getting them out of their comfort zone and creating accountability. Maybe, in the final analysis, it’s not the economy, the competition or the market — maybe it’s you getting in your own way. 

Here are statements from publishers that reveal the weaknesses they need to overcome:

Changing the rules of the employment game

January 1, 2020


Have you ever wondered how employment advertising became an “inside sales” job? Easy — it was almost 100% copy in the “old days.” 

Without internet or fax machines, highly trained “typists” took dictation over the phone and typed out the ad on “scanning” paper on their IBM Selectric typewriters. (Younger readers might want to pull up a Google image.) It was fast and easy. 

On the Record: Show the power of your classifieds with these 3 promotions

January 1, 2020

A few years ago, a couple of well-intentioned people started a social media page for local sales. Got old children’s clothing to get rid of? Post it to the site. Got exercise equipment that’s turned into a shirt rack? To the site it goes.

The site grew in popularity. Users of the site liked posting ads for free.

Users of the site, however, need to be aware that they get what they pay for.

Legal Standing: Ads for CBD oil are mailable

January 1, 2020

Gentle Reader,

Can you stand one more column about cannabis ads? The guidance on mailing advertising for such products through USPS is becoming clearer, and I want to revisit this topic once more. 

First, while it is evident that the country is moving toward legalization of marijuana and related products, cannabis remains a controlled substance under federal law. There are fines and potential jail sentences attached to violations of the federal law. Thus, the U.S. Postal Service is compelled to follow the federal law and newspapers using the mail must, as well. Given the penalties, it is worth being careful. 

Improve ‘work family’ relationships with communication

December 1, 2019

At a publication seminar I conducted, attendees talked about internal company friction and how staff members didn’t seem to have respect for each other. Enmeshed in this problem is a list of demands on staff: deadlines, dealing with other departments, dealing with other co-workers and pleasing management.

Although most of them thought of themselves as likeable with a good personality, warm smile, etc., they were still having problems in their relationships with others. What is the answer to this situation? What has to be done to create a proper atmosphere of trust, understanding, respect and just plain courtesy?

The answer is to realign your vocabulary. It’s not just a smile or a simple “how are you?” that gets an office aligned. Rather, it’s about understanding how simple expressions can help human relations.

Hers are seven points that will change things in inter-office relations:

Meet them where they are

December 1, 2019

Tim manages an ad sales team. “When I started my career in the newspaper business, I quickly learned that advertisers can be worlds apart in their knowledge of marketing,” he said. “That’s why one of my favorite sales principles is the old slogan, ‘Meet them where they are.’ 

“This means we have to recognize that our prospects have different levels of experience. Most of them don’t have our knowledge of the intricacies of newspapers. If we don’t talk to them on their level, they will tune us out. And most of them are too polite to tell us we’re doing a poor job of explaining things.” 

‘Unsung Heroes’ helped Galena promote community volunteerism

December 1, 2019

Volunteers benefit communities immeasurably.

They fight fires. They help the less fortunate. They make history come to life.

They free passengers from overturned cars. They help people at the worst moment of their lives.

Volunteers make communities great places to work, live and raise a family. Our special section, “Unsung Heroes: A Salute to our Volunteers,” celebrated the work of volunteerism and the spirit of community. Published in our Nov. 6, 2019, issue, the special section was magazine-sized.

We implemented several of our best-practices to develop stories, sell the section to advertisers and publish a unique keepsake edition.

Running high hurdles to visualized success

November 1, 2019

Several years ago, at the World Track and Field Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, the high hurdles champion was clocked at 12.6 seconds, which is a great achievement and of such magnitude it could be favorably compared to the time when the four–minute mile was broken.

This announcement prompted the author to recall a time when a young man lived in an area called “Hell’s Kitchen” … a poor, tough, raucous environment where the sun was obscured by the smoke from nearby factories. This was a skinny kid with low self-esteem, who had to fight many bullies and gang types on a daily basis.

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