The evolution of the full-page promotion

Jay Dickerson

Jul 1, 2022

Click here to download this flyer.
March Mania 2021 promotion flyer. Click here to download.
March Mania 2020 promotion flyer. Click here to download.

Would you lower the cost of a full-page ad?

We did. And it ended up making us more money.

The Galena Gazette celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2009. To bring advertisers in on the festivities and to bolster a typically slow February, were tried something different: Full-Page February.

It was one of two major full-page promotions that have ended up being strong money-makers for our publication. We still do them today.


We knew we needed to make the paper’s 175th anniversary a truly special occasion. Dropping the price for a full-page ad in February did just that, and it helped us promote a special section later that year.

Full-Page February had a few rules:

  • The cost of the full-page ad: $175 for black and white. We picked the seemingly arbitrary amount of 175 to coincide with the 175th anniversary.
  • Color was an additional $50. None of the businesses ran their ads in black and white.
  • Businesses needed to run the ad twice. It didn’t matter if it was the first and second week of February or the first and last week of February: the promotional material make it clear that the ad needed to run at least two times. Many businesses saw the value of the promotion and ran all four weeks of February.
  • In all, advertisers had to make a $450 ad placement. Only a few businesses changed the content of the ad. Most businesses kept the same content. That meant that, the second time the ad ran, all we had to do was place it on the page.

The promotion was well–received. It was common for us to run one-section papers in February, but once Full-Page February started, we were easily running two-section papers.

The following year, we increased the price on Full-Page February ($178 for black and white) to coincide with our 178th year. For a few years, we simply increased the cost by a dollar per run each year. Now, however, the rate for the promotion is $300, color included. Businesses still need to run at least twice.

By 2012, it was common for us to run an additional 20 pages of advertising a week during Full-Page February. Our longtime advertisers liked the timing; restaurants and florists especially would run in the first two weeks of February to maximize the full potential of Valentine’s Day.

We continue to run the Full-Page February promotion, just with a different name. It’s evolved to March Mania. March ends up being a better month for this promotion: weekly papers are more likely to have five issues in March than in February.


The end of the year is a good time for nonprofit organizations to solicit donations. The nonprofits like the chance to remind donors that the tax-deductible contributions need to be in place by the end of the year.

A nonprofit approached us, asking about running at a reduced Full-Page February price, but at the end of the year so they could reach new and longtime donors.

We were happy to oblige. The Nonprofit Promotion has been running in December for the past several years. Instead of a rate card, we draft a letter, inviting nonprofits to run their end-of-year solicitation for donations. Many organizations will also solicit new members.

While December tends to be a strong time for advertising in our publication, opening this door for nonprofits helps increase revenue even further. And the nonprofits remember the goodwill you foster as your publication helps them accomplish their mission.


The biggest drawback to any full-page promotion: advertisers who are new to your publication might think this reduced rate is your going rate for a full page. I’d offer this promotion only to longtime advertisers, partner businesses who understand your value and appreciate the significant rate decrease. (One business also referred to this as the newspaper’s “fire sale.” They can call it whatever they want, so long as they take out advertising.)

Try it out, and get businesses to build campaigns around the promotion. Once they see a positive return on investment, they’ll start budgeting to go big in print advertising.

Jay Dickerson is the advertising manager at The Galena Gazette. If we had to do this over again, we’d promote our online advertising and make it part of the March Mania package. Never forget, you’re more than just your print edition!