Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

In a Brainworks webinar on Aug. 21, 2012, Janet DeGeorge brought legal ads to the forefront of the newspaper advertising conversation. We will take a look at DeGeorge’s thoughts and advice for legal advertising and explore the best practices and ways to generate revenue in your department. DeGeorge discussed a few scenarios your department may currently be facing when it comes to legal advertising. She suggested that after several years of strong, consistent legal revenue, it is now decreasing and you don’t know why or how to prevent it. She suggested that one reason legal revenue is on a decline is because you might just not know everything you need to know about legal advertising, the process and current state laws. She took all of these scenarios and then broke down everything you do need to know in order to make the most out of your legal ads. Read on to learn everything DeGeorge had to say during her webinar, “Increasing Legal Revenue.”

The Zeitgeist, a movement whose name has been re-appropriated to discuss issues of cultural importance and contemporary sensibilities, has become a technological concept. With the personalized news aggregation application Zite, available on most tablets and smartphones, users can create their own personalized magazine that shows articles about the topics they care about most. With continual use, Zite also learns user preferences, making the presented information truly customized to the sensibilities of the reader. 

A newspaper is theoretically an unbiased news source for the local community. Of course, there are biased news outlets, but all in all, community papers should report the news in all of its unfettered and unbiased glory. Most papers stay away from activism, as it alienates readers and is a slippery slope that can hurt revenue.  For example, a newspaper in North Dakota is taking some heat for pulling a paid marriage announcement from their Weddings section. The Fargo Forum recently removed the marriage announcement of Allison Johnson and Kelsey Smith citing that they do not allow announcements for same-sex couples. While same-sex marriage is not recognized is North Dakota, the couple wanted to publicize their union for family and friends. 

It’s no secret that job boards are among the top resources available for both recruiters and job seekers. And while the overwhelming prevalence of sites that are available for recruitment purposes is great, the need for a local asset is invaluable to your community. Currently, national sites, and even some of your recruitment partners, are scooping up all the available revenue potential in your local area. If you’re contracted to a partner site, like Careerbuilder or Monster, you must abide by certain guidelines established between your advertising department and the national site; however, it’s unnecessary to allow them to take all of your revenue potential just because they’re available on your website. I’m not, by any means, suggesting you disregard your set guidelines, but review them carefully, and find a way to profit by supplementing the national recruiter with an exclusive local job board.

When it comes to recruitment advertising, there are many avenues your advertisers can take. Your clients could go with the most popular and common choice, the want ad. A want ad is your classic "help wanted" liner or display ad. This is beneficial to companies that have a job opening they need to fill and need to attract applicants. But there are other options as well, including branded and image ads, each with a distinct purpose. As a sales rep, it's important to understand these types of recruitment ads, the needs associated with them and the varying results they get. With this knowledge, you will be able to offer your advertisers the best recruitment advertising solutions to fit their needs. The three main categories of recruitment ads are explained below, along with advice on how to create and implement them. To demonstrate these differences, we have also created example ads for each of these three categories for a fictional hospital looking to advertise in the recruitment section.

For a while now we have been urging you to lay down your arms against your editorial department, and begin cooperating on one united front to save your paper. This is a hard task to accomplish, as individual departments all work hard to meet their own unique demands, and often feel as though other departments don’t understand the pressures single departments face. This scenario, not unique to newspapers, is commonplace in almost all institutions and organizations. It is unique, however, when institutions become more cohesive in order to contribute to the vested interests of the institution as a whole. 

The 2012 SCAMA conference was filled to the brim with Southern newspapers’ best practices for increasing revenue and improving ad departments throughout the verticals. But one vertical stood out from the rest: recruitment. This once-vibrant section has taken a hit over the years from a depressed economy that boasted record-high unemployment rates. Now, as things are showing signs of recovery, newspapers are looking for ways to breathe life back into this ailing section, and SCAMA attendees were all ears on how they can improve their own recruitment sections. Out of the many ideas thrown on the table and discussed, one idea drew more attention and instigated a lively round of dialogue: using surveys.

With the mass exodus to online advertising, many are curious about the best way to organize advertisements on the newspaper’s website to ensure the best visibility and thus, a healthy click rate. Traditionally, newspapers and websites alike have a consistent visual format, which allows for the predictable organization of news and advertisements. While this encourages easy navigability, it also allows readers to bypass advertisements because the space that they inhabit is so easily anticipated. Like any everyday routine, predictability often encourages us to switch over to autopilot, thus overlooking the extraneous details that ask too much attention, ads are not exception to this.

As the weather begins to warm in most places around the nation, students of all ages are preparing for the mid-semester spring break. While some schools — usually universities — host spring break at the end of February or in early March, many of your family readers will be vacating the area at the end of March or early April. Targeting your demographic, appealing to their needs and reaching outside of the box for the spring vacation season will help you garner more readers and incentivize advertising for your marketers. Creating a special section dedicated to spring break is one way to bring extra eyes to the newspaper and extra dollars to your department.

Special sections are a great way to target demographic groups and provide information and advertisements specifically for niche audience. Your advertisers will probably want to take advantage of the opportunity to advertise right next to information directed to their clients, so special sections are also a really good way to satisfy your advertisers and get them involved. Since this issue focuses on the retired demographic, here are some tips for building a special section for the retired demographic.

While many small papers look to huge newspapers to find new and innovative ways of adding revenue to their advertising departments, in many cases it isn’t necessary. Yes, larger newspapers usually have larger budgets and are staffed with excellent people, this does not mean, however, that smaller papers do not have equally innovative people that can turn their ad departments around with clever ideas and a commitment to keeping up with the times. This article is the first in a series that will be doing mini profiles on smaller newspapers, whether privately owned or owned by a small corporation, that are doing new and interesting things in their ad departments to compete in an ever-changing and consistently more digital market.

One of these papers is the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

We’ve talked about Top of the Mind Awareness; you know what it is, and you’ve probably brought it up to your clients. Although you understand its importance, and more or less how it works, now is a good time to start thinking of implementation strategies that can help you get your clients to the top of their customer’s minds. Even though TOMA is simple in concept—be the first thing to pop in someone’s mind—the process of getting TOMA can be complicated. It’s not just about advertising, it’s about advertising in effective ways, so that though of in a specific context, not just noticed on the pages of the newspaper. 

When we last saw Trevor Collins, we discussed how EveryCarListed.com was revolutionizing The Fayetteville Observer’s interaction with the local car market, generating an astonishing amount of leads in very little time. Today, he is happy to report that dealerships are continuing to see an increase in leads, and the analytics show that these leads are mostly coming from relisting sites. Inspired by the results of this new partnership, he has decided to undertake another exciting enhancement to the transportation vertical. This spring, The Fayetteville Observer will be adding the EZAdsPro Advertising Platform to their list of offerings. This will allow the paper to offer dealerships the ability to market and manage their inventory through one easy-to-use interface and includes a printed publication, social media, mobile platforms and analytics. It will also push the listings to any paper’s online partner — in the case of The Fayetteville Observer, EveryCarListed.com — allowing the original listing to be relisted over and over again and to be seen in an astounding number of places. 

Newspapers in Education is a great program to spread awareness of newspapers and help educate kids at the same time. However, for the most part, it’s chiefly editorial based. So, you may be asking yourself, “What can the advertising department do to both help this program and bring in revenue at the same time?” The answer: A Design an Ad Contest. This tried-and-true contest has been around for decades, and isn’t losing steam. It simultaneously educates K-12 graders about the newspaper — and newspaper advertising, in particular — and offers new advertising opportunities.

Congratulations to Adam Moss, winner of the 2011 Innovative Ideas contest. His ad won the respect of his peers and received over 125 votes to make him the “Best of the Best” — and the receiver of the grand prize, an iPad!

As we acclimate ourselves to the changing weather, changes in men’s faces are also occurring — but this month it’s for a cause. During the month of November every year, men around the globe are seen sprouting moustaches and beards as a part of Movember. With their Mo’s, these men are raising both funds and awareness for men’s health, with particular attention paid to prostate cancer and other cancers that deter a man’s lifetime well-being. This month, in honor of Movember, have your classified advertising sales department host an online contest that promotes health and wellness for men.

November marks the beginning of the holiday season. As you walk through your city’s streets, you’re greeted with lights, decorations and sales. The hustle and bustle of holiday shopping is starting to settle in this month, culminating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, of course, let’s not forget that on top of that, this month we give thanks for all that is good in our lives. But there’s another, bittersweet aspect to the holiday season that is often overlooked; it brings with it nostalgic memories of childhood and, often, of those we’ve lost. Particularly, those who have recently passed within the last year. November actually paves the way for this nostalgia by dedicating the start of the month to remembering lost loved ones.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a rise in the foodie demographic. From the growing popularity of cooking shows like Top Chef, celebrity chefs, specialty dining (gourmet restaurants, farm-to-table, food trucks, buy local, etc.), it’s hard to deny — everyone is a bit epicurious these days. And let’s face it — everyone has to eat! We’ve decided to focus on foodies this month because it’s almost November, a month focused on one big meal. So to get your mouth watering, let’s talk about food.

With October officially marking National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and November is National Diabetes Month, National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National AIDS Awareness Month, now is the ideal time to create a health guide for your community. Currently, Metroland Media Group in Canada is jointly producing a well-being magazine supporting the newspaper and healthcare awareness with a regional healthcare foundation. Your guide does not have to be a full magazine, but it should recognize the issues immediately facing your community.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women, behind only lung cancer. As reported by the American Cancer Society, of the 271,520 estimated cancer deaths among women in 2011, at least 15 percent will be due to breast cancer. In accordance to the American Cancer Society, mortality rates are largely based on the availability of early detection. This October, bring awareness to the importance of early detection and increase your community’s survival rates by teaching methods of prevention and partnering in donation for treatment.

Last week we explored the growing Latino demographic in the U.S. Market research shows that this demographic is more apt to read newspapers and, in fact, that Spanish-language newspapers are faring better in this economy than their English-language counterparts. Because of that, it might behoove you to focus on the Hispanic population in your area and create specialty products and advertising directly targeted to Hispanics — which will help you to gain more revenue.

Last week we covered the first part of Janet DeGeorge’s Building Real Estate Revenue webinar, where she emphasized the importance of breaking down and analyzing your market statistics and how to formulate your print and online product packages. In this part, we’ll discuss how to redesign your Real Estate section to attract Realtors® and put the emphasis back on your local market.

At last spring’s Blinder/SNA Revenue Leadership Summit, Morris Newspapers’ former Vice President of Digital Sales Robert Granfeldt exclaimed: if you’re interested in offering a coupon or deals program, talk to Jodi! So that’s exactly what I did. I tracked down Jodi Bell immediately after her presentation on The Augusta Chronicle’s sales department and compensation structure and set up an appointment to talk. 

Back when I was in high school, students didn’t get a lot of recognition in my community unless you were the football or basketball star. Yes I played sports, but I was no standout. But my local paper decided it was time for a change, and they began to introduce star students and homecoming sponsorships. Are you lost? How in the world does this relate to classifieds? Not only would the weekly newspaper feature students that would have otherwise flown under the radar, but they sold sponsorships for the specialty sections.