Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Swinging in Summer Fun for Newspaper Classifieds

Revenue-generating ideas for the month of June
Summer is finally on the horizon and excitement is flowing through the office. With the weather outside sunny and bright, the productivity level inside your department may be a bit weak this June.

Summer is finally on the horizon and excitement is flowing through the office. With the weather outside sunny and bright, the productivity level inside your department may be a bit weak this June. So far this year you’ve given your staff their annual spring cleaning, began an ongoing training program for all staff members (not just rookie reps), learned to coach your staff with focus on their individual strengths and weaknesses and reprioritized your schedule while helping your staff to do the same. It’s been a busy first half of the year. Start off the second half of 2012 by fine tuning the tactics you’ve already established. Start co-training your staff. Allow the reps to help each other for greater individual success. Partner up a great pitcher with a solid closer and allow them to teach one another their techniques to attain greater sales numbers. Continue weekly meetings with individual staff members to focus in on their positive attributes and aid in the areas where they are struggling. Being an effective leader will bring greater productivity in these warm-weather months and will also increase your bottom-line.

We’ve outlined a few ideas to help generate new and increased revenue within your newspaper and community sales. But don’t stop at our ideas, brainstorm together with your team; think outside the box, and encourage your staff to do so as well. Need more inspiration? Bring our Business Building Calendar to your next brainstorming session for extra ideas, or just keep reading to find a few suggestions to impress your advertisers and your sales staff.

NATIONAL LEAVE THE OFFICE EARLY DAY

What it is:
In 2005, Laura Stack, a corporate consultant from the likes of Coca-Cola, Coors, Lucent Technologies, among others, found 10,000 workers to pledge to leave work on time. The average American works between 48 and 60 hours a week and some go above even that. According to the ILO, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers and 499 more hours per year than French workers.”

Stack’s proposed eight-hour workday for one day in 2005 was, while a bit depressing, a modest proposal that has gained momentum throughout the past six years. This year marks the seventh annual National Leave the Office Earlier Day. “It’s not about changing jobs or being less productive,” Stack says, “it’s about being more productive in the hours that you’re actually scheduled to work.” A 2005 study of Microsoft found that workers only average about three productive days a week. It was this notion that led Stack to encourage workers around the country to increase in-office productivity and allow yourself some free time every week to spend with your family, friends or even by yourself.

The purpose of this day is to harness all your energies to increase your productivity and heighten your sales driven revenue. It’s important to remember though, that this day is encouraging workers to leave the work at work and have time to relax and refresh their minds. Though, with the prevalence of laptops, smartphones and tablets, leaving work behind has become nearly impossible. With the constant connectivity, it’s hard to break — even on a break! This June 1, detach yourself, and encourage your staff to disconnect as soon as the day is over.

What to do with it:
National Leave Work Earlier Day is a perfect opportunity to remind your staff the importance rest and relaxation has on their daytime productivity. This June 1, in celebration of National Leave Work Earlier Day, host an afternoon of fun. Since it falls on a Friday this year, reward your staff with an afternoon away from the office. You can run a contest for eligibility to participate in National Leave Work Earlier Day. The contest between sales staff members can be used to ensure they’re working to their fullest potential in regards to their productivity. The contest can even be a group effort.

Split your staff off into teams — obvious teams include members of like verticals — and encourage them to work together in the month or months leading up to June. The winning team will earn the right to participate in a company-sponsored picnic! Order a few pizzas, invite the family members of the winning team members and head over to a nearby park to play with the kids and enjoy the fresh June air.

FATHER'S DAY/HUSBAND CAREGIVER DAY

What it is:
Father’s Day/Husband Caregiver Day is a celebration of fathers, or father figures, which began in the early 20th century to recognize male parenting. The first Father’s Day took place in 1908 in Fairmont, W.V., to celebrate the lives of 210 fathers were been killed during a mining disaster several months earlier in Monongah, W.V. It is likely the day was inspired by the first Mother’s Day, which had taken place a few miles away that same year. Unfortunately, the day was overshadowed and forgotten. Two years later, Sonora Dodd, from Spokane, who was also influenced by Mother’s Day, independently created her own celebration. In 1913, a bill was introduced to recommend the day become a national holiday, but was not signed into law until 1972 by President Nixon. 

How to make money:
Father’s Day campaigns can range from BBQ goods to sporting equipment to electronics. Get into the psyche of dads this year and approach local businesses that house the goods. Potential advertisers include electronic stores, sporting goods shops, gun ranges, camping supply stores and grocery stores. Try approaching businesses that have not advertised with you in the past. Create a special introductory package that includes print, online and mobile advertising.

When you’re heading into a new advertiser, don’t forget the basics of pitching a sale. Do your homework. Why would they benefit from advertising in the newspaper for Father’s Day? Why would your readers benefit from seeing their ad? Why is their product or service relevant to Father’s Day? After you’ve answered all of these questions, explore their website and drive by their storefront. Approach them with information and a spec ad focused on dads.