Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

A common obstacle salespeople face in their work is a distrustful client. But who can blame them? The longstanding image that salespeople are fast-talking and manipulative isn’t a made-up stereotype, it’s very much based in reality. These figures exist, but that doesn’t mean their sales techniques work or that you should adopt them. In fact, this archetype has become so prevalent that it makes consumers weary of being sold anything at all. Therefore, if you want to successfully sell your department’s advertising services, then it’s important to ward off habits associated with this distrustful salesperson image. According to Ali Luke’s article for Copyblogger, there are several ways you can lose your prospective client’s trust in an instant. We have them here, so you can avoid them during your next sales call.

I remember talking to a frustrated advertiser who was complaining about a certain media sales rep. “I was interested in his publication,” the advertiser told me, “and in fact, I had called him to set the appointment. But from the moment he walked into my office, he was insincere and sales-ey. He spent the whole time boasting about how great his paper was. After a few minutes, it was obvious that all he cared about was making a sale. He never made an effort to learn about my business. I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough.” 

On Feb. 20, 2013, marketers rejoiced as Twitter announced a new Ads API. This means that businesses will be able to run ad campaigns through Twitter’s API partners, rather than buying from Twitter itself. Advertisers will soon have the ability to work with Twitter’s initial set of Ads API partners to create and manage Twitter Ad campaigns. Twitter was sure to clarify that users will continue to see the most relevant Promoted Tweets from advertisers first, adding that the Ads API helps companies deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time, across multiple platforms.

We at AtF are always exploring the newest developments in social media and mobile technology to learn what’s on trend and what newspaper ad departments need to adopt into their strategies. Lately, you may have heard of a little mobile app called Vine. It’s kind of like the Instagram (the vintage-themed photo-sharing app) for videos. The Twitter-owned app allows users to create six-second videos that loop, offering an almost stop-motion animation effect. National brands have already started implementing Vine into their social media strategies to great avail, proving that this new app has carved its place in the marketing and advertising industry. 

WCAA is excited to announce that Kelly Wirges has joined the conference as Wednesday’s keynote speaker! With a degree in advertising and marketing from the University of Nebraska, Wirges has made a name for herself by helping media companies across the nation increase sales and revenue in all facets of business. She has over 25 years experience in media sales, marketing, training and management.

Video is increasingly playing a larger role in branding, marketing and overall business strategies, as its daily use is on the rise, especially with the growth in smartphone and tablet owners. Video offers a valuable opportunity for brands to connect with their customers and create dynamic presences. Video could be put to good use by all of your clients, no matter which vertical, but today, we’ll discuss why you should talk to Realtors® about getting on board.

Pinterest, like many social networks, experienced a viral-like reaction during its beginnings, but it remains a serious player in the social media universe. It offers a huge audience and plenty of opportunities for you and your advertisers to engage with customers.

Achieving your bottom-line wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of your sales reps, right? Therefore, the logical conclusion is to create an office environment that cultivates the work ethic you need to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty and meet your department’s goals. In Forbes contributor Judy Martin’s article, “Challenge 2013: Linking Employee Wellness, Morale and the Bottom-Line,” she reflected on how employee health — physical, mental and financial  — plays a key role in their work satisfaction. According to Martin, the ROI on employee wellness programs should not be overlooked.

In order to make your revenue soar, an informed and capable team of sales reps is a must. Regardless of how great your advertising services are, you simply won’t make sales without great salespeople behind them. It was under this premise that Russ Warner discussed some effective sales tips in his Huffington Post article, “Sales Tips to Make a Small Company Look Big.” He broke his advice down into three simple, but key, questions.

Lately, Yahoo! has been all over the news for making major moves to stay relevant in the ever-changing Internet landscape. First came the company’s July 2012 announcement of Marissa Meyer as the new CEO, and then her controversial elimination of employee telecommuting this past February. At the end of May, the company made headlines once again, this time for its staggering $1.1 billion purchase of the blogging platform, Tumblr. This was a strategic attempt at connecting Yahoo! with the younger audience that populates Tumblr, but it does not go without changes to the beloved site. 

With all the talk about Twitter, you may be surprised to find that many companies still vastly underuse the social media giant. This was the subject of Forbes contributor Brent Gleeson’s article, “10 Tips for Tactical Tweeting.” In it, Gleeson emphasizes the importance of technology as companies and brands try to improve their communication with their varied audiences.While there are countless tools aimed at streamlining Twitter, Gleeson wanted to remind people to focus on the basics. He offered tips on how to effectively and efficiently use Twitter to reach your audience; we’ve summarized a few of the main ones below.

In the latest issue of AtF’s “Off the Cuff,” we sat down and discussed company culture and what it takes to build the culture you want. With that still in the backs of our minds, we’re adding Dr. David Vik’s new book, “The Culture Secret: How to Empower People and Companies No Matter What You Sell,” to our summer reading list. Vik is the founder and CEO of The Culture King, a company that helped create its now nationally recognized company culture that has created both loyal and satisfied customers and employees. In the book, Vik offers five steps for creating the company culture you want.

Mobile has already become a serious facet of the newspaper and advertising industries, and according to a recent BI Intelligence report, video is one of the prime uses of mobile. When keeping up on technological developments, it’s important to take these trends into consideration when adapting and structuring your newspaper’s advertising, mobile video included. We have some facts to put in your back pocket and take into your department to better inform your paper and your clients’ ad strategies.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Social media is playing a bigger role in advertising, marketing and commerce every day. It’s important for you to know the trends, which ones matter and how to incorporate them into your own strategies as well as your clients’ — retailers included. Online shopping is growing at a steady pace, providing shoppers with the convenience of buying without even leaving their homes, but also offering them information to prepare for in-store purchases. In fact, a Gartner survey found that 74 percent of shoppers use social networks to inform their purchase decisions, and as a result, more and more companies are incorporating things like user reviews and social network share buttons on their websites.


Branding is an integral part of any business, be it your own ad department’s services to the community or your clients’ companies. It is a complex concept with many facets that go beyond a logo and a slogan. After all, these days, the ideas behind brands extend from advertising all the way to social media profiles and customer service. Branding can go terribly wrong if you don’t dedicate the time and research it requires. For example, Netflix’s attempt to break its services into multiple sites and call its DVD rental service Quikster — that was a branding disaster and customers fired back. It takes time to figure out, but in a column for, John Parham, the President of Branding at Parham Santana, discussed a couple of the foundational rules to live by when it comes to branding.


Twitter has been the part of many a marketing-strategy conversation, but within the past month, the microblogging site and social network has made major strides to solidify its place in the marketing world. It started with the reissue of its “Twitter for Business” site. The new and improved version offers more resources to educate businesses on how to best use the site for their purposes. 


With all the change that has taken place in the past 10 and 20 years, we have become familiar with how media and advertising have changed forever, and what consumers and readers want and expect. However, one thing that actually has not changed is the trustworthiness of email marketing. Your weekly or monthly e-blast is still a viable part of your marketing campaign, however, one thing to keep in mind when designing your email marketing strategy is that the way people view their emails has changed. Yes, they still view them on computer screens, but more than ever, they read their emails from their mobile devices. With this in mind, we have a few tips for your email marketing design. 


Success in sales hinges a great deal on appearances and first impressions whether you like it or not. Of course, landing a sale has everything to do with what you’re offering, what the client needs and the presentation itself. But even if all of that is on the up and up, most likely a client won’t trust you with their business if they don’t see you as a competent and professional individual. Therefore, a component of branding yourself as a successful and trustworthy salesperson has nothing to do with the actual business at hand, and all to do with you! We’ve got some tips to build your image in order to make sure your next sale sticks.


According to a 2008 study, there are an estimated 31 million bloggers in the U.S. After nearly five years, the number is continuing to rise, thus proving that blogs are a major trend. They have taken the Internet by storm and are highly influential, which is why they are the perfect place to turn when you’re creating a special section, website or event. Utilizing the skills of bloggers will both add a hyperlocal element to your work and save you money. Furthermore, it creates reciprocal advertising for both the blogger and the newspaper. 


Email is an integral part of our daily communication — especially for professionals — and it has been for quite some time now. In fact, many professionals have their work email sent straight to their phones, blurring the lines of standard in-office work hours. This constant flow of back-and-forth emails brings with it some interpersonal issues. Sometimes emails are written in the moment, without a second glance. This can lead to not only technical errors, but it can also cause the message to be received as rude, even if it’s unintentional. Therefore, just because email provides a way to instantaneously communicate with others to get the job done, that doesn’t mean they should be sent in haste. In fact, doing so could potentially burn some bridges with colleagues and potential clients! With the help of The Huffington Post’s Dana Sachs and her article, “9 Rules of Email Etiquette,” we have some basic rules to keep in mind when composing your next email. 

Are your advertisers on Pinterest? If not, there’s a good chance they should be! Pinterest offers a great opportunity for your advertisers to connect with various demographics within their client base. The virtual pin board gives businesses a creative outlet to display their products and services, but also pin and repin content that isn’t necessarily derived from their own businesses, but reaffirm their brand to create dynamic customer relations. If your advertisers have invested their time and resources in creating a presence on Pinterest, then it will be valuable to know that the social network recently launched a new, free analytics tool for site owners to determine the impact their account is having for their over all marketing strategy.

Marketing is not a one-note tune. In fact, most marketing textbooks feature meticulous descriptions of the Four P’s of marketing — four elements that work together in the creation of a successful campaign. If any one of the four is lacking, failure is a likely possibility.


Groupon, a well-known daily deals website, made headlines at the end of February when its CEO and founder, Andrew Mason, wrote a company memo regarding his departure from the company. The memo read, “I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding — I was fired today.” The casual tone he took regarding his ouster unsurprisingly raised some eyebrows, as did a few of the other decisions he made during his time at Groupon. However, some have interpreted Mason’s departure as a writing-on-the-wall moment for the daily deals industry. 

When we take on new technologies to help us market to our clients, we often look to tech journals or blogs to research how the technology should be leveraged. While it is always a good idea to research marketing and promotional methods before implementing them, perhaps tech blogs aren’t the only way to go. Of course, it is always good to have an understanding of how tech innovations can be used for business, but perhaps one of the best ways to determine if a new app or gadget is hot is to ask teenagers how they feel about it. For example, teens are apparently turning away from some of the social media giants; simply put, Facebook is going out of style. While Facebook has the potential to re-invigorate itself, it is likely that once the driving force behind the platform falls away, the ability to leverage it for business will as well.