Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments


Last week, we discussed some ways to keep from becoming overwhelmed by work, and we’re always looking for more. With that in mind, we searched for the best apps out there to help you keep track of all your meetings, tasks and contacts. Smartphones are becoming almost ubiquitous with the average businessperson and they offer apps to simplify and organize your work life. No matter what your position is in the ad department, chances are you are constantly organizing and reprioritizing your daily, weekly and monthly tasks, meetings and leads. Wrapping your mind around everything that needs to get done can become a task in itself. However, we found eight apps that will help you manage your work and the stress it can incur. Read on below to discover the benefits and specs of these great apps that will help you keep your work life on track even when you’re on the go!

Last week, the CEO of Yahoo!, Marissa Meyer, started requiring that all Yahoo! Employees that had been telecommuting, now work from the office. While many arguments have arisen about the new policy, some supportive of Meyer’s decision, others are condemning her as a hypocrite. The big question however, is how will this decision affect Yahoo!’s success, and if similar policies, if implemented in your departments are wise. 


Smartphones are an increasing trend in our society. In 2012, Nielsen, a leading information and measurement company, conducted research that found that an astonishing 50.4 percent of U.S. citizens are using smartphones. This statistic is evidence that emerging technologies and innovations are making a strong presence in our society, and changing the ways we are conducting business and daily life. Smartphones are very convenient and useful in that they contain such features as the Internet and having applications, better known as “apps.” Apps are beneficial because they can simplify and increase efficiency in conducting tasks, such as researching, looking up information and many more. 


Professionals of most any industry are subject to stress, anxiety and being generally overwhelmed with work. Sales reps and ad mangers are no doubt familiar with these emotions as well. Managing workflow, keeping clients satisfied and sometimes losing a sale — all of this can contribute to stress and anxiety. Of course, some of it is inevitable, however, if there are ways to manage stress and anxiety, those methods should certainly be considered. Thankfully, CBS Money Watch’s Laura Vanderkam published the article, “Four Ways to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed” to help all professionals with managing their day-to-day work life. 

This year’s WCAA conference put event marketing in the spotlight. Along with a keynote presentation by Jason Taylor, the President of The Chattanooga Times Free Press, three well-known WCAA members took the stage to talk about their event experiences. Last issue, we focused on Taylor’s presentation and real estate events with Colorado Springs Gazette’s Michelle Ackerman. This issue, we’ll first take a look at Leslie Aubé Nagy’s, Clovis Media Inc.’s Classified Advertising Manager, presentation on niche events. Then, we’ll explore how U-T San Diego embraces virtual events, with their Classified Sales Manager, Carla Royter.

With experience on both the ad agency and media sides of the business, I’ve learned some lessons about relationships between the two. There are often clashes between agencies and the media. In most case, the friction between these two key players in the marketing world comes down to two things: control and money. Both want more control of advertisers’ media placement decisions and both are in business to make money.


While new technologies continue to outmode face-to-face and telephone sales calls, it’s important that when you do make a sales call to potential and existing clients, you make it worth their time. In an interview with, Jeffrey Seeley, the CEO of Carew International, came up with a few major mistakes to avoid during sales calls in order to make every call count.

There is no denying that the passage of information through digital means is the way of the future. We adapt to new technologies on a daily basis it seems, and are constantly learning new ways to express ourselves. However, our digital lives, so far, are comparable to human life on this planet; we are newborns. In my lifetime alone, the technologies have changed drastically, as many of the dominating forces in technology and web development are now things of the past. 


When considering using social media for recruitment, LinkedIn is usually the first social network to come to mind, and you wouldn’t be incorrect to go there first. According to CBS Money Watch’s Suzanne Lucas, 97 percent of recruiters turn to LinkedIn when searching for eligible candidates. However, her article, “Twitter and Facebook Also Key Sites for Recruiters,” argues just what you might think it would. She reported that in 2012, 98 percent of recruiters used social media during the hiring process. Therefore, LinkedIn is certainly not the only social network at play when it comes to recruiters leveraging social media for hiring purposes. Don’t rule out Twitter and Facebook when trying to make your recruitment vertical the best it can be, whether that means offering this valuable information to your advertisers to improve their hiring process, or creating and sponsoring events to help local jobseekers find their next jobs. 

Everyone has their individual perspective on Valentine's Day, to some it is a commercialized day to catalyze Hallmark sales, and to others, it is a day to love your sweetie more than the other 364 days of the year. However, in recent times, there has been a societal shift toward celebrating Valentine's Day in a different, more inclusive fashion. Valentine's Day has largely changed toward being a holiday where friends can do something special as a large or small group. Girls can have a girls’ night out, and guys can have a few extra beers while watching the game. Essentially, Valentine's Day is now not just a day for the taken, but rather a day for everyone to indulge a little more than normal.

“What is the one thing we don’t leave home without?” asked Marki Lemons-Ryhal as she opened the “Raise Your Social Media Marketing to the Next Level” forum at the 2012 NAR® conference in Orlando, Fla. The answer, unsurprisingly, was our cell phones.

As a sales rep, you have to have a thick skin and almost impossible confidence. Sales can be a touchy career that causes reps to toughen up to meet its demands. However, sometimes the key to sales and relationship building is more about softening up and losing the tough exterior to make your clients more comfortable around you. In Jeff Haden’s article for Inc., “6 Habits of Remarkably Likeable People,” he details the ways people unleash their inner charisma and likeability that puts others at ease.


No matter your career, sales reps and ad managers included, you are bound to find yourself at social gatherings with colleagues and fellow professionals. This could be happy hour drinks after a long day at work or perhaps a holiday party; whatever it is, there are ways to navigate these professional social outings that will help you solidify yourself as a leader within the company, while displaying your friendly, out-of-the-office side. The key is to interact with everyone, even if they are outside of your normal work circle, in order to establish your presence within the company. However, you also want to avoid offending your co-workers by acting like you’re on the clock 24/7, hypercompetitive and incapable of distinguishing between the work and non-work events. In the Inc. article, “How Leaders Make the Most of Social Gatherings,” the author, Minda Zetlin, interviewed the Chief Learning Officer at Dale Carnegie Training, Michael Crom, on how to get the best of both worlds during professional social events. He affirmed that you can be a leader while not losing the casual, work-free environment. Keep reading for our assessment of his advice and take it with you to your next work party!


We attended a webinar lead by Janet DeGeorge, the President of Classified Executive Training. The presentation, “What to Expect in Classifieds: 2013 (And How to Monetize It!),” addressed what classified reps and managers should be doing in the New Year to improve their revenue. She broke the discussion down into the three major verticals: auto, real estate and recruitment. We brought back what you need to take away from DeGeorge’s presentation to adapt in your own office this year!

Reviews are vital to a business’ success nowadays, which puts those who review businesses in a unique and important position. Consumers have the ability to trump up or derail a business’ public appearance significantly, yet some consumers still receive substandard service. Self-proclaimed, “lifelong entrepreneur” Brad Newman, has developed something that can help tell a business that you mean business — the ReviewerCard. 

In a digital age, newspapers and their ad departments are always looking for the latest methods of promoting their content and reaching out to their readers and clients. Blogging has become a well-loved and very profitable avenue for many industries, and the newspaper industry can certainly leverage this revenue-generator as well.

The prevailing opinion of the entrepreneurial world is that you have to create something big to make a difference. Like Mark Zuckerburg or Steve Jobs, you must change the landscape of human and technological interaction for the foreseeable future to make it big. Although the prospect of making billions of dollars or being able to rock a black turtle neck is endlessly exciting, sometimes all it takes is small acts of innovation to be successful. 


The newspaper sales industry is certainly not exempt from the power of professional networking. When building a career in this industry, you must reach out of your comfort zone to make contacts with other professionals in your industry as well as existing and potential clients. Reverence and diligence will both maintain and build your professional network, equipping you to make your next move, or sale, as the case may be. With that in mind, we’re always looking at the latest in social networking in order to help you find new, quick and easy ways to stay connected with your network. Of course, sites like Facebook and Twitter fall into this category, but we were particularly excited to hear about Newsle.

Often, our articles discuss sales techniques or your newspaper’s design in order to create the best consumer response. There is one thing that we don’t often discuss at Above the Fold and that is image construction. Since your advertisers value your advice, you may want to take some time to talk with them about the powerful impact images can have. Imagery is powerful because it is sensory, like touch and smell, and therefore more visceral than using words to convince a consumer of your client’s value. While an explanation of value is an inherently good attribute of your client’s advertising, you may want to guide them toward image-heavy ads that touch on their consumer’s senses rather than sensibilities. 

Thomas knows the power of storytelling. “I’ve found that the right stories help me sell more advertising,” he said. “After all, prospects are like everyone else. They like to hear stories and examples of things that have happened to other people. Thomas is right. Every sales person should have an arsenal of stories for a variety of purposes — to establish credibility, illustrate product benefits and answer objections.

The sales industry — especially newspaper sales and ad departments — needs to be on the edge of technology in order to stay in the game. Anyone who still denies the advertising capacity of Craigslist or the prevalence of mobile and social media will undoubtedly have difficulty staying relevant next to their tech-savvy competitors. With this and the New Year on the forefront of minds in the sales field, Geoffrey James wrote the Inc. article, “The Future of Sales Technology,” to address what lies ahead for sales technology, which will be focused on in a chapter of his upcoming book about the future of sales. We believe his assessments could be very valuable to you and your ad department, as you look for new ways to offer readers and advertisers the best product possible.

With March comes the beginning of spring, which means the melting of snow and the beginning of new life — and that includes your department! Rejuvenate your department this March with some of our suggestions below. Start planning great events for your community, great advertising opportunities for your clients and even better revenue potential for the newspaper. While typical March holidays like St. Patrick’s Day may already be on your horizons and an integral part of your advertising plans, we have some other holidays that might offer just as much revenue potential, if not more. Now’s the time to get creative in your advertising campaigns and event marketing so you can think of the next big revenue-maker for your newspaper.

“Recently I fired a great salesperson,” Stacey Alcorn wrote in the opening sentence of her article for The Huffington Post.  It took me by surprise, and I’m willing to bet your reaction was similar to mine. The success or failure of a newspaper ad department often hinges on the sales team. So why on earth would Alcorn fire someone she defines as a great salesperson? That is what she went on to explain in her article, “Firing Your Sales Force – Redefining Greatness.” As she noted, the sales industry has undergone a complete and utter transformation in the past 50 years, if not in just the past decade. It wasn’t so long ago that we would receive a knock on the front door and be greeted by a salesperson trying to sell kitchen utensils, make up or the like. Those days are past us, and now, with the help of smartphones, laptops and tablets, consumers go to the source for their purchases, often circumnavigating the salesperson. Although many salespeople, like the one Alcorn let go, may be great at their jobs based upon previous definitions — like the number of sales they can close — that may not be the case any more. Alcorn implored readers to redefine what it means to be a great salesperson and hire accordingly. She set up three key characteristics to look for when creating a sales team to be reckoned with.

The flaw: You’re meeting with a prospective client, but you seem to be communicating on different wavelengths. When you mention a key sales point, your prospect barely acknowledges it. And when he or she talks, you feel like the entire conversation is off topic. The experience reminds you of the two proverbial ships passing in the night, with neither crew being aware of the other.