Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

We at AtF have advocated for Instagram, a mobile photo-sharing app, as a great business-marketing tool. As of early November, the Facebook-owned app has broadened its horizons from mobile to the web, solidifying its place in your clients’ social media strategies. Previously, the app only had a landing page on the web for potential users to download the app to their cell phones, but now the app has expanded to include web-based profile pages. 

We all feel as though there are not enough hours in the day. All it takes is one big, stressful project to make an eight-hour workday feel like 10 minutes. Part of the reason for this is, however, that other things tend to pull our focus away from where it should be. There are some simple solutions to this problem, as outlined in a article by Susan Adams, called “How to Overcome Workplace Distraction.” 

In mid-November of this year, a brand with a distinguished reputation as a staple of American life announced its intentions to liquidate the company after filing for bankruptcy not quite a year earlier. This company is Hostess, the maker of products that have become more than dessert treats — they have become fond memories of Americans for nearly 80 years. Although the company’s many products, including Wonder Bread and Twinkies, have been taken-for-granted regulars on the shelves of grocery stores all across the country, that alone was not enough to keep the company going. Now that Hostess has been relegated to become another bit of nostalgia for American consumers, it’s time to see what business lessons we can take from its shortcomings. Huffington Post’s Joseph F. Coughlin investigated just that in his article, “Hostess Twinkies and Three Lessons About Brand and Innovation.” 

We all know that data is very important to understanding your market and creating your business plan for the year. We use data to track our local demographics, spending habits and also cultural trends that permeate individual decisions. However, it’s important to understand the individual as well. Based on an article found on, many companies are creating archetypal characters based on big data that still have individual and irrational characteristics. By doing so, the author, Jonathon Salem Baskin, believes that companies can uncover more nuanced behaviors and individual mannerisms that allow companies to get a clearer picture of their customers. 

When February rolls around, there might be a certain amount of listlessness in the air now that the holiday season has concluded. Make sure you keep spirits high in your community by creating lively and exciting events for your town while offering great advertising opportunities to your clients. Just because the budget-busting holidays have passed doesn’t meant that there aren’t any more revenue generation opportunities for your department. When we think of February, Valentine’s Day comes to mind without fail. You may think this is the only go-to February holiday for advertising campaigns and event marketing, but you’d be wrong. While you would be amiss to ignore Valentine’s Day this year, we’re here to offer you a few other holidays you might not have considered to make sure you keep your revenue stream active and lucrative during this relatively quiet month.

On day two of the 2012 WCAA conference in Las Vegas, The McClatchy Company’s Sales Training and Development Manager, Vince Coultis, gave an engaging presentation on hiring and training in this ever-changing world. He opened by inviting six volunteers to come to the front of the room and untangle a rope. As they struggled, and ultimately failed, Coultis was making a point. When a paper has a difficult problem, they often bring trainers in to solve it, or teach the reps the proper response. However, these trainers often come in and simply present a solution but fail to actually teach it. With this, he emphasized the importance of a good trainer and training program.

In a world of job boards like Monster®, CareerBuilder® and many more, your recruitment section needs to be creative in order to stay competitive in today’s market. That means offering comprehensive and thoughtful solutions to not only your advertisers, but to jobseekers as well. As you know, your recruitment ads should be on the newspaper’s website in order to increase convenience for clients and jobseekers. In addition to convenience, though, ensure that you are using the medium to its full potential. Do online what you cannot achieve in print. For example, suggest that your advertisers add a video component to their online recruitment ads. Tell them about all of the benefits of video, including self-promotion and marketing, but also how it can add to the job description by giving potential applicants a better understanding of the position being advertised.

The 2012 REALTORS® Conference & Expo was held in Orlando. It offered real estate professionals the chance to learn about some of the best new advice for marketing homes, getting referrals and dealing with their current markets. It also provided many networking opportunities, as well as the chance to peruse various vendors. One of the most informative and illustrative sessions at this year’s conference was “Powerful Advertising” by Ian Grace. In his talk, Grace discussed the problems of traditional advertising as well as tips and tricks to solve those problems. Many of his suggestions caused light bulbs to turn on in the attendees’ heads, as his advice was both attractive and strategic. Although he brought many strategies to the table, the intent was the same throughout: to sell homes you need to tailor your advertising to the lifestyle that home could provide, instead of focusing on the specifications of the house.

As a manager, you undoubtedly strive for the best — the best in your products and services, your employees and in your own performance. While you may not be the CEO of the newspaper or the company, you are the head honcho of your department. With that in mind, there are some lessons to be learned from both the great and the not-so-great CEOs of the world. When a CEO for a major corporation takes a misstep or, even worse, they act unethically, their dirty laundry gets aired for the world to see. However, all is not lost. There are admirable CEOs out there that can teach you a thing or two — in this case, five things — about being a great leader for your department. In fact, Melody Stevens did a case study for The Huffington Post to prove this point. She went on a mission to find 10 CEOs who were smart business owners while maintaining an untarnished reputation and work ethic. After all was said and done, Stevens found that these 10 CEOs shared five qualities in common. We have them here for you to think upon and then potentially reshape your management approach.

When hiring new employees, it can be hard to find someone who fits the bill perfectly. Often, perfect candidates don’t come cheap, and you may have to compromise on your employee skill “wish-list.” Because of this dilemma, we will be examining some of the pros and cons of hiring the imperfect, albeit well-suited, candidate to help you prioritize the skills and qualities that will be best for your office. 

We have discussed at length the benefits of creating Pinterest accounts for both your newspaper and your clients, and there are countless examples of brands that have made a successful transition on to the image-sharing social network. However, until Wed., Nov. 14, commercial use of the website was technically prohibited. This is no longer the case, as Pinterest recently announced the introduction of business accounts on to the social network. 


“As crazy as it sounds, losing a sale can be good for business,” Gerald told me. “It offers a unique chance to build rapport over a long period of time. And when they conduct another advertising review, I’ll be in a better position than before.” 

“Failure” is a scary word for sales reps, whose jobs hinge upon successfully closing a deal. However, it’s time to shine a new light and perspective on the word failure. While you should always aim for success, you should not allow the fear of failure to dictate your actions or inactions. The possibility of failure is always present; it’s part of life. Therefore, we must learn how to coexist (and sell) with failure. We have gathered some reasons why failure might not be such a bad thing for your career after all, in hopes of alleviating some of the stigma surrounding the word.

More and more, consumers want to feel a deeper connection to their favorite brands. And more and more, straightforward one-dimensional ads are not cutting it. Of course, it’s crucial that both your newspaper and your clients get creative with the design and copy of both print and online ads, but if you’re not delving more deeply into multimedia marketing, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Specifically, it’s time to start considering a video marketing strategy if you and your advertisers aren’t already. Video is a proven way to more deeply resonate with consumers and it offers boundless opportunities to get innovative with your marketing — so don’t miss out! Make sure you are offering this advice to your clients that can use it, but you should also consider a video marketing strategy for the newspaper if one isn’t already in place.

After the ball drops at midnight on Jan. 1, we all look for new beginnings and make resolutions to become our best selves, in hopes that this year will be better than the previous one. While the holiday season virtually comes to an end after New Year’s Eve, that doesn’t mean there are less opportunities to boost revenue in your department and for your advertisers. In fact, the ringing in of the New Year could mean a whole year’s worth of new profits if you look in the right places. Keep the holiday spirit going by focusing on New Year’s resolutions this January. We’ve selected a few holidays that focus on both personal and business resolutions to get you started. These ideas will be sure to encourage you, your advertisers and your readers to get the year off right, all while increasing your revenue!

As the ground begins to dry from the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, people’s power is restored, prospective marathoners help clean up and commuters are beginning to be able to get back to work. While the relief effort continues, some businesses are being criticized for their marketing efforts during the storm. These stores offered discounts or free shipping, causing many affected by the storm to cry out in anger, accusing the stores of trying to turn a disaster into a business opportunity. I would agree that the tone of many of the ads is both inappropriate and insensitive, however, there are ways to use natural disasters as part of marketing approach to both help the relief and get the local economy going again. Because a storm can stop people in their tracks, local businesses and customers alike risk losing their livelihoods. 

Keep your advertising and event marketing creative and thoughtful all year-long with the help of our Business Building Calendar. The holidays offer many advertising opportunities, but be sure to check out what else is in store for December 2013 to ensure a high ROI before the New Year.

When November rolls around and the leaves have finished changing their colors, we are undoubtedly preparing for Thanksgiving. For ad departments, that marks the beginning of the holiday season and boundless revenue opportunities. This year, make sure you're reaching your full potential with the help of Above the Fold's Business Building Calendar. While you probably know Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's like the back of the hand, check out November 2013 for holidays you may not know!

Ghost, ghouls and goblins — oh my! Your department is surely no stranger to Halloween and all the themed advertising opportunities that come with it every October. Make sure you're keeping an eye out for other advertising possibilities this October with the help of our Business Building Calendar! The BBC will be sure to inspire your advertising plans for October 2013.

Once Labor Day passes, everyone, both young and old, shake off summer to settle back in to their routines. With the holidays not quite on the horizon, keep your advertising fresh and exciting with the help of Above the Fold's Business Building Calendar. Take a look at the holidays September 2013 has to offer your department to increase revenue potential this fall.

August is a time for transitions; from summer to fall and from vacation to the school year. Transition your advertising this August with the help of our Business Building Calendar. The BBC will give you some inspiration for to create themed advertising and events based on holidays, both mainstream and obscure. 

While you may be so familiar with planning advertising around July 4 that you know it like the back of your hand, why not think outside of the box this year? Get creative with your advertising with the help of our Business Building Calendar! The BBC offers all kinds of holidsays, both the popular, like the Fourth of July, as well as the more uncommon. Keep reading for ideas for July 2013.

Jump into summer with the help of our Business Building Calendar. Above the Fold's BBC offers a wide variation of holidays — both popular and obscure — to help guide your advertising all year-long. We'll help you start the summer out right with the June 2013 below.

Spring forward this May with the guidance of Above the Fold's Business Building Calendar. Our calendar offers holidays and month-long celebrations; some you will recognize, some you won't. No matter which you choose to celebrate this May, the BBC will be sure to help kick up your department boost revenue this spring.