Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

In the spirit of our active lifestyle demographic, we want to focus on the importance of not only physical health, but mental health as well. Since most U.S. workers spend at least 40 hours at work every week, both physical and mental health play a large role in office life and well-being. Therefore, it’s crucial that, as manager, you stay vigilant in regards to bad attitudes and daily work frustrations within the office. What may seem like a small office conflict or one bad day could potentially reach a boiling point, and consequently have a negative impact on the mental health of you and your employees. Make sure you build an office environment that supports your staff and aids their happiness, and if problems do arise — and they are bound to — make sure you offer constructive outlets for employees to vent frustrations and resolve issues. If you ignore building negativity in your department, it will directly contribute to the dissatisfaction of your employees, and subsequently, their work performances. The implication of this is that office negativity impacts the work being done in your ad department and is actually preventing it from reaching its potential. Simply put, unhappy employees likely means you have some unhappy clients, and as a manager, you know that cannot stand. 

Car ownership among the millennial generation has fallen off a cliff, according to a blog called “How to Market to Me: Your guide to getting the millennial market.” This blog, by Lindsey Kirchoff, outlines reasons why younger generations are averse to owning cars. She cites a study by the New York Times that indicates that 46 percent of 18- to 24-year-old drivers would choose access to the Internet over owning a car. According to Kirchoff, this trend is indicative of a shift in millennial behavior that shows millennials would rather stay at home and access the goods and services they need online, versus venturing out. 

Home inspections are an essential part of the real estate business. Both the buyer and the seller rely on a qualified and honest inspector to ensure that the deal goes off without a hitch. However, that isn’t always the case. Inspectors have been blamed, both justifiably and otherwise, for numerous sale derailments and unhappy purchases. Recently, Inman News’ Barry Stone — resident advice columnist, home inspector and founder of California’s Action Home Inspection Service — was asked the question, “Can I trust my home inspector?”

In terms of driving online traffic to your advertisers’ websites as well as your own newspaper’s website, social media presence and well-developed SEO play a huge role. Of course, traffic means more readers, more views per page and ideally, increased revenue. In the wake of new developments in technology, newsletters may seem like old news, but don’t let them get lost in the mix. Newsletters are still a proven way to drive traffic to websites, although they don’t garner the same results as search engines and SEO. However, according to a survey conducted by Ecommmerce Quarterly, newsletters do surpass search engines and social media when it comes to conversion rates by website traffic as well as “Add to Cart” rates. This means that there is a great likelihood that newsletters drive your readers not only to your site, but if you are selling products or services on that site, they are more likely to make those purchases as a result of subscribing to your newsletter. Newsletters are often seen as having low ROI, because of the time spent creating content and design, but the boost they offer to your advertisers’ website traffic is worth it. Plus if they follow some quick steps to monetize their newsletters, they might be more than what your advertisers originally thought — so let them know!

Although talks about social media and QR codes are still a buzz with new ways to harness their capabilities into increased revenue, there is a new technological innovation that can help you bring more information to the fingertips of clients and consumers in your area. Augmented reality, a way to make two-dimensional ads come to life on your smart device, is full of possibilities for your newspaper.The way augmented reality works is through the recognition of an image or code on a two-dimensional advertisement that then opens up a three dimensional or dynamic follow-up of your tablet or smartphone. This enables consumers to see 360-degree views of anything, as long as the user has the appropriate application installed on their smart device. 

In an article for The Huffington Post, Alex Palombo discussed the role social media and mobile ads are playing in the 2012 election for both campaigns. In the article, “Twitter, Facebook and Mobile Ads: Why They Matter,” Palombo discusses how the “viral-ness” and interactivity offered in both social and mobile make them very conducive to the messages of the political candidates. With a growing audience of smartphone users, these ads have actually proven to be as, if not more, successful than traditional advertising in receiving response actions from consumers. Therefore, Palombo’s argument transcends this year’s political campaigns and is relevant for your ad department and advertisers as well. It’s not a myth: Your ads need to be appropriately translated for both mobile and social media. And it can’t be a literal translation from print to the web, because these mediums are very different and need to be treated as such. 

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 first order of business for a small advertiser is to make some strategic decisions (including competitive points of differentiation, budget, schedule, web presence and co-op availability). 

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. 

When looking to boost revenue, readership and advertising in your newspaper, special interest and niche events may just be the answer! The 2012 WCAA Conference will be setting aside time to discuss the best ways to create profitable and successful events for your community. So, to find out more, we discussed special interest and niche event marketing with the session’s presenter, Leslie Aubé Nagy. Throughout her 18-year career with the Clovis News Journal (CNJ) in Clovis, N.M., Nagy has worked in a variety capacities, including bookkeeping, retail, niche product sales, and of course, classifieds. This experience has given her a greater understanding of the many shapes and forms of newspaper sales. For the last 10 years, Nagy has enjoyed creating beloved special and niche events in Clovis, including the Taste of Home, the Holiday Bazaar arts and crafts fair in the winter and another arts and crafts fair in the spring. She discussed her love for creating and marketing these special events and the connections she builds with local businesses while organizing them.

Twitter is now enabling companies to filter through its users’ feeds for content. The social media platform allows users who want to use this function to whittle down the content by choosing to be alerted when any of the 350 categories are referenced in tweets.” While this is an awesome development in targeting advertising to consumers, if you weren’t already participating in promoted tweets or their advertising platform, this news is kind of unnecessary, right? Well, not exactly. Because Twitter is enabling this for those companies that can afford to invest in promoted tweets, it signals the strategy Twitter itself believes will result in more revenue for its customers. Although your department may not be able to take advantage of this large-scale advertising strategy, since your paper is likely in a smaller market and has very specific consumers, you can still learn some techniques from this idea to help promote your paper and its advertisers. Below, we offer some Twitter-specific techniques for targeting consumers that might have an interest in the products you’re advertising.

Following the excitement of Halloween, November marks the transition from fall to winter, not to mention the beginning of the holiday season. Newspaper ad departments are certainly not strangers to planning Thanksgiving and Black Friday-themed advertising, and we are not suggesting that you stray from these holidays in your advertising. However, we have set aside a few other holidays that you may not have considered before, but offer just as many opportunities to generate revenue in your department!

 

People talk about how your attitude can be a self-fulfilling prophecy; “whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right”. Accurate this information may be, the words you use, both indicative of your attitude and your approach the situation, can either help you succeed or cause you to fail. In an article found on Inc.com, Geoffrey James, lists five words that often cause failure in sales and in life.

 

Everybody in the advertising industry is looking for the next big thing to get their clients noticed. Attracting new customers while keeping the old is the name of the game, and those who come up with the cleverest innovations will likely do the best. While print advertising may still be a good investment, if everyone else is searching for new ways to get their message out there, you should too. Don’t limit yourself to two-dimensional advertising and expand into different ways of seeing your and your clients’ messages integrated into the world. 

You may read them and think that they are a bit extreme, and that you would never say something so brash and blatant. While that may be true, it’s important to keep in mind that Alain’s four statements are really representative of attitudes you might be bringing to the office. You might not be saying these sentences verbatim, but you may be implying their meaning in other things you say or do. So, that brings us back to rule number one: Always think before you speak (and act, for that matter). Is what you’re saying or doing giving off the meaning of the below statements?

We at Above the Fold are big proponents of social media and the great things it can do for your newspaper and classifieds. As a result, we have offered many tips and tricks for building your business strategy. Much of this has to do with who should manage your social media, what they should post and how often. However, there is more to social media than content. Steve Nichols said the widespread focus on content is too narrow a view of social media. So instead, he offers his more holistic approach that he calls “The Three C’s” in an article for The Huffington Post called, “Why Most Companies Fail at Social Media – Understanding the Three C’s”. Nichols explained that “The Three C’s” not only include content, but also context and conditions. Below, we have synthesized the steps your ad department needs to take in order to implement Nichols’ approach to social media.

With high unemployment, jobseekers look to your newspaper’s recruitment section to meet all of their needs. At this year’s WCAA Conference, we will offer attendees all of the best practices in recruitment. We caught up with Chelle Bize, who will be heading the conversation on the second day of the conference. She has a distinguished career in recruitment advertising in several markets, including Colorado, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. In some of those, she even had to start a recruitment division from the ground-up. Bize has been working at  the Las Vegas Review Journal for eight years, focusing on national recruitment, digital and niche products. Recently, she even got her Human Resource Certification to better understand the workload of professionals in that aspect of recruitment, saying, “If you walk the walk, you can sell better and train others better.”

The articles we have brought you about social media and youthful hires may have sounded like we were giving you conflicting evidence. Although I recommend using a committed employee for your social media strategy instead of an intern, I also suggest that searching for youth is a possible way to get fresh ideas. I stand by both sets of advice, however, it was not until I came across an article from Inc.com  that gave explicit advice not to hire a 23 year old, did I realize that my advice might have been somewhat confusing. This article outlined a set of stereotypes about today’s youth that are both non-factual and could be possibly discriminatory. 

In order to keep your classifieds up-to-date, competitive and efficient, it is crucial to ensure that your newspaper is equipped with the right technology and software so you can offer the best advertising solutions possible to both your advertisers and consumers. News & Record Advertising in Greensboro, N.C. seems to have accomplished just that by implementing EZAdsPro’s Connect and Social components to their automotive offerings. Now, News & Record Advertising’s automotive magazine, Triad Cars Weekly, boasts its ability to reach a wider audience, boost brand awareness and increase revenue for their advertisers.

 

For this issue’s paper spotlight, and in addition to our classified retrospective, we are examining the affect adding a pay-wall can have on your subscription revenue. Although we wont be examining a specific paper to discuss their innovative ideas, we will be taking a critical look at a common move many newspapers are making that intend to replace the lost revenue from adding a full and free version of the paper online. In the past, people would have had to pay for a single issue or monthly subscription to take advantage of your newspaper’s content, however, with information being widely available, people are using their pennies elsewhere and getting their news for free. 

There is a well known quotation from Albert Einstein that goes something like this: “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish based on its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Now, Einstein may have jumped the gun a little when he said everyone is a genius, however the premise is not flawed in the least. We all hold within ourselves at least a modicum of ability for something or another, whether its management or sales.

There is a common philosophy regarding situations where networking or business dealings can occur. Bring as many business cards as you can and spread them out to as many people as possible. Maybe, just maybe, with all the information out there, you will snag a sale. Although this philosophy makes a lot of sense, Andy Ellwood, a contributor at Forbes Magazine, thinks otherwise. In an article called, “Why I Only Carry One Business Card”, he explains why — you guessed it — he only carries one business card. Many of us, who network frequently, balk at this idea. What? How will people I talk to get my information? How will they contact me? The answer is deceptively simple. You will contact them. By only bringing one card, you force possible connections to give you their information, thus ensuring that the proverbial ball stays in your proverbial court.

This October, your ad department will undoubtedly offer some spooky, Halloween-themed advertising. While Halloween events, deals and discounts are a surefire way to boost revenue, why not think outside of the box this year? In addition to your traditional Halloween advertising, we have gathered a couple of October holidays that could also provide some new revenue opportunities for you ad department and spur some lively events for your community.

If you are going to offer comprehensive and reputable advertising solutions to your advertisers, it’s necessary to go above and beyond printing their ads. You should be a resource through and through by offering tips, strategies and data to back up all of their advertising decisions. Case in point: search engine optimization (SEO). For your advertisers to really start seeing results and response from customers, they not only have to advertise (in your paper!), they also need to have an active, well-designed website with great online “searchability” — also known as SEO. Yes, this little piece of jargon gets thrown around a lot, but it carries a lot of weight. SEO refers to the search engine results for a website, depending on the effectiveness of its headlines, content and the keywords used. To make sure your advertisers’ websites have the impact they want and need in order to boost revenue, they need to format them in a way that will heighten its chance of showing up in popular search engines.