Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Facebook, the eight-year-old social network that has made its creators some of the youngest billionaires in the world, reportedly will be opening a job board. According to The Wall Street Journal’s, in early July, a source linked to the social network said that Facebook hopes to launch the job board later this summer.

Although a pay-wall does exist for The New York Times, the content on its website is also decidedly social. Unlike other newspapers with pay-walls, The New York Times allows articles to be viewed for free if they are accessed from another news source or social media outlet. This presentation, while a seemingly bad idea for The New York Times, as they may lose on revenue, is a great idea for news itself. 

Most of the businesses in your town are locally owned and operated "Mom and Pop" establishments. That means that most of the advertisers — and and prospective advertisers — in your market are small businesses. 

In the wake of a struggling economy, and consequently, a hurting housing market, there has been an influx of renters. Chances are there has been an increase of landlords renting out single properties in your area. Moreover, if you live in a college town, chances are there’s a significant number of college students looking to rent in your area. Make certain your real estate section is adapting in order to meet these needs by reaching out to these small-time landlords to advertise in your paper. Since these landlords may not own multiple properties or have years of experience in renting, you can demonstrate your value as an advertising resource by making sure they’re fully informed in the rules and regulations of renting out properties. We have gathered some of the renting knowledge your advertisers will need, so you will be ready to meet their needs.

“This is how we’ve done it for years.” This response to a proposition to change practices or strategies is so common it borders on cliché.  Although business strategy is often defined by the practices and values that been have held and developed since a company’s foundation, the redevelopment of practices to keep up with changing trends is not just a good idea, it can also be necessary. As we have discussed in other articles, change is hard, but when faced with progress or failure, many still favor failing with tradition than success with progress. 

With all the buzz about social media, it’s easy to get intimidated by the jargon and rules. Well, here’s the dirty little secret: It’s not intimidating and there are no real rules. True, there are good ideas and bad, but real success with social media will be all about finding your own voice, regardless of the chatter. To get started, here are the five most important tips to help guide your social media strategy. Keep in mind, these are just tips, but they are, in essence, how begin building a successful social strategy.

You’re likely to be hiring someone new, sometime soon. Why not shake up your interview routine and find out some truly illustrative qualities about your prospective employees? An article from outlines “Three Interview Questions That Reveal Everything” and why those questions are so revealing. These questions might seem basic, but provide important illumination into both the intentions and personalities of your interviewees. These questions are as follows:

It’s the harvest season. The leaves are beginning to change color and farmers are beginning to reap the benefits of their bountiful harvests. Embrace the harvest theme this month and you’ll reap the benefits as well. Food, feasts and farmers markets all come to mind this month as fresh vegetables abound. Since this is a month for food, remember to embrace the foodie in your community and offer cooking schools and events. It’s also National Farm Safety and Health Month, so draw on that and honor the agricultural businesses that are the cornerstone of your community. Consider highlighting a special section in your automotive vertical that specifically features farm equipment. 

The most successful sales reps tend to be great talkers. Therefore, in order to close the deal you need to have great interpersonal, social and — perhaps most importantly — communication skills.  However, there are a lot of things that can get in the way of communicating effectively, whether it’s with a co-worker, a manager or a client. For instance, communicating too hastily and not truly listening are common pitfalls. Below, we offer some quick advice to carry with you, ensuring you are communicating to the best of your ability.

Facebook has become a crucial aspect of marketing for all kinds of businesses across the spectrum, and real estate is no exception. However, it’s important to approach Facebook and other social media tools with an organized strategy, rather than winging it. While personal Facebook profiles are up to your discretion, when using it for business purposes there are both legal and social rules that you should know, understand and abide by. We want to share some do’s and don’ts for using Facebook to promote real estate listings. By having this knowledge at your disposal, you will be able to offer your real estate clients the best advertising solutions possible, and they will see your newspaper as a valuable advertising resource.

A newspaper is theoretically an unbiased news source for the local community. Of course, there are biased news outlets, but all in all, community papers should report the news in all of its unfettered and unbiased glory. Most papers stay away from activism, as it alienates readers and is a slippery slope that can hurt revenue.  For example, a newspaper in North Dakota is taking some heat for pulling a paid marriage announcement from their Weddings section. The Fargo Forum recently removed the marriage announcement of Allison Johnson and Kelsey Smith citing that they do not allow announcements for same-sex couples. While same-sex marriage is not recognized is North Dakota, the couple wanted to publicize their union for family and friends. 

At this year’s conference, we’ll be highlighting some of the industry’s best practices across the verticals. Events are in the spotlight, as we explore how event marketing can improve the revenue in each vertical. One of the presenters you can look forward to hearing is Michelle Ackerman, who will be focusing on Parade of Homes.We caught up with Ackerman to discuss her experience creating and planning events with the Colorado Springs Gazette. She has spent three years with the Gazette and 23 years in newspapers, giving her years of experience establishing beloved events in Colorado Springs. Ackerman says she plans to inform her session with not only her own experience, but with input from other newspapers that have planned successful events as well.

Niccolo Machiavelli was a philosopher, writer and diplomat. You may know him best by some of his works, like “The Prince” and “The Art of War.” However, you may have never considered how Machiavelli’s writings could inform your management style — but they can. Both CBS Money Watch and Business Insider recently took some of Machiavelli’s quotes and discussed how it reflected the author’s business and entrepreneurial sensibilities. We have gathered quotes that we think are great philosophies for those working in the newspaper industry. You may just find that you already subscribe to some of Machiavelli’s philosophies without realizing it.

Although fall is prime time for hiring — schools need teachers and retail stores are gearing up for the holiday season — sometimes your recruitment section just won’t make the cut. While there are many different solutions for beefing up this section of your classifieds, one you may not have tried is marketing your own openings. Just because you won’t necessarily gain immediate revenue from printing these positions, there are multiple reasons why you can gain much more than you thought from this recruitment section move. 

We know the WCAA Conference, “It’s Showtime,” will be the highlight of your trip to Las Vegas this September, what with learning some great new ways to build revenue for your paper and seeing some awesome products from  vendors.

Colleen Reese is the Audience Development Coordinator for Philadelphia-based B2B publishing company NAPCO. She oversees several of the magazines’ social strategies and facilitates digital circulation efforts. She is also the social community manager for their annual publishing conference, Publishing Business Conference & Expo ( — the nation’s largest conference for magazine and book publishing executives.She can be reached at or on Twitter @colltreese.

The next time you’re driving down the street, take a look around. Have you noticed an increase in two-wheeled vehicles on the road? Your eyes are not deceiving you. It seems more and more people are turning to bikes and mopeds to get from point A to point B. Whether it’s the price of gas, the difficult search for parking in crowded metro areas or people who want to “green” up their lifestyle — there’s no denying the appeal of bikes and mopeds as a suitable substitute for pricey gas guzzlers. Why not reflect that in your transportation section? It’s a good way to meet the needs of consumers in your area and either break up the monotony of cars or fill out the section if there’s still open space. Below, we offer some ideas to get your ad department started. 

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Sara Arnell, the CEO of Arnell Group, discussed her new concept for brands looking to change their image and marketing campaigns. She calls it “freshing,” a play on the notion of refreshing a company’s brand image. Arnell explained that, typically, companies spend years and a great deal of money to change their public image, with new ad campaigns, logos and products. In contrast, freshing is the practice of changing up a brand’s image more frequently on a smaller scale. She argues this is a more foolproof marketing solution at a time when advertising staffs across the country have to trim their budgets and make it work with fewer resources at their disposal. This is valuable information for your sales reps to pass on to the newspaper’s advertisers, who probably are already working with smaller budgets than the major corporations Arnell works with. Ensure your advertisers are constantly innovating their image and offering small changes for their customers. Instead of putting all their eggs in one basket — a large-scale, expensive ad campaign, which customers may not like — they can make small incremental changes. This way, marketing teams can monitor customers’ reactions to these changes, and if they’re not working, it’s easier to return to the drawing board than if they had spent precious time and money on one campaign that failed.

Oftentimes, your advertisers need a helping hand and some direction when it comes to planning their marketing. Go above and beyond simply running ads in the newspaper; offer advice, metrics and creative direction that prove to your advertisers that you are more than an advertising platform. Going the extra mile in your customer service will surely keep your clients happy and loyal and demonstrate that your paper is an invaluable advertising resource. 

Some years ago, I met with a foreign car dealer to learn about his advertising. In the showroom, there was a beautiful red sports car — a new model that had just arrived that week. When I commented on the car, the dealer said, “Yeah, and we didn’t even find a Black Widow spider in this one.”

Since the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, something has been happening across the Arab world that the media has deemed the “Arab Spring.” Much can be learned from the discontent that boiled over and mobilized thousands of people across these countries, taking the form of protests that sparked revolutions and even the overthrow of entire governments. It began in Tunisia in December 2010 and has since had a ripple effect on neighboring countries, including Libya, Egypt and Syria, but that’s only a few of the almost 20 countries that have held what ranges from small protests to entire governmental overhauls. Perhaps most interestingly is the use of social media during The Arab Spring as a catalyst and mobilization tool for many of these revolutions. These revolutionary uses of social networks can certainly teach your ad department about implementing a successful social media strategy. 

When selling anything, the best advice you’ll ever get is from the person you’re selling to. Your customers can tell you where you’re going wrong, what you’re doing right and how you can improve service while still maintaining both your and their bottom lines. Although we can’t talk directly to your customers to give you pointers, we have found some general advice from some big name companies about how to best market and sell to them. In “Sales Tips From The World’s Toughest Customers,” by Kasey Wehrum for Inc. Magazine, some of the world’s largest and most successful companies — like Coca-Cola, UPS, Northrop Grumman and Dell — were asked why they use the suppliers they do and what not to do when trying to sell them something.

WCAA has announced its Keynote Speaker for the upcoming “It’s Showtime” conference. 

Like any skill, certain aspects are innate. While most would argue vociferously that their skills are developed through nothing but hard work and dedication, some others might beg to differ. We found an article in Inc. Magazine, called “The Secret to Their Success,” that suggests that the very psychology of successful sales people may not only enable them with persuasive abilities but also a set of personality traits that forces them to bite at the heels of every sales opportunity. These personality traits include not only greed and competition, as many believe are necessary qualities of successful sales people, but also masochism and the prospect of rejection, says the article’s author, G. Clotaire Rapaille.