Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Create unique events with your advertisers that celebrate both popular and the obscure holidays this month using our Business Building Calendar! These “special days” can produce limitless revenue, that in the past may have been overlooked.

Create unique events in correlation with your advertisers that celebrate the month of September. The possibilities are endless!

With fall well underway, October should be one of the busiest months for classified advertisers. It’s on the brink of the holiday season, and offers several celebrations on its own. Prepare for the chaos by clearly organizing the month as you are correlating your advertising initiatives to put enhancement on the predominate activities that will be taking place (or that you’re creating) in your community. Check out page 39 in our new Above the Fold Magazine for a full list of celebrations happening in October on our Business Building Calendar.

While recruitment used to be classified sections’ leading moneymaker, it’s taken a hit over the last few years due to our depleted economy and the unemployment still hovering around 9 percent. However, we’re beginning to see the sun rising on the horizon, and with it, the hope of a relief from the recession. While I may be jumping the gun a bit, things are beginning to pick up ever so slightly, so it’s time to get your product up to snuff before things zoom past and you’re left in the dust. So to start with, let’s talk about healthcare. Healthcare remains one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy, and is actually still creating jobs in the U.S. It’s because of this fact, that newspapers need to focus on the healthcare industry, now.

Easing the transition between summer and fall, September can easily get lost in the shuffle. Typically, advertisers try to capitalize on Labor Day and back to school, but let’s face it — those events are over at the beginning of the month. By the first or second week of September, students are already well into school and Labor Day comes the first Monday of September. So newspapers and advertisers need to look at alternative ways to get the consumer’s attention.

According to the Borrell Associates, mobile couponing is “the fastest growing and most obvious mobile marketing application.” Mobile coupon spending is growing at an average cumulative rate of nearly 78 percent. So, how can you take advantage of this growing trend? The first step is to understand what mobile couponing is and whom it can benefit. Here is a brief introduction, but to learn more, look for an in-depth How-To Guide coming soon to Above the Fold online.

Back when I was in high school, students didn’t get a lot of recognition in my community unless you were the football or basketball star. Yes I played sports, but I was no standout. But my local paper decided it was time for a change, and they began to introduce star students and homecoming sponsorships. Are you lost? How in the world does this relate to classifieds? Not only would the weekly newspaper feature students that would have otherwise flown under the radar, but they sold sponsorships for the specialty sections.

Newspapers in Education is a national organization that promotes using newspapers in the classroom as a learning tool. Along with benefiting teachers by providing them with free subscriptions to their local papers, it helps promote the use of newspapers in general and helps to groom our young society to become newspaper readers. Donations, sponsorships and fundraisers primarily fund this organization. One of their most successful fundraisers is the Pet Calendar Contest. During the course of the contest, readers submit their pets to be voted on by a jury of their peers — it’s primarily a popularity contest in the end, but it’s all in good fun. The top 12 are then featured in a calendar. I recently talked to Dawn McBride, the Newspaper in Education Coordinator at the Watertown Daily Times, about their experience with creating a pet calendar over the last two years.

If you’re heading to a used car lot expecting to find a bargain, you’re in for a rude awakening. Prices of used vehicles are now at historic highs. Price tags are up thousands of dollars per vehicle from where they were just a few years ago. Traditionally, it’s been the new car dealers that have struggled as they watch their counterparts selling deeply discounted used vehicles. But, because consumers have opted for used vehicles, they’re selling out. There simply aren’t enough used vehicles available anymore to make the same kinds of deal you could five years ago.

The current economic downturn that began in 2008 has brought together citizens from every walk of life in their attempts to become the savviest saver. Using tactics that began during the Great Depression, communities have recently watched as the 1940s have been revived with intense use of coupons. Couponing—now referred to as a verb—has become a national phenomenon, with the most exceptional cases even being featured on TLC’s Extreme Couponing television show. With hard work, patience and a lot of planning, people are whittling down their weekly grocery bills from $400 to $4. Not only are these families saving thousands of dollars each year, but they’re also bringing more value to the coupons featured in the newspaper. This helps classifieds increase the merit of offering coupons in a coveted spot; and it gives them the opportunity to find new ways to monetize couponing.

The Colorado Springs Gazette launched the SpringsMilitaryLife.com in late 2010. This niche website is aimed at the Springs’ military audience — primarily the spouses of the enlisted men and women of the army.

It’s been nearly eight weeks since the devastation of an EF-5 tornado that roared through Joplin, Mo. As of now, there are 158 casualties to the storm and nearly 10,000 properties that were severally damaged or destroyed with 5,000 of them being residential properties. Eyewitnesses say that while there has been a lot of debris removed, it still looks like a bomb exploded. The devastation is unimaginable. Pictures can’t come close to capturing the extent of it. 

As time goes on, we become busier and busier with closer and closer deadlines. Some people allow their clutter and paperwork to build up and overwhelm them and soon end up finding no light in sight. The one way to combat this dilemma is to hire a professional organizer. It is this individual’s job to help a person de-clutter and get their lives back on track. These professionals will help to clean up your space and teach you how to be more organized in order to decrease stress. They can also offer you your own personal organizer online or as a book to keep all of your appointments in order. The principles and techniques they use have been tested. And it is not just for individuals, but businesses, such as newspaper agencies, as well! The best way to show them what you can do for them through advertising is to see what they can do for you and your office.

 Twitter may be considered some of the freshest soil in which newspapers can plant interest in their publications. With its 140-character limit on messages, or “tweets,” it is the perfect place for snappy news briefs and hints about future articles. If used properly, Twitter can be an amazing resource for your publication. However, as new ground, Twitter is also unfamiliar territory riddled with “do’s” and “don’ts.” Here is a brief guide to Twitter to help make your transition into it more successful and profitable.

Cooperative advertising, or co-op advertising, is a partnership between the manufacturer and a local dealership, where the manufacturer shares the cost of locally placed advertising with the dealership. Many manufacturers have an allocated budget for this type of advertising, which is available each year to dealerships that participate and comply with their specific marketing requirements. These requirements usually dictate the use of logos and messages. Help your local dealerships see the benefits of co-op advertising, and the complaint of not having enough advertising budget goes away.

In today’s market, real estate agents are using any and every media outlet to leverage the industry with their brand. Most are incorporating free web tools that newspapers just don’t offer; at least they don’t offer them yet. With the emergence of mobile technology and the incorporation of the Internet on a smartphone or tablet, newspapers can regain control of the agents in the local area, as long as we’re aware of what the competition has to offer and how agents are using it.

Day Two’s keynote speaker Kirk Davis, president and chief operating officer at GateHouse Media, gave a rousing presentation entitled Revenue Growth Starts with Strong Leadership. He opened with a question: How intentionally is your company evolving? Intentional. The word carried a lot of weight for Davis over his career in the industry. He believes that this industry has a tendency to let things happen to it, to change only when forced to, instead of grabbing the bull by the horns. He urged organizations to become intentional in all aspects of business, from development to managing the staff.

On day two of the Blinder Group/SNA Revenue Leadership Summit, Mike Blinder, President of The Blinder Group, accompanied by Howard Finberg, the Interactive Learning Director at The News University Poynter Institute, hosted a live broadcast webinar. The webinar was the third part of a series on “Bridging the Gap between Content and Commerce,” a subject every newspaper in America is struggling to tackle. The topic presented featured a comprehensive review of a successful and effective sales process based on Mike Blinder’s “humble opinion.”

On the third and final day of The Blinder Group and SNA sponsored Revenue Leadership Summit, the session broke into tracks mid-day. The two tracks, management and digital, had success stories and advice on merging the industry. The digital track, presented by Art Howe, chairman of Verve Wireless, and Bill Ganon, general manager of local sales at Verve Wireless, focused on the emergence of not only online digital, but the mobile wave.

Creating bridal bliss is no easy feat these days. For a couple embarking on what is supposed to be the best day of their lives, the build-up for D-Day is nearly always a constant stress. There’s reserving the venue and booking the florist, you must find the dress and meet with the photographer, cake maker and caterer. Not to mention finding the hair stylist, jeweler and bartender. Weddings require attention to detail and extensive time management. If only there were a source to help brides-to-be find all of the information they’d need, and more. If only your newspaper could provide those some 2.3 million brides a relief from the folly.

Summer vacation is finally here. And what better way to celebrate than packing up the family for a weekend getaway? Although gas prices are astronomical, consumers are still willing to travel this summer. It’s estimated that more than 81 percent of people polled by an Orbitz summer travel survey that was released in May say they are not letting the rising gas prices affect their travel plans this summer.  What do these numbers mean for newspapers? They have a direct effect on what advertising you, as classified sales reps, will be able to sell and how you’ll sell them this year.

June is national home ownership month. With the recent trends showing that the desire for home ownership is on a decline, embrace the theme of the month by promoting and protecting home ownership. One way to do this is to put on a home show. Home shows have been around for ages. In London, the Daily Mail founded the Ideal Home Show in 1908 as a publicity tool for the newspaper and as a way of increasing revenue. Today, home shows are often sponsored by organizations other than newspapers, but we suggest taking it back. Home shows are a great way to get an advertiser’s name out and give them the opportunity to interact with their prospects face to face. Furthermore, it gives you new advertising vehicles for both the newspaper and your clients. Consider running advertorials throughout the month leading up to the culminating home show. Also, publish a printed guide for the home show, complete with display advertising. Embrace modern technology and social media, as well. Raffles and door prizes are a staple to any home shows, so announce times, games and winners through Twitter.

While you may already have a personal Facebook profile that helps you keep in touch with long lost friends, share photos and communicate with everyday peers, the thought of running a business page on the world’s largest social networking system might still appear daunting. Where would you start? Why is it necessary? How much time and effort will it take?

Memorial Day is a time for remembering. Beginning in the early 20th century, the day originated as a ritual of remembrance after the Civil War. While the true meaning of Memorial Day is to honor fallen U.S. soldiers, today it is more recognized as an occasion for the expression of memory in general. This long weekend has become increasingly community oriented and focused on family get-togethers, barbecues, shopping, vacations and even the Indianapolis 500.