Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Mobile action codes are all the rage in today’s marketing campaigns. Everywhere you look you see these two-dimensional, geometric barcodes popping up, be it in grocery aisles, in magazine and newspaper advertisements, on the Internet or even on TV. These codes provide a direct connection between the advertisement and the consumer.

After years of deliberation with little action, automakers are finally beginning to roll out partial and all-electric vehicles. And, despite resistance from some pop culture, they are selling! It was just a couple years ago that Bob Lutz, the former vice chairman and proposed senior advisor of GM made a late night debut to defend his pet project, the partial-electric vehicle the Chevy Volt on the David Letterman Show post bashings endured from Mr. Letterman. In 2009, the Volt was merely a prototype, and was said to go over “as well as a lead balloon” by numerous critics. Jokes on them. Named 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year®, the Chevy Volt, among other electric vehicles, proves the future has arrived.

n one of the most dynamic presentations, Mel Taylor, president of the Philadelphia- based Mel Taylor Media, delivered a speech on the importance of being hyper- local, developing your website, and, above all, being in the know about what your competitors are doing. Local advertiser’s dollars are the “life blood” of the newspaper, but they’re being corrupted and bombarded by your competitors trying to secure their business. Advertisers are moving a larger percentage of their money to web advertising. So, if you don’t offer online, someone else will. Taylor said that in order to succeed, newspapers need to do a complete overhaul and run your online department like print. To start with, he says, you need to think like a publisher. This means putting profit above anything else, then operational and then editorial—in that order!

As we welcome in the warmer weather spring has sprung, we face the wet roadways and a thawing vehicle. What better way to help your advertisers get in front of your readers than to create a guide that shows the ins and outs of spring maintenance.

Earth Day once embraced a strong anti-business and consumerism sentiment. In fact, the first Earth Day organizers refused any financial support from corporations and held teach-ins to challenge and educate corporate and government leaders. But now, over 40 years later, it has been adopted by marketing teams across the nation. With the eco-conscious trend in full swing, April has become a time when people aspire to embrace a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. So what better time to run a special section centered around everything green in your community that showcases local businesses, products and activities.

The second day of the conference was purely dedicated to mobile with two panel discussions on the mobile landscape: “Part One: Commerce and Coupon Strategies” and “Part Two: Content. Delivery. Engagement.” This landscape goes beyond apps or the latest electronic device, be it phones or tablets. These are all parts of a larger whole, a complex media environment. Conference leaders encouraged newspapers to look at digital and online as whole and create a detailed digital strategy that goes beyond simply putting an app out, and looks at how that will fit into the bigger picture.

Traditionally seen as merely a day of indulgence for those claiming any sort of Irish heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is exuberant, lucious and full of potential for your classified revenue. There are so many opportunities to expand and create new revenue for your newspaper this March, one of the most effective being a pub crawl directory. 

With winter weather in full swing, for most people the last thing they want to think about are the warm weather three-season vehicles (think motorcycles, four wheelers and jet skis). Try riding your motorcycle from Indiana to Michigan in the middle of February; no thank you! But, for dealers and servicers, February is prime time to begin advertising they’re upcoming spring shows.

Last July, Alabama newspapers—Mobile Press-Register, The Huntsville Times and The Birmingham News—implemented a new feature in their Automotive section. FastFindAutos is a reverse feed of the total inventory of participating dealerships. It’s a grid listing that includes all of the pertinent information that one would need to narrow down their auto search. It is a bundle package that includes a print component, which runs every Friday, and an online search component, hosted on the affiliate www.al.com website. The Alabama newspaper group has enjoyed great success with this new program. In Mobile alone, the participating dealerships grew substantially from an initial three in July to 21 by the end of the year.

In February, it seems as though cupid has hit every man and woman on the street. As you watch them go merrily down the frosty roads, hand-in-hand, you can’t help but feel the spirit of St. Valentine. Put those feel-good feelings to use and create a classified event for those happy couples that are ready to tie the knot.

MUNGENAST ST. LOUIS ACURA
The Mungenast St. Louis Acura dealership is embracing a full-steam-ahead mobile approach. Along with having a mobile-friendly website, when a user goes to the St. Louis Acura website on a computer, they are immediately greeted with a “Special Internet Offer” which instructs users to text a code within the next 60 seconds to receive special offers directly to their mobile phone. This is an innovative way to mobilize their Internet advertising. Text messaging, or short message service (SMS), is a great, traceable way to connect to more consumers. Just think about it, more people own cell phones than they do computers—and they never leave home without it. Besides that, it is a completely opt-in way of delivering your message.

As the holiday season is drawing to an end, help the car dealerships in your area throw one last big bash to say good-bye to 2010 and ring in 2011! Hosting a New Year’s Extravaganza can benefit not only the dealerships, but also your paper. As the season’s end draws near, approach the dealers with a plan in place to make their year-end sales boom!

“History in our kind of society,” Patrick Hazard, retired professor of American Civilization at Penn, says, “is not a luxury but a necessity.” History is the foundation of the future. How much does your commune value their history? Throughout the nation, neighborhoods have worked diligently to preserve and restore the historic value of their community. But what’s the benefit? Why would people choose to live in an old creaky home, or open a business in a designated historic district?

Money, success, advertising; a vital ingredient to attainment in selling advertising is facilitating the buyer. It is your job, as a sales representative, to make the buying process as easy as possible. Do not make the advertiser think too much about the ad, instead handle that for them. And, help them see beyond the immediate response to their investment. Newspapers are only now recovering from the economic downturn, and an essential part of that recovery is advertising. However, instead of focusing on the sale of advertising, do all you can to accommodate the buyer.

If your town has an historic district, it could be a great way to garner new revenue streams. Realtors® undoubtedly pay special attention to the listings they have that are in historic areas, and we advise that you do likewise.

In loving memory of those near and dear to our hearts; families of loved ones lost are, for lack of better words, lost. Help guide both the funeral homes and the distraught family members through this trivial time when they sit down to write the obituary.

Recently, newspapers have been finding their readers are straying from local media outlets. But why? Why would the community prefer to read magazines or go online to find their news? Because, these media outlets are specific. So what can newspapers do to begin to drive traffic back local? Become specific. Produce a niche publication in the advertising department; sell advertising, advertorials and involve the editorial department to create high-quality content with concentration on specific verticals, like traveling or home staging for real estate agents and individuals trying to sell a home.

The vacation rental market made a rebound this summer. The Orange County Register reported that the demand in Orange County beach cities and homes was up this year. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) announced that an investment and vacation homebuyers survey showed that sales were up eight percent nationwide. HomeAway®, a national vacation rental tracker, reported that even inland cities, like Anaheim or Irvine, are seeing an increase in demand compared to last year.

If you live in a college town, it’s about that time again; winter break! Students are gone, and your town has a moment of quiet before the chaos of the semester begins again. These crazy kids are sometimes a pain, but they do a great deal for the economy in the area. And, while some of them call the dorms home, many of them move off campus into local area apartments. So, how do you, the advertising sales rep, help the students spend their money in your community and find their home as the new semester approaches? Work with an apartment complex to raise recognition by hosting events to sign new residents.

In September, the Western Classified Advertising Association (WCAA) held their annual conference in California. I was lucky enough to attend. They had several sessions discussing best practices, new trends and what the world really needs now, in accordance to classified advertising.  Many suggestions arose, and newspapers could leave Anaheim no longer asking the question “What is going to happen if newspapers don’t survive,” but rather “what is happening now that newspapers have and are surviving.”

David J. Lynn, Ph.D., contributing writer for the National Real Estate Investor, reported that we’re beginning to see the early stages of recovery for commercial real estate in his article “As Storm Clouds Lift, Commercial Real Estate Transitions to Sustainable Growth.” This coincides with the glimmer hope we’re getting from the talk of an economic recovery. Though, as Lynn writes, commercial real estate generally lags behind economic recovery by four or six quarters, 2010 appears to be a transition year, setting the stage for the next upswing.

Amid the unstable economy, the rising fuel costs and the regulatory issues, the demand for pilots worldwide still shows no sign of stumbling. The airline industry was hit hard by the U.S.’ recession which was declared “recovered” as of September. Even still, the need for travel, due to business or pleasure, has shown no decline. In fact, flight schools are becoming even more predominate throughout the country.

As a sales rep, you’re always in need of a way to automate your tactics, and speed up everything you do. When designing an advertisement, attempt to have a double-goal mindset: print and online advertisement. That way, when you sell a bundle package, there will be minimal changes necessary to make it conducive to both markets, while maintaining enough differences to still make it “worth the money” of the bundle for the advertiser. Much of the content on both types of advertisement is similar.

To sell a boat you need to, of course, showcase the boat but you also need to sell the experience of boating. The best way to do this is with detailed photos and descriptive words.