the InlanderMARCH 2009 | Vol. 23, No. 3 knowledge for newspapers Mailed Tuesday Feb. 17, from Algonquin, Ill. Inform post office if it arrives after March 3. Address service requested. Inland Stay current training “One investment we hold sa- with Inland cred is our Inland Press Asso- ciation membership. We’ll be more resilient through any eco- webinars nomic swing by belonging to a nuts-and-bolts organization like Inland.” — Dennis Waller Publisher The Chronicle , Will unions target Webinars are cost-effective Participation is easy Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. small newspapers? Registration is simple Presentations are topical and timely March 11 | Webinar Search Solutions for Selling Your Products Attorneys explain why it could happen Mike Blinder will reveal how search marketing works and how By Michelle Finkler you can easily deploy a local ASSOCIATE EDITOR “Small newspapers need to be concerned. There are going to For more, see page 21. search solution that will assist in garnering significant new online be unions that will come after revenue from new business cate- If you think unions only tar- different newspapers than we gories. get large newspapers, think would historically think.” WITH MIKE BLINDER, PRESIDENT, THE again. “The old view that unions Newspaper companies could potentially see an increase in Analyzing ‘key metrics’ can BLINDER GROUP, NEW PORT RICHEY, FLA. March 12 | Webinar were always interested in big companies is not true,” said Bill Schurgin, partner at Sey- union activity if the Employ- ee Free Choice Act becomes law, Schurgin said during a re- boost financial performance Newspaper Executive’s Guide to the Production farth Shaw LLP in Chicago. EFCA: CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 By Adolfo Mendez their worries, their concerns— Waste Cycle EDITOR anything that you can do to help Here is a complete yet concise ex- Union election win rate them to survive, because they are planation of where waste occurs More than 50 percent of workers at U.S. companies have in the production cycle. It is ex- In the good and bad times, pub- key to your survival.” plained in laymen’s terms, with voted in favor of unions every year since 2005. lishers should make cultivating Garry, who entered the news- logical courses of action to initi- a close relationship with their top paper industry in 1978, is a for- ate the conversations at your own 10 advertisers a priority—meet- mer chief financial analyst at the organization, which will lead you down the road to reduced waste ing with each of them once a Cleveland Plain Dealer and a for- at your facility. month or once a quarter, accord- mer publisher with Hirt Media. WITH TIM GARRY, PRESIDENT, NEWSPAPER ing to newspaper industry veter- During a recent Inland Press We- AND PRINTING CONSULTANTS, MYPRESSREPORTS.COM, MT. GILEAD, OHIO an Tim Garry . binar, he discussed several key fi- “Your top 10 advertisers are nancial and operating metrics March 17 | Webinar pretty tough to replace,” said Gar- newspaper executives need to Selling More Strategically ry founder and CEO of MyPress- , monitor if they’re to improve to Integrate Web, Print Reports.com, a company that pro- their company’s financial per- Learn how to better control the vides newspapers with Web-based formance. sales process by building relation- financial management software. “Key metrics has become a ships and trust quicker. Find out “Your top 10 advertisers are the buzz word in our economy late- why you should be calling at high- er levels, how to locate decision- DATA COURTESY OF SEYFARTH SHAW LLP cornerstone of your enterprise ly,” Garry said. “What it really makers and why you must have an GRAPHIC BY MICHELLE FINKLER/ASSOCIATE EDITOR and you should really take a per- means is that you’re looking at understanding of your customer’s sonal interest in their wealth, in METRICS: CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 business to be successful at selling strategically. RICHARD FARREL, PRESIDENT, TANGENT KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS AND AUTHOR OF GROW CIRCULATION IMPROVE CLASSIFIED SALES PART OF THE CELEBRATION “SELLING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SELLING” Closely watching the numbers gives Make your newspaper a top National Nurses Week in May could circulation managers a solid base for destination for classified ads with a provide a special section For details or registration assistance, contact Inland at (847) 795-0380 growing readership. reader-centered approach. opportunity for your paper. or go to www.inlandpress.org. PAGE 9 PAGE 10 PAGES 12 AND 13 Select “Event Registration” under the Training heading.
Ideas EFCA: Employers urged to take action CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 days or more. Then, an election is 2009,” Schurgin said. “Their cent Inland Press Webinar. held, after which certification can chances are as good today as they’ll The Employee Free Choice Act be issued if election results dic- ever be. They’re going to do every- “will make it dramatically easi- tate. thing they can to get this done by er for unions to organize,” said However, with the EFCA, once the end of this year.” Ken Dolin, also a partner at Sey- organization begins, the union sim- Schurgin said with the new ad- farth Shaw LLP. “This is not go- ply needs to obtain card-check sig- ministration, employers should ing to be great news for many em- natures from 50 percent of employ- expect increased government en- ployers.” ees. Once 50 percent or more are forcement, as well as increased la- The EFCA, which would alter secured, certification is issued. The bor and human rights protection. the National Labor Relations Act, election can take place within days He said now is the time for employ- is likely to pass, Schurgin said. It and sometimes without the com- ers to start preparing for the pos- has the backing of powerful union pany even being aware of the sibility of a union targeting their lobbyists and President Obama’s union’s presence, Dolin said. company . pro-union administration. “Unions claim secret ballot elec- Prepare now Schurgin and Dolin said the tions favor employers because em- EFCA would change three major ployers launch extensive anti- “We need to get ahead and be aspects of labor law: it would re- union campaigns during the post- proactive before a union comes move an employer’s right to a se- petition period, including anti- into the picture,” Schurgin said. cret ballot election, there would be union captive audience speeches He suggested employers write increased penalties for employers and one-on-one meetings between letters to congressmen and sena-The Inauguration Edition published by The Virginia Gazette. The special issue who engage in “unfair labor prac- supervisors and employees,” he tors. They should also try to cre-was a success, with street sales nearly doubling. PHOTO SUPPLIED tices,” and it would permit the fed- said. However, “Arguments by ate a workplace environment eral government to assign an ar- unions, though, ignore that unions where union organizing is unat-Inauguration Edition a bitrator and impose a two-year con- tract under certain conditions. Under current law, Dolin said are winning elections at the same rate at which they did over 30 years ago.” tractive. For this, an employee at- titude survey can be helpful. To boost morale, Schurgin said news-success at Virginia paper employers now have the right to a secret ballot general election when deciding union representation. Passage likely The EFCA passed in the House papers should increase the use of recognition awards and publicize accomplishments by the paperBy Adolfo Mendez “Those [advertisers] who “EFCA will eliminate secret bal- in 2007 but stalled in the Senate. At and its employees.EDITOR lot election and will be replaced by the time, President Bush immedi- Also, Schurgin said managers passed on it were kicking card-check recognition,” he said. ately promised a veto. Unlike Bush, should take the time to evaluate The Virginia Gazette in themselves. Those who Eliminating secret ballots and the Obama administration is most the entire newspaper, all of itsWilliamsburg, Va., published “In- were in it were ecstatic, replacing them with card checks likely going to make EFCA a top policies, employee handbooks andauguration Lessons for Ameri- especially the ones who conducted in public gives unions priority Schurgin said. , personnel manuals to identify andca,” a 44-page special section, in an unfair advantage in organizing, As evidence, they offered this resolve issues now to thwart thethe Gazette on Jan. 17. chose to be on a page or businesses argue. It’s also unde- extended quote from President possibility of a union recogniz- “It was intended to succinctly opposite a page of their mocratic and unwise, Dolin said. Obama, taken from a speech he ing any vulnerability .recall the presidency of each of favorite president.” “Cards are unreliable; they can gave in Dubuque, Iowa, in Novem- “If you use the analogy of aPresident Obama’s predecessors contain forged employee signa- ber 2007: doctor, you’re conducting a com-and walk him through their suc- Bill O’Donovan tures, misrepresentations and “We’re ready to take the offense plete physical of the entire com-cesses and failures,” said Publish- threats. Even if there are no for- for organized labor It’s time we have . pany he said. ,”er Bill O’Donovan. “One recur- whom I persuaded to partici- geries, misrepresentations and a president who didn’t choke say- Schurgin also suggested edu-ring lesson learned is to pick bet- pate,” ODonovan said. “Their threats, employees may feel pres- ing the word ‘union.’ We need to cation of supervisors and employ-ter cabinet members. Another is challenge was keeping within sured in the presence of a union strengthen our unions by letting ees on the impact of unions andto watch your health, and to wear 300 words, which all but two did.” solicitor,” Dolin said. them do what they do best — organ- the newspaper’s position on them,a bulletproof vest,” he added. The section also was prof- With the card-check system, ize our workers. If a majority of lawfully urging them not to sign “The edition was inserted in itable, he said. “We only grossed Schurgin said it would be more at- workers want a union, they should because there’s “no secondour Saturday paper, and we $15,000 in advertising but it was tractive to unions to target small- get a union. It’s that simple. We need chance by virtue of vote.”padded the draw 40 percent,” a quick sale under enormous er newspapers and other types of to stand up to the business lobby Businesses shouldn’t be put offO’Donovan said. “Returns show time constraints,” he said. smaller companies. “If there’s only that’s been getting their friends in preparing now for the change towe nearly doubled our street “Those who passed on it were 20 or 30 employees, it’s easier for Congress and in the White House to come, they said. “This is a wake-sales to 7,891. It was a huge hit kicking themselves. Those who unions to get cards signed,” he block card check. That’s why I was up call for all of us who said, ‘Weamong the readership,” he said. were in it were ecstatic, especial- said. one of the leaders fighting to pass won’t be the target of a union The section included five-part ly the ones who chose to be on a Another change: shortening the the Employee Free Choice Act. campaign,’” Schurgin said.coverage on President Obama— page or opposite a page of their length of the campaign period, That’s why I’m fighting for it in the “There is a sea change going onhow he got elected, what he did favorite president.” making it more difficult for em- Senate. And that’s why we’ll make out here. Six months from now,right, what went wrong, what les- For example, he said one client ployers to state their case against it the law of the land when I’m pres- there may be union activity and ,sons are there for Obama and les- kidded about gaining position unions. Under current law, once ident.” you won’t have time to respond.”sons for the country . on the page with Jefferson Davis. the union-recognition cards are Schurgin expects the new EFCA “Key to our success was a signed by 30 percent of employees to be introduced before April. “We Contacts: Bill Schurgin,savvy professor who aligned all Contact: Bill O’Donovan, and a petition is filed, there usual- may see an amended version of the email@example.com;43 presidents with other faculty firstname.lastname@example.org ly is a campaign period lasting 39 EFCA. They have to pass it in Ken Dolin, email@example.comPAGE 14 The Inlander | www.inlandpress.org | MARCH 2009
Special ReportLocal business directories match readers with advertisersFree listing By Michelle Finkler over $500,000 of revenue,” she ASSocIATE EdIToR said. “More recently, as we’ve Archived Webinar launched the Wenatchee World’s This and other Webinars are Setting up an online directory for Marketplace, it had an even quick- available in Inland’s Archived your community can be a great way er success with $165,000 in the first Webinars collection. to connect area businesses with lo- week.” Visit InlandPress.org and cal customers. And sometimes, an click on “Archived Business advantages Webinars” under the online directory can connect area businesses with not-so-local cus- Media companies that set up an “Training” tab. tomers. online directory can decide to call Consider Gazlo.com, a local it whatever they want, whether that ries. There are also sponsorship market directory launched slightly be Marketplace or a name more positions where a business can over a year ago by Bliss Commu- specific to the area, such as The sponsor a category.” nications, based in Janesville, Wis. Janesville Gazette’s Gazlo.com. Upgraded listings A man in Greece was conducting But even with different names, all an online search for a clock seller— of the various Ellington Market- Businesses can also opt to up- not in any specific town—when place sites are similar in what they grade to a “basic” or “expanded”Basic listing Gazlo.com turned up in the search offer advertisers and consumers. listing that offers features that go results. “It’s what consumers are used to beyond what’s available for free. “He wanted to buy a grandfather getting when they get a Google “Basic” listings include a business clock from one of the businesses in site,” Weaver said. “To compete profile, listing in up to five catego- the directory,” said Sara Weaver, with Yahoo!, Google and the Yel- ries, unlimited keywords, a photo vice president of Sales and Busi- low Pages, we have to offer more gallery and a custom meta descrip- ness Development for Mediaphor- for free. We can’t nickel and dime tion tag for search engine optimiza- media, the software division of the our advertisers. We add a photo, tion. World Company, based in Law- business hours, name, address and “For a basic listing, I’ve it seen rence, Kan. phone number, a link to their Web go for $44 up to $99 dollars a Weaver said the man interested site, a map and methods of payment month,” Weaver said. “A lot of in buying the clock searched on for free. Most of our partners would people adopt the same strategy. Google for “clockmaster master agree that you only get one chance You can list up to five categories. clock repair,” and the Gazlo.com to make your directory useful for We list you in one category, and site was listed first in the search consumers or they won’t come we’ll charge you to be listed in results. back.” more than one category.” “We work really hard to make On the homepage of each site, The “expanded” listing also has our sites search-engine friendly,” there’s a search bar to enter key tabs for videos with a built-in Flash Weaver said. “If they’re using words, business name or location, video player. Companies can up- Google to find something locally, and there’s also an option to refine load ads and coupons that they’re it will pop up in searches. When the search by entering a zip code or running. They can also list a num-Expanded listing you don’t know what you’re look- address so users can find results ber of products, post calendar ing for, these categories are opti- close to them, Weaver said. There events and a staff directory. mizing well.” are three rotating ad positions in the Weaver said the expanded listing Mediaphormedia, which uses El- middle of the homepage for busi- costs anywhere from $100 to $250 lington Marketplace as its software, nesses that expand their listing. It a month, with the most common has been partnering with other me- is rotated with an unlimited spon- price being $200 a month. dia companies in helping them de- sorship position. Newspapers also Weaver said the upgraded listing velop marketplace directory sites. charge extra for access to the right options give a boost to many busi- Weaver said that last year, Media- rail, which Weaver said is another nesses, especially small ones that phormedia worked with 27 differ- revenue stream. may not have the time or resources ent companies in setting up their “Homepage right-rail ads go for to devout to building and maintain- directories. about $300,” she said. “Lawrence ing a Web site. When the Lawrence Journal charges $500 to $700. You have to “We found in the market, most World’s LawrenceMarketplace. look at what you’re charging for businesses have a Web presence, com site first launched, Weaver your own newspaper site and make but the site might have been de- said it took four to six months for it make sense.” signed by your nephew,” Weaver it to catch on with local consumers. On the left side of the homepage said. “When they see our site, they Through branding and advertising, is a list of categories to choose thought it was useful. Businesses LawrenceMarketplace.com has be- from, such as Arts and Entertain- are putting in a lengthy profile. come a name people recognize, she ment, Automotive, Food & Dining, Some companies are even using the said. Weaver said the site is now in Health Care and Retail, to name a Marketplace site as their primary its third year, and receives more few. site.”“You only get one chance to make your directory useful to consumers or they than 225 million page views a “If you were to choose a catego-won’t come back,” said Sara Weaver, vice president of Sales and Business month. ry for Food & Dining, there’s a Contact: Sara Weaver,development for Mediaphormedia. Above: Screen shots from “For LawrenceMakretplace.com, page for that category,” Weaver firstname.lastname@example.orgLawrenceMarketplace.com. Images supplIed in the first year, it brought in just said. “Then there are sub catego-PAGE 10 The Inlander | InlandPress.org | SEPTEMBER 2009
IdeasIs the design of your Web site helping or hurting your advertisers? Header/Navigation By Michelle Finkler Ostendorf said fewer bigger ads are better than Header/Navigation AssocIATe edIToR lots of little ads. Ostendorf also recommended varying the ad sizes because this will draw more Ad Ad Many newspapers take a “more is more” ap- attention to them. proach to Web site design, which they inherited For Web pages that have a story on them, Os- from the early dial-up days of the Internet, ac- tendorf said it’s OK for the page to scroll since Photo Photo cording to media consultant Bill Ostendforf. it’s a non-landing page. He said scrolling works Ad These news sites contain long-scrolling homep- on these story pages because the Web user is ages with too many headlines, links, photos and reading or looking at data that he or she is already advertisements. interested in. This type of Web design is bad for business, “Where do we put ads on story pages?” Osten- Ad Ad Ostendorf said. It doesn’t help advertisers get dorf asked. “We often put them in the story. You noticed by readers, he said. get this problem for the reader where they have Ostendorf, who spent 13 years at The Provi- to read around this junk. Or they put all the ads dence (R.I.) Journal before leaving in 2000 to do on the right-hand side and no one wants to look full-time consultancy work, recalls sitting in an at them.” Ad editors’ meeting at the paper some 15 years ago. Ostendorf suggests using three ad positions on “We had a meeting about [going] online and a story page in varying sizes and positions, suchon Web pages that have stories on them, news sites generally place the ads within the story editors said, ‘This is great! We can put 100 things as an ad above the header, along the right rail and(shown at left), which can make reading difficult, or along the right rail (shown at right), where on a page! There’s no limit!’” said Ostendorf, within a story or below a photo within a story.Web users ignore them, media consultant Bill ostendorf said. Images supplIed president of Creative Circle Media Consulting in The design of each page can differ by enlarging Providence, R.I. photos or displaying video to go along with the Ad Ad “It’s not true,” Ostendorf said. “Having judg- story. Ostendorf added that having a stronger ment still counts, having priorities still counts, visual in the middle of the page will keep a read- Header/Navigation Header/Navigation limited ad positions counts. If there are two or er on the page longer. three ads, we ensure the advertisers’ ads are going “Taking it a step further, if they are flash ads to get noticed.” and if they have more movement, I want to spread Scrolling length them out more,” he said. “If we isolate them in space or size, they will get higher readership. Photo Ad Ad Ostendorf said newspaper publishers need to They shouldn’t compete with each other. You Ad rethink their sites’ scrolling lengths and try to need to give each advertiser room to succeed.” keep the homepage to one “page” or screen view. Examples He cited Poynter Institute’s EyeTrack research Ad that showed long-scrolling homepages don’t get Ostendorf recommends newspaper publishers Ad much traffic beyond the first page. look at the layout of successful commercial Web “You lose 95 percent of your business after the sites for examples of good Web design. Ostendorf first screen, but we still make long-scrolling suggests visiting Web sites of companies such as pages,” he said. “I would say to papers, ‘Why Dell, Southwest Airlines, Google and Apple. All don’t we just end the page here [at the bottom of of the sites have short-scrolling homepages. Os- the first screen]?’ They say, ‘Because I have ad tendorf liked Apple’s site because of its cleanostendorf suggests using three ad positions on a story page in varying sizes and positions, such positions down there.’ But you can see that no- look, white background and focus on a large,as an ad above the header, along the right rail and within a story (shown at right) or below aphoto within a story (shown at left). Having a fourth smaller ad (shown at right) in the right body is looking there. Nobody even saw this ad visual element.rail works in this layout because its small size makes it stand out, he said. at the bottom. We have to get people to look at For examples of news sites that have good Web the ads and click on them.” designs, Ostendorf mentioned the Providence Ad Ostendorf said the research showed the most (R.I.) Business News at PBN.com and the Bangor Ad effective ads were part of Web pages that did not (Maine) Daily News at BangorDailyNews.com. Header/Navigation Header/Navigation scroll. With scrolling pages, the research showed Both sites have short-scrolling homepages and that eyeballs tend to flow down the page and skip few ad positions. over the ads. When the page doesn’t scroll, there “So many newspaper Web sites are just thrown were more clicks on editorial content and there up there, and they’re using this mediocre design Video Photo was more traffic on the ads. from 15 years ago,” Ostendorf said. “They’re us- Ad Ad “Not scrolling forces people to see more of the ing these ad shapes and designs that haven’t been page,” he said. well thought-out. We’re not doing it well. So many newspaper Web sites are doing so badly at Ad positions the basics. When designing news sites, newspapers need “I urge you to get back to basics and have fun. to take into account the hotspots shown in the It’s fun, not scary,” he said. “I knew nothing— Photo Ad EyeTrack research to ensure advertisers’ ads will nothing—about the Web; now I run a software have prominence on the page, Ostendorf said. company. “When we design a page, we have to be aware “You can succeed online.” Ad of the hotspots,” he said. “We’ve been able to take ad click-through rates up three to six times. Contact: Bill ostendorf,ostendorf suggests making a visual element in the center of the page such as a video or photo It makes a huge difference how much you cram email@example.com on a story page because it will keep readers on the page longer. onto a page.” JANUARY 2010 | InlandPress.org | The Inlander PAGE 7
the InlanderJANUARY 2011 | Vol. 25, No. 1 Inland knowledge for newspapers Mailed Monday, Dec. 27, 2010, from Sterling, Ill. Inform post office if it arrives after Jan. 10.Preserving advertising revenue as competition grows trainingBy Michelle FinklerAssociAte editor Under Siege “I just wanted to send you a quick note to compliment Inland Sales pitches from non-newspaper advertising sales people Non-newspaper sales people are on a Webinar. It’s almost likeapproaching your advertising cli- None 7% bits and pieces of great informa-ents an average of 22 times a month, tion we have received throughaccording to research conducted by 1 to 4 50% many Inland seminars all cameITZBelden. together for us through the In- “That includes Groupon, Living 5 to 9 22% land Webinar, “A Close Exami-Social, mobile sites, somebody in- nation of the Agency Approachside a garage who’s got a cool idea for Sales Force Organization,” 10 to 14 9%for your town—all kinds of peo- with Greg Swanson. Our groupple,” said Greg Swanson, president spent another 30 minutes brain- 15 to 19 3%of Portland, Ore.-based ITZ Pub- storming after the session andlishing, which conducted the re- came out with a shared focus for 20 to 24 2%search in partnership with Belden improvement for our sales repsInteractive, also based out of Port- and, most importantly, our cus- 25 to 29 2%land. tomers. It will take time and a “Out of the 22 people who asked lot of work, but our team seems 30 to 49 1%to give a pitch, our local retailers to be on a common path to real-are taking about seven of those ize improvement. Thanks for a 50 or more 2%calls,” Swanson said. “What’s go- job well done.”ing on here is our advertisers are Don’t know 3% — Jeffrey N. Evans, publisher,being educated about twice a week /Not sure Ludington (Mich.) Daily Newsabout ways they should advertise, 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%and we’re either helping them fig- Jan. 13 | Webinarure out what to do on the basis of in september 2010, itZ Publishing and Belden interactive completed a survey of small- and medium-sized businesses inwhat they’re hearing or we’re active correspondence with local newspapers as advertising clients or prospects. this graph shows data in response to this Demystifyingnot.” question: “in an average month, with how many advertising sales people do you speak, in person or on the phone, among Digital Sales for these in-coming efforts?” on average, business owners receive 22 approaches a month and listen to pitches from seven of Unlike other studies that survey those approaches a month. Legacy Print Teamsbusinesses in general, the ITZ- SOURCE: ITzBELDEN | GRAPhIC BY: MIChELLE FINkLER This Inland Webinar will help take the fear factor out of online adBelden research is based on actual programs for traditional print repsnewspaper contacts. The findings “because we look like we’re lim- other mediums to advertise besides question is, what other products can who still feel more confident sell-are based on input from 2,840 ited consultants,” Swanson said. the print newspaper; 14 percent use we offer to get some of those $6?” ing print over digital ads. Topicssmall- and medium-sized busi- Sales reps need to identify all of two other mediums and 15 percent covered will include simplifying New model the sales process; comparing andnesses identified as advertising the different products available in use six to nine other mediums. contrasting the online vs. print au-clients or prospects for the local their markets and understand how What it boils down to is that The solution isn’t giving “a dience; targeting other media forpaper. The advertisers agreed to they are being sold, he said. newspapers get almost 30 percent whole bunch more stuff for our real incremental revenues; and de-participate in the study, which was “If we’re not selling keywords in of the local businesses’ total spend- sales people to sell,” Swanson said. mystifying online terminology. WITH SCOTT ROSENbERg, DIgITALcompleted in September 2010, search, if we’re not selling e-mail ing. Online, the percentage is even The answer is to restructure your MARkETINg SPECIALIST,upon an invitation by 81 newspa- push, if we’re not helping facilitate smaller. sales organization to more resemble STRATEgY2 DIgITAL, CRYSTAL LAkE, ILL.pers in 40 states. map-based advertising, if we’re not “If we ask them how much an agency model, with smart bun- Jan. 26 | Webinar Newspaper sales reps who are selling mobile and video ads, if they’re getting in online advertis- dles based on business category, henot conversant with the various we’re not selling the things they’re ing, it is 13 percent of total spend- said. ITZBelden data of business Write Tighter and Fasterproducts that are constantly being buying, all we know for sure is that ing,” Swanson said. “The maximum owners’ interests can serve as a di- With a little planning and a bit of deconstruction and focus of yourpitched to your customers and the this money is going to someone we’ll be getting between our print rectional aid for newspapers as they story idea, you’ll write more effi-wide range of advertising options else.” product and online product is some- decide what offerings should be in ciently. You’ll also learn to usethey have, undermine your ability According to ITZBelden, 45 per- where around 40 percent of their powerful words and fewer awk-to sell solutions to local business cent of businesses use three to five spending, or $4 out of $10. The Advertising: continued on PAge 11 ward transitions in a session that will improve your story lengths and writing speed. WITH kIM STRONg, DIRECTOR OF bUSINESS READY TO HIRE? READ THIS COMPETITION HEATS UP FELLOWSHIP PROgRAM DEvELOPMENT AND WRITINg COACH, THE Remove the barriers to hiring the AOL’s Patch joins the fragmented Why a Wick Communication’s web PATRIOT-NEWS, HARRISbURg, PA. ‘best and the brightest’ with these media landscape in search of local developer has a strong passion for proven tips. advertising dollars. newspapers. Additional training information on pages 17 or visit InlandPress.org. Select “Event PAgE 9 PAgES 12-13 PAgE 14 Registration” under the “Training” tab.
IdeasAdvertising: Align your strategy to what clients are interested in buyingCoNTINUed fRom PAGe 1 your share of voice in those chan- which helped people understand tomers will find will deliver them the compensation program to re- nels or adding additional chan- who you are.’” results is by forcefully tying the ward sales reps not only for hittingeach category’s package. nels.” Swanson said the whole idea of products to a suite,” he said. “What their print and online goals but also For example, a majority of local the agency approach is not to help we’re saying to our advertiser is, for the total number of customers Sales repsbusinesses still think primarily advertisers select which component ‘We don’t want you to buy the they have. He said the idea is to in-about their own website when they Successfully launching an agen- of the package works, but rather to Houston Chronicle; we want you crease the total number of customersthink about spending money online. cy model at your newspaper will say all these parts synergistically to buy Houston. The way you do participating with the newspaper.According to the research, 82 per- require a big commitment in the work together. Secondly, since that is by having a presence on our He said newspapers are alsocent of newspaper clients said their form of extensive training for sales many reps and, frankly, newspaper website, newspaper, specialty pub, well-positioned to offer advertisersNo. 1 marketing strategy is main- reps, Swanson said. When Hearst customers don’t understand the mobile, Facebook, Twitter and on “agency” services, such as graphictaining a company website. The Corp. decided to pursue an agency value of these new advertising me- many other places, and our goal is design, video production and lead-second is sponsoring events (54 approach at the Houston Chronicle, diums, it’s difficult to get reps to to drive people to buy your product generation programs, to their localpercent), and the third is maintain- it launched a new business catego- assert their value or convince cus- or come to your restaurant or sale; clients.ing the company’s Facebook or ry package each month and held tomers to try them. it’s not to get you to buy one orMySpace page (45 percent). hour-long training sessions every “The way we introduce these another of these products.’” Contact: Greg Swanson, “Social media comes before in- Monday for 18 months to train staff new products that many of our cus- Swanson also discussed changing firstname.lastname@example.org promotions (35 percent), on- on the different components of eachline coupons (23 percent) or selling package.goods over the Internet (20 per- Swanson said newspapers alsocent),” Swanson said. “The fact that should address misconceptions thatthe third most common thing is sales staff have about advertisersomething with social media says interests and align their go-to-mar-to me that our customers are start- ket strategy with what businessesing to explore social media and they are interested in buying, as opposedcould really use our help.” to what newspapers currently sell, Many businesses have undergone such as display ads.budget reductions and moved ef- “When we asked our sales man-forts to inexpensive or free sites agers what the most important met-like Twitter or Facebook, but that ric was for selling advertisers, thedoesn’t mean they’re successful at No. 1 answer was click-throughsit, he said. (66 percent),” he said. “When we “They need a newspaper or trust- asked our advertisers what theyed vendor to act as a broker for were interested in, first was cus-these products,” he said. “Busi- tomers visiting their store (58 per-nesses like the idea of self-admin- cent), next impressions (50 per-istered advertising, but if we can cent), next frequency (49 percent)show that we do it well, they’ll buy and next reach (48 percent).from us.” “Surprisingly, click-throughs (45 But keep in mind that one size percent) came pretty far down thedoes not fit all, he said. While so- list, which shows that our advertis-cial media may be important to ers seem to understand that reach-some businesses, it’s not for every- ing people with some frequencyone. For example, 60 percent of car and letting them see the ad is moredealerships were interested in main- important than whether or not theytaining a Facebook or MySpace clicked through,” he said.page, but only 26 percent of the Another challenge for newspa-finance category and 33 percent of pers implementing an agency mod-health care. el involves conquering fears of tra- “When we start thinking about ditional sales reps, Swanson said.the agency approach, we have to “The real thing I think they’resay, ‘Here are the packages right for afraid of is if I show my customersthe arts and entertainment category, that these other mediums reallyhealth care, real estate, financial,’” work, they’re going to leave printSwanson said. “The product suite and buy that,” he said. “What I’myou would offer a restaurant saying is bundle it so they can’t. Aswouldn’t be the same as you would we sell these packages, part of whatoffer a Realtor, since you don’t sell we’re trying to do is say this: ‘No,discount coupons for a house. we don’t have a mobile solution not “The idea here is with the sim- connected to print. You may comeplest packages, you have a share of to believe that this mobile couponvoice in print, on the website, in redemption is where you’re gettingsocial media, on mobile, and if you the value. But in fact, the value forwant to buy additional elements, the mobile coupon is partly drivenwhat you’re doing is expanding by the ad we had in the paper, JANUARY 2011 | InlandPress.org | The Inlander PAGE 11
the InlanderFEBRUARY 2011 | Vol. 25, No. 2 Inland knowledge for newspapers Mailed Wednesday, Jan. 26, from Sterling, Ill. Inform post office if it arrives after Feb. 9.J-schools respond to demands of today’s newsrooms trainingBy Michelle FinklerAssociAte editor “Regarding the Inland Webinar, ‘A Close Examination of the Gone are the days when copy Agency Approach for Saleseditors would simply edit copy and Force Organization,’ with Gregwrite headlines. Swanson ... the information was The skill set required to excel in excellent.”today’s newsrooms is growing and, — Paul Burke, advertisingin response, journalism schools are director, The Coeur d’Aleneadapting the way they teach editing Press, Coeur d’Alene, Idahoand restructuring their campusnewsrooms in hopes of giving stu- Feb. 9 | Webinardents a better chance of landing Creating a Culture ofjobs after graduation. innovation and Customer The University of Missouri in Focus That worksColumbia, Mo., and Northwestern Find out how the Sales and Mar-University in Evanston, Ill., for ex- keting Division of the Palm Beachample, continue to change their Post transformed its sales culturejournalism programs to remain vi- by creating a consultative, cus- tomer-focused sales force, withable and relevant to prospective solution-based selling to helprecruiters. businesses develop real solutions “I want to train students who can to help their businesses grow in abe good thinkers and be nimble and tough economy. Focusing on the customer and their needs, ratherable to handle any job,” said Jake than “pitching more products” is aSherlock, assistant professor and Assistant copy editor Patrick sweet (right) edits a story while graphics staff member chris spurlock watches from his seat at message we can all relate to.print editor for the Columbia Mis- the interactive copy desk in the columbia Missourian newsroom in september 2010. the transition, an experiment that began Learn how you can take the same in August 2010, split the newsroom’s traditional rim and slot copy desk into two separate desks: interactive and print. Both concepts and strategies and apply J-schools: continUed on PAge 10 students are seniors at the University of Missouri in columbia, Mo. PHoTo: CHRISTINA MANoLIS/MISSoURIAN them to your operation to grow revenue through customer service and specialized solutions for your advertisers.get into the digital game without breaking the bank wiTh suzanne pepper, direCTOr OF innOvaTive ClienT sOluTiOns, palm BeaCh pOsT, wesT palm BeaCh, Fla. Feb. 15 | Webinar By Adolfo Mendez editor improve your newspaper website With the early success of the iPad, developers saw tre- with Better web design mendous potential for profit building apps. Media sites are among the most “It was not at all uncommon to have vendors come in cluttered and dysfunctional sites and say that they would charge publishers anywhere from on the web, and it’s time to shake things up. This Inland Webinar will $100,000 to $750,000 to build an app,” said Ray Marcano, help you find your own way in- senior manager of Strategic Initiatives for CMGdigital of stead of just following the crowd. Cox Media Group Inc., a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox How can newspapers build audi- Enterprises. “And I know those prices to be factual because ence and develop content for the web through better design? What I sat in on those presentations.” kinds of solutions can we develop What a difference several months make. for advertising and revenuedaytondailynews.com lets visitors sign up for e-newsletters covering entertainment, sports, business growth? This seminar will chal-information and local headlines, and breaking news e-alerts. expanding your digital presence doesn’t “You can build apps of any kind now, and the costs don’t lenge you to change some corehave to break the bank, according to ray Marcano, senior manager of strategic initiatives for approaches you are taking to yourcMgdigital and director of digital strategy at the dayton (ohio) daily news. IMAgE SUPPLIEd digitAl: continUed on PAge 11 website and give you a lot to think about. Get ahead of the competi- tion with a better perspective on Family Ownership inland FellOw ClassiFied sales what makes websites work and How Shaw Media’s management Inside the one-person shop at a Improve classified sales by what is holding newspapers back. wiTh Bill OsTendOrF, presidenT, team copes with challenges to the small Texas weekly and how she forgetting about the old ways CreaTive CirCle media COnsulTing, prOvidenCe, r.i. business model. gets the job done. of doing business. Additional training information on page pages 12-13 page 14 page 22 17 or visit InlandPress.org. Select “Event Registration” under the “Training” tab.
IdeasJ-schools: Expanded skill sets attractive to prospective employersCoNTINUED FRoM PAgE 1 where “primary content producers ognize that the world has changed, sit,” such as the city editor, graph- and there are fewer and fewer peoplesourian, the 5,900-circulation stu- ic artist, photo editor and conver- employed as just copy editors. Anddent newspaper at the Missouri gence editors, he said. you can bemoan a perceived drop injournalism school. The Missourian “What we did on purpose is posi- quality, but we’re trying to prepareis published five days a week and tion The Hub and the interactive our students for the real world, andserves as the city’s morning news- copy desk as the focus of the news- for them to be successful they havepaper (the Columbia Tribune cir- room so everyone would be thinking to be able to edit themselves.”culates in the afternoon). about online,” he said. The print Duke said he emphasizes to his “The days of specialization are team was “given our little corner of students that there are fewer layerswaning and waning fast,” Sherlock the newsroom—we’re not in the of editing at print and online publi-said. “To get our students ready, boiler room or anything—and we’re cations alike, and that their storiesthey have to have a wide and deep in charge of thinking about what is may not receive extensive editing.range of skills.” best for our print readers. Everyone Michael Deas, a lecturer at Medill, else is in charge of thinking digital- Columbia Missourian reporters write and edit stories in the newsroom in Lee Hills also stresses self-editing in his class-A unique experiment Hall in September 2010. The newsroom recently underwent some changes through first. Getting furniture and comput- es, as well as speed and accuracy. In August 2010, the Missourian ers where they needed to be, making an experiment that separated the copy desk into two teams for interactive and “I emphasize how important it is print operations. Photo: ChRIStINA MANoLIS/MISSouRIANstarted an experiment called “The a home for everybody, helped to that they’re fast and accurate be-Transition,” which restructured the shake us out of our old habits.” our website than we had before, that copy desks operate differently cause they’re going to be workingpaper’s newsroom from a rim and more frequent and thoughtful up- all over the nation,” Sherlock said. in the field and won’t have the tra- Interactive teamslot-style desk to two separate copy dates, making better use of social “The more important thing to us is ditional backstops to catch mistakesdesks: interactive and print. The interactive team includes 17 media.” that they’re gaining the skills to be that the industry had before,” Deas Sherlock said having two sepa- editors from the News Editing successful on any type of copy desk said. “All of my exercises are dead- Print teamrate desks gives editing and design Class, Jungman said. The students they may join. Some of them will line-oriented.”students a better educational expe- work in shifts, with one or two in- The print team typically has eight no doubt end up on desks that still Duke said Medill has alsorience and helped shift the news- teractive copy editors on duty dur- staffers working on the paper each focus primarily on print, but it changed the way it teaches headlineroom’s focus from the print product ing the day and three or four in the night, including designers from the doesn’t mean those web skills won’t writing.to the website, ColumbiaMissou- evening. This is in addition to at Advanced Design Class, a copy come in handy down the line.” “We teach search engine optimi-rian.com. least one faculty member and one editor from the interactive team, a Changes on the print desk next zation, things to think about in The interactive copy desk is teaching assistant working on the media assistant and teaching assis- semester will include more integra- terms of getting keywords intostaffed from roughly 9 a.m. to mid- interactive copy desk most of the tants, Sherlock said. tion between news and sports, Sher- headlines, not using puns and othernight during the week and focuses time, he said. “The website and the print prod- lock said. On the interactive desk, sorts of wordplay, which is OK foron the paper’s web operations, said “A lot of papers have a web pro- uct have two completely different Jungman said he wants his interac- print, but you would need a differ-Nick Jungman, Knight Visiting ducer who manages a lot of the audiences—different sets of read- tive students to take on additional ent headline for online,” he said. “IfEditor in the Missourian newsroom interactive,” Jungman said. “We ers,” he said. “A small minority print desk shifts so they receive you look at publications, the head-and a visiting assistant professor. didn’t have any web producers; we read both, so what we’re trying to more practice writing headlines for lines in print and online are very The print team still works in the thought instead of creating web do is to tailor content specific to print. He also wants to put more different for the same story.”afternoon and evening but focuses producers, we would make copy the different mediums. What can emphasis on students initiating con- Duke and Deas said Medill incor-on the print product, Sherlock said. editors handle some of the tasks that we do best for our print reader?” versations on stories that may not porates multimedia strategies intoIn general, students on both copy web producers do. Copy editors can Sherlock thinks the print product be getting a lot of web traffic by its classes, such as teaching studentsdesks only work in the newsroom be seen as needing more to do at has improved with The Transition asking readers questions. the basics of video, audio, photog-eight to 12 hours per week, he times, and the experiment shows us by offering readers more thoughtful “Our students need to have some raphy, design and social media.added. this is a good place to fill in the gaps presentation of stories and pack- basic web skills to get jobs,” Jung- “One of the things Medill does Print staff still sits in on after- between when copy arrives.” ages by adding elements such as man said. “Now, they can say, ‘Not with its students is give them expo-noon meetings to choose content Jungman said interactive copy info boxes, graphics and timelines. only do I know AP Style, how to sure to all of the tools they need asfor the next day’s issue, though the editors have a list of tasks they can Sherlock cited presentations for the write a headline and how to edit a journalists, but they can’t be mas-print product is not discussed, Sher- do during downtime, such as tweet Missourian’s homecoming cover- story, but I know how to get a ters at everything,” Duke said. “Welock said. a story, post a story to Facebook, age, a barbeque festival and the new breaking news story in front of an have a three-tiered approach: lit- “At our 3 o’clock budget meet- make sure conversations are civil Harry Potter movie as examples of audience, I know how to engage an eracy, competency and mastery. Weing, some of the editors were talking in comment sections, look for ques- the benefits of having a team of audience, I know how to moderate want them to have literacy in every-about what to put in the paper, and tions to answer within comments, editors and designers solely focused a conversation on a message board.’ thing from writing, reporting, videoI had to say, ‘No, we’re not talking create survey polls and manage the on print. Those things would be attractive to and audio editing, interactive skills.about print. We’re here to talk about homepage of ColumbiaMissourian. employers.” Then they can self-select what they Making changes stickweb. We’ll figure out what to do com. want to do from there. They may Medill expands instructionwith print,’” Sherlock said. “I had Since The Transition, Jungman Overall, Sherlock and Jungman decide they really want to be insome push-back at first, but for the said traffic to the website has in- said The Transition has been a suc- The Medill School of Journalism broadcast or be investigative report-most part, they were very happy to creased by 10 to 15 percent. Cur- cess and that the separate interac- at Northwestern University in Ev- ers, but at least everybody will gogive up that print control.” rently, the site gets 12,000 to 15,000 tive and print copy desk system will anston, Ill., has also changed the through here with the basics.” To help prepare students for The unique visitors every day, he add- be used during the spring 2011 se- way it teaches copy editing in anTransition, Sherlock said staff rear- ed. mester. effort to increase the skills of stu- Contact: Jake Sherlock,ranged the newsroom’s desk layout. “We’re seeing more interactivity “I think we’ve been pretty good dents. email@example.com; Nick Jungman,“We set up the print desk to be away on the website,” he said. “There’s about telling students that what “My background is primarily as firstname.lastname@example.org; Steven Duke,from everybody else,” he said. more of a conversation with readers they’re experiencing under The a copy editor,” said Steven Duke, email@example.com; Michael Deas, What emerged was “The Hub,” in the comments, more presence on Transition is an experiment, and associate professor at Medill. “I rec- firstname.lastname@example.orgPAGE 10 The Inlander | InlandPress.org | FEBRUARY 2011
the InlanderMARCH 2011 | Vol. 25, No. 3 Inland knowledge for newspapers Mailed Monday, Feb. 21, from Sterling, Ill. Inform post office if it arrives after March 7.Who needs Groupon when you’ve got aunt clara? trainingBy Michelle finkleraSSocIate edItor “The Inland Webinar information was well presented, While many newspapers are jumping and the techonology workedon the bandwagon and partnering with well. Even though the presenterdaily deal sites such as Groupon or Liv- was from a newspaper muchingSocial, the Record-Journal in Meri- larger than ours, I took awayden, Conn., has created its own model information that I will use. It isfor offering consumers discounts on easily worth the time andgoods and services from local busi- money.”nesses. — Curt Jacobs, general manger, For the past two and a half years, the The Madison (Ind.) CourierRecord-Journal has put together AuntClara’s Online Store, which sells local March 3 | Webinarbusinesses’ gift cards to consumers at30 percent off their face value. The busi- for editorialnesses receive the full face value of the Departments:cards through advertising dollars at the narrative Writingnewspaper. This Inland Webinar will help your “We actually got the idea from The newsroom tell superior long, me- dium or short narrative stories.Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northamp- Ideal for both new and veteranton, [Mass.],” said Carolyn Wallach, journalists, you’ll learn techniquesassistant managing editor-online/ that are the foundation of goodweeklies for the 18,000-circulation writing. Among the highlights of this presentation will be the sev-daily. “They had an online store that eral examples of writing that wesells gift certificates, and we took that will closely examine with the ulti-idea and launched our own in October twice a year, the record-Journal in Meriden, conn., puts together aunt clara’s online Store, which sells local businesses’ mate goal of becoming better sto- gift cards to consumers at a discounted price. although the store is only open for one week, it is preceded by a month- rytellers and producing products aunt clara: contInued on paGe 5 long Sneak peek pre-Store, which helps create buzz and advertiser interest. IMAgE SuPPlIEd that truly engage your readers’ in- terests. WiTh Kim sTrong, DireCTor of businesstom Slaughter named Inland’s executive director DeVelopmenT anD WriTing CoaCh, The paTrioT-neWs, harrisburg, pa. March 10 | WebinarPatty Slusher named Inland’s director of Membership and Programming Creating effective sales scriptsBy Inland Staff chosen me as its next chief execu- “We have been so fortunate to have Every sales presentation should tive,” he said. “I believe in the mis- enjoyed Ray Carlsen at the helm for be scripted, but they should never Tom Slaughter, a former execu- sion and goals of the organization more than two decades; but, times sound scripted. This old adage is true whether your reps are out-tive with The Associated Press, was and its members and will do all I are different and the challenges are bound prospecting for new busi-named Inland executive director on can to help them thrive in this chal- greater for our industry and our as- ness, upselling voluntary advertis-Jan. 27 in a unanimous decision by lenging environment.” sociation, which will require excep- ers or soliciting renewals. Some ofthe Inland board of directors. As Tom Shaw, CEO of Shaw Media tional leadership from our chief these “conversational scripts” should be followed as closely aspart of the transition at Inland, Slaughter Slusher in Dixon, Ill., and head of Inland’s executive. Speaking for myself and possible, while others should bePatty Slusher will now play an ex- search committee, said the choice the entire search committee, with- “points to cover” in the sales pre-panded role at the 126-year-old of U.S. Newspaper Markets for AP, of Slaughter was undertaken with out hesitation or reservation, we sentation. This Inland Webinar will provide a few sample scripts thattrade association as the director of created AP Digital before heading due diligence. “Inland is such a could not be more pleased that Tom you can modify for use at yourMembership and Programming. the company’s new media business great organization, very special to publication, as well as learn the Slaughter, former vice president unit. “I’m honored that Inland has those of us it serves,” Shaw said. Inland: contInued on paGe 4 “dos and don’ts” of effective sales script order, phrasing and timing. WiTh riCharD ClarK, presiDenT, There’s no app for ThaT The fuTure of mobile The VerY soCiable WeeKlY ClassifieD DeVelopmenT, Johnson CiTY, Tenn. Shaw Media forgoes an app for The CEO of Forkfly explains why How a weekly newspaper editor the iPad and creates tablet-friendly newspapers are in a strong in Bay City, Texas, leverages websites instead. position to leverage mobile. Facebook and Twitter. Additional training information on page 17 or visit InlandPress.org. Select “Event page 12 page 13 page 14 Registration” under the “Training” tab.
Inland NewsAunt Clara: Businesses earn advertising dollars through the paperConTInued fRoM PAge 1 Aunt Clara’s Online Store also mation, such as the full value and has a Sneak Peek Pre-Store that discounted purchase price, and a Promotional special section2008. We have since run it four opens one month prior to the regu- link to the company’s website, she To promote the opening of Auntmore times.” lar store’s open, and a special sec- said. Businesses also can become Clara’s Online Store, which sells lo- On average, Wallach said Aunt tion runs in the Record-Journal a “featured business” on the pre- cal businesses’ discounted giftClara’s Online Store attracts be- promoting the store. store for about $100. Featured cards to consumers, the Record-tween 130 and 150 local business- businesses receive a bolder listing Journal in Meriden, Conn., publish- Who is Aunt Clara? es a special section that runs in thees and brings in $70,000 in revenue and tile ad on the Sneak Peek Pre-for the newspaper each time the Aunt Clara is a fictional charac- Store site. For the fall 2010 store, newspaper.store is open, which happens for ter originally created by the news- Wallach said 25 businesses par- “We promote [the store] veryone week twice a year, in the spring paper for Aunt Clara’s Closet, ticipated in the pre-store as fea- heavily in our print products,” said Carolyn Wallach, assistant manag-and fall. For the most recent fall which was a free classifieds section tured businesses. ing editor-online/weeklies for the2010 store, 790 orders were placed featuring items for sale under $100, Customers can’t purchase any- daily. “The week before the store,and 4,360 gift cards were sold, she Wallach said. thing from the pre-store, so as a we print a catalog with display adssaid. “We already had an association way to bring traffic to the site, Wal- for each advertiser.” with Aunt Clara for savings and lach said the newspaper created a For the fall 2010 store, the special section came out Nov. 4,How Aunt Clara’s is different repurposed her for the new media contest to win a $500 shopping four days prior to the store’s opening, she said. The newsprint Wallach said Aunt Clara’s On- age,” she said. “We had stopped spree. The winner got to choose 10 tabloid was 24 pages and featured ads for each participatingline Store is different from sites like running the section in classifieds a $50 gift cards from the featured business, including gift card pricing information, Wallach said. AllChicago-based Groupon and Wash- couple years ago and brought her businesses. Internet users could of the ads are the same size, but ads from featured businesses inington, D.C.-based LivingSocial in back for the online store.” register to win once per day, and the Sneak Peek Pre-Store ran in color.structure, since Aunt Clara’s gath- the fall 2010 contest had 1,477 en- Copies of the special section were printed to meet the Re- Better-than-expected results cord-Journal’s daily circulation of 18,000, she said. The store alsoers local merchants in one place, tries representing 667 different was promoted in five of the company’s weekly newspapers byrather than the one-at-a-time ap- For the first Aunt Clara’s Online people, she said. featuring participating businesses in those areas on one or twoproach of daily deal programs. Store in October 2008, the newspa- Opening day excitement pages, she said.Aunt Clara’s sells gift certificates, per built the online and shoppingwhile Groupon and LivingSocial cart components for the site in- Aunt Clara’s Online Store opensoffer coupons. Also, sites like house, Wallach said. But the de- at 9 a.m. on a Monday, which Wal- More onlineGroupon require a minimum num- mand for the gift cards was a bit lach said the newspaper has found To view the fall 2010 Aunt Clara’s Online Store promotionalber of purchases or the deal is can- more than the website or staff could is a good time for customers to sit special section as a PDF, visit NBDN-Inland.org and select theceled; Wallach said there is no “tip- handle, she said. at the computer and buy gift cards. “Ideas” tab. When Aunt Clara’s Online Store or Sneak Peek Pre-ping point” for the gift card deals “The rush on the store was im- During the week, there are an aver- Store is open, they can be viewed at AuntClarasOnlineStore.com.available on Aunt Clara’s Online pressive,” she said. “It happened so age of 33,000 page views and 3,400Store. quickly; we can’t process that many visits to AuntClarasOnlineStore. offer at least $1,000 worth of cards aren’t well-known in the commu- “We sell gift certificates, not orders at once with everyone trying com, she said. to participate, and the required nity have cards that don’t performcoupons,” Wallach said. “The gift to put gift cards in their cart all at Customers without Internet ac- minimum value on each certificate well. Or if certain gift cards are go-certificates are accepted as cash, the same time. The first time we did cess can call a 1-800 number that is $25, she said. ing quickly, people will jump onand they do not expire. The cou- the store, we processed 800 orders the fulfillment company has, though Advertising dollars acquired board just because it’s a popularpons offered by daily deal programs with 4,000 gift cards in-house. That the reps are using the same website from participation in the store can item. A lot of times, if it’s not soldare usually more restrictive and do was a tremendous task for our staff as the general public to input the be used in print or online, with in the first day, it’s probably notexpire. Also, businesses that par- to handle, and we quickly realized orders, she said. With the last store, about 90 percent of the dollars go- going to sell.”ticipate in Aunt Clara’s receive that this wasn’t the best use of our Wallach said the company received ing toward print, she said. Also, Wallach said gift certificates toadvertising trade equal to 100 per- resources.” about 140 calls. The fulfillment these acquired advertising dollars restaurants are popular, as are cardscent of the gift certificate face After the first store, Wallach said company charges a fee per order must be used during the paper’s for grocery and liquor stores. An-value. This is generally higher than the newspaper brought on a local and per phone call, she said. “slower periods.” For example, other popular card is from an oilthe revenue share offered by daily fulfillment company to manage the After the high demand experi- businesses that participated in last company offering 30 percent offdeal programs.” pulling and shipping of orders and enced with the first store, the news- year’s fall store, which took place heating oil. Gift cards that tend to Wallach said the Record-Journal provide the live inventory count on paper also decided to limit the num- in November, must spend those be hit or miss include ones for cardoesn’t see these other sites as com- the website, AuntClarasOnline- ber of gift cards purchased from dollars during January and Febru- dealerships and auto services, shepetitors to Aunt Clara’s Online Store.com. one business to three per order, she ary of 2011. said. Gift cards for hypnosis alsoStore, though it does plan to try out said. On average, 77 percent of the gift haven’t performed well in the past, Creating a buzza daily deal program in the spring “You could still go back in, cre- card inventory is sold, with 52 per- she said.through a partnership with Bounti- The Sneak Peek Pre-Store was ate another order and purchase cent sold in the store’s first 20 min- Although exact dates for the nextful, Utah-based MatchBin, the ven- an initiative launched with the more, but we wanted to give more utes and 70 percent sold in the first store haven’t been determined yet,dor the newspaper used for its on- spring 2010 store, Wallach said. people more of an opportunity to three and a half hours, Wallach Wallach said it will be in May withline business directory. “At the time, we had had three buy the cards,” she said. “A lot of said. The Record-Journal’s graph- the pre-store launching three to four “It will not run at the same time successful stores and we were look- items sell out in the first 20 min- ics department prints the gift cards, weeks earlier in April. Planning foras the store,” she said. “Our plan is ing for ways to create more buzz utes.” or businesses can submit their own. the spring store began in Februaryto implement the program for a around the store,” she said. Gift card performance Gift cards that are not sold are re- to allow time for the newspaper tomonth’s worth of daily deals and The pre-store launches about a turned to businesses, so they don’t make changes or implement newsee how it goes. We look at it as a month prior to the opening of Aunt Selling gift card spots for Aunt earn those advertising dollars, she initiatives, she said.potential revenue stream that is Clara’s Online Store and includes Clara’s Online Store is open to all said.separate from Aunt Clara’s Online the list of participating businesses of the Record-Journal’s 11 sales “It’s sometimes hit or miss,” she Contact: Carolyn Wallach,Store.” with gift certificate pricing infor- reps, Wallach said. Businesses must said. “Sometimes businesses that email@example.com MARCH 2011 | InlandPress.org | The Inlander PAGE 5