'Target Smart' is helping Macon paper attract added inserts

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Sean Ireland

A renewed emphasis on a print-and-deliver single-sheet insert program has borne significant fruit at The Telegraph in Macon.

At a roundtable meeting of SNPA and Georgia Press Association executives hosted by The Telegraph, Publisher Don Bailey related how the central Georgia daily boosted its efforts at attracting inserts from local businesses, an initiative that has earned the paper about $29,000 per month in the last year. The Telegraph shared its success story as part of an idea-exchange session at the roundtable event, and the details Bailey provided were the outline of just one of many programs traded by the publishers at the meeting.

The single-sheet inserts are an attractive advertising option for local businesses that do not have the strength of a national brand or the resources to produce their own inserts. For many businesses, newspapers are the best option for producing and delivering these types of materials.

"As we look for ways to expand our market share and penetration, we have to be unique in what we supply our customers," Bailey said. "This print-and-deliver program not only makes it easy for our customers to participate, but it's also an economical way to get their messages into thousands of potential customers' hands. The customer provides us the concept and message they want to deliver, and we do all of the work for them."

In Macon, the renewed emphasis on the print-and-deliver advertising is paying off for The Telegraph and its clients. Bailey said The Telegraph's focus on local inserts came with a push from its owner, The McClatchy Co. "We've offered a P-and-D program for many years, but it really took off in July of 2010, when our corporate team arranged for a dedicated consultant to champion the initiative and negotiated corporate rates with our vendor."

McClatchy has a third-party vendor print the inserts and ship them to its newspapers. They are inserted just as large national inserts are into the newspaper and are eligible for all of the same zoning and product options.

The Telegraph re-branded its old program as the "Target Smart" advertising solution. It created a media kit that explained the concept and provided businesses with zoned delivery options, one of several components that Bailey said were key to a successful program. He said other keys are competitive pricing, ongoing sales training and contests, bundled paid and non-paid products, and the inclusion of maps in the media kits.

"The program is profitable and creates a new, or enhanced, revenue stream. It's easy to create contests and track the success and progress the sales team makes."

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