Buy it from the newspaper
Newspaper companies know how to sell subscriptions and ads, but they don't necessarily think about selling their own merchandise. Go online to The Post and Courier store in Charleston, S.C., and you'll find all sorts of items that make money.More
Reward teachers, raise revenue
For a newspaper that routinely writes stories about teachers and emphasizes education coverage, creating an Amazing Teachers recognition program was an extension of that commitment.
"There were good synergies in what we could do on the newsroom side and what we could do on the advertising side," said Orestes Baez, president and publisher of Holland Media Group and The Holland Sentinel in Michigan.
The program in its first two years has been successful enough that this year it will be expanded to nine other GateHouse Media newspaper properties in Michigan. The program allows the public to nominate outstanding teachers and a committee created within the company selects the winners, eight this year in Holland.MORE
Branding high school football
Attach the newspaper's name and brand to the local high school football rivalry game, and you have the Citizen Tribune Kickoff Classic in Morristown, Tenn.
The two high schools serving Morristown and Hamblen County, the East Hurricanes and the West Trojans, play the game, sell the tickets and provide the concessions. The Citizen Tribune sells everything else, from souvenirs to Jumbotron ads to time-out sponsorships.
"They play anyway. We just make it a much bigger deal," said Mike Walker, sales and marketing director for the paper.MORE
Out-competing the agencies
When a 5,000 circulation daily can publish a 30,000-copy, 76-page magazine, the paper is doing something right. That paper is the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Miss.
Since 2013, the Enterprise-Journal has published the glossy magazine once a year for its county public hospital, Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center. It brings in more than $60,000 for the paper and tells stories that otherwise might go unreported, according to Editor Jack Ryan.
The 2019 version came out this month and honored the 50th anniversary of a hospital that draws patients from six Mississippi counties and two parishes in neighboring Louisiana.MORE
Going after the competition
The five newspapers in BH Media's Alabama Group signed up 77 new advertising accounts in about six weeks last year through an in-house sales competition called "Let's Play Takeaway."
The goal is to win new accounts away from competitors and regenerate inactive accounts. Advertising representatives compete among themselves for prizes ranging from $75 for the person bringing in the second-highest number of new accounts up to $500 for the salesperson who generates the highest amount of new revenue.
The competition is about to begin its third year.MORE
Selling the cultural deal
In 2014 The Charlotte Observer started what could be described as an extended brew pub crawl by selling cards that offered customers tastings at between 15 and 18 local breweries across the city. Phyllis Weber, who recently left Charlotte to become advertising director at The Roanoke Times in Virginia, recalls how well the promotion worked.
"This one totally surprised us," she said. The paper made $13,000 in incremental digital revenue, selling about 650 cards at $20 apiece.MORE
Stuff a last-minute sales stocking
As the holiday sales season comes down to the wire, here's a quick way to generate a little more revenue, make readers smile and sell some more papers.
The Bay City Tribune in Texas, which circulates about 4,000 papers twice weekly, filled up two full pages at Halloween with photos of kids in costume, got a major business to sponsor the promotion and made $500. There's no reason the same plan can't work with Santa Claus.MORE
Create your own reality event
Take eight people, confine them to a pop up camper and a small outside area for a week, make up some challenges and tell them the winner gets the $10,000 camper. Watch newspaper sales soar.MORE
Reach into their (mobile) wallets
The owner of a media company based in West Virginia is testing his own digital coupon system that is available to local businesses without the need of an app.
"The idea behind it is, well, everybody carries their phones around with them," said Brian Jarvis, president of NCWV Media in Clarksburg, W.Va., and a new board member of SNPA.
Also, Jarvis notes, no one turns off their text message function. His system inserts coupons into the mobile wallets on smartphones and encourages consumers to text businesses to obtain coupons, discounts or a free gift.MORE
Too much leftovers
Over the summer, the folks at The Palm Beach Post in Florida realized they had "a very large stock" of aging spadea paper that had to be used fairly quickly. Spadea paper, used for premium advertising that folds or wraps around the front section of the newspaper, eventually ages to the point that it's no good. The unused stock of paper became one half of a special package that also featured premium positioning on the paper's website.MORE
North Carolina paper sells ads for elementary school folders
When elementary school children in Wilson, N.C., go home with communications folders for their parents, so do ads from The Wilson Times.
"Our advertisers love it, because it's not very often that we can give them an opportunity for something that will last so long. We give them visibility throughout the school year," said Shana Hoover, director of sales and marketing for The Times.
The promotion is in its second school year and was presented at a recent SNPA P2P video conference. The ad space sold out in a week, generating $6,455.MORE