Fort Dodge school calendar generates $10,000 in revenue

Another entry from SNPA's Best Revenue Contest

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The Messenger of Fort Dodge, Iowa, generated more than $10,000 with its Fort Dodge School Calendar this past year.

The paper's school calendar is distributed entirely by the school district.  It is filled with all of the information families need to know about for the upcoming school year.  Picture day to athletic events to early outs – everything is in the calendar.

Advertising Director David Jakeman says, "Advertisers know this is a great year-round opportunity to get their business in front of the faces of parents throughout the entire community."

He offers the following advice to other newspapers that want to produce a similar calendar in their markets:

  • "Do not limit yourself to the typical advertisers for ad support – think outside of the box and remember that the publication will be highly visible at schools, homes and offices throughout the community as parents hang it up to keep track of activities and events.
  • "Make sure to get the information from your local school in enough time to allow multiple proofs to the school to ensure the accuracy of all the information; our local school works on the information throughout the year and gets it to us in early summer to start putting the publication together for a late July or early August delivery."

Read below what some of our contest judges had to say about this entry.  And, add your own comments.

View previous articles about contest entries at this link (plus additional revenue-generating ideas not entered into the contest).  Here's a quick link to the first-place winner).  Every week, for a number of weeks to come, we'll look at additional contest entries.  Keep reading your eBulletin and checking this site for more proven revenue-generating ideas.

Fort Dodge, revenue


9 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • CCrittendon13

    A captive audience, this must work really well in a market with only one school district. Have been wanting to implement something like this, and have been worrying about juggling four school districts with all this information. However, it is a really nice way to get an advertiser's message to parents!

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 Report this

  • Nice initiative! Schools could benefit as well with expense savings. Not only the parent audience, but an avenue to attract the young reader too?

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 Report this

  • Pat Taylor

    I like the fact that this could be zoneable for different school districts, and the print run is small for each district because of the distribution method. Should be able to get a premium and still keep rates below the newspaper rate card, which encourages small biz and booster ads. Sell ads for all districts or just one and maximize the effort. The hardest part of this might be trying to pin down the school system to hard calendar dates!

    Friday, November 1, 2013 Report this

  • mmulholland

    Nice project that benefits both the community and the newspaper.

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Report this

  • jack.perkins

    I love this idea, especially as a parent who often feels uninformed. Good revenue also.

    Friday, November 8, 2013 Report this

  • jnoel0921

    Another example of a great way to provide advertisers a unique way to reach their audience.

    Friday, November 8, 2013 Report this

  • jsowell

    I LOVE this! Great way to work with the school district(s) and keep the parents informed. Great revenue source.

    Friday, November 8, 2013 Report this

  • drussell

    Good way to grab some non-traditional advertisers and create a nine month audience for those who participate. This idea can be used anywhere.

    Monday, November 11, 2013 Report this

  • dherlinger

    Good idea with a targeted audience. Good way for advertisers to reach parents. I like how the school district distributes it for you.

    Monday, November 11, 2013 Report this

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