Posts Tagged ‘Classifieds in Manitoba’

Newspapers Canada Offering SEO Webinar on March 26th

Newspapers Canada has been offering online webinars as a cost-effective way to train newspaper staff and we feel  that BCYCNA members would find next week’s webinar extremely valuable.  On Tuesday, March 26th, Newspaper Canada is hosting part II of an SEO webinar series.  The event is co-hosted by Steve Buors, co-founder and CEO of Reshift Media Inc., and Carly Steven, V.P. of Search, Reshift Media Inc.

The webinar will be a “hands-on review” of SEO best practices to improve your websites search engine ranking. You will learn about the basics of search engines and the layout of a search results page. The webinar will educate participants on the difference between SEO for Google and Google News, and how to tailor your strategy for each.

This webinar is ideal for publishers and journalists who are doing their SEO in-house and would like to increase their online presence.

The seminar costs $25.00 and runs from 12:00-1:00 PM. To purchase your ticket, go to:

Take Inventory of your Newsmakers

Jim Pumario was kind enough to pass along an excellent article he wrote about knowing your local newsmakers. We have decided to re-publish the article in full:

Here’s an action item for your next newsroom meeting: Ask reporters to identify the community newsmakers. Better yet, bring a stack of newspapers from the last couple of months and circle the newsmakers receiving attention in words and photos.

Several individuals are likely to be on the list, no matter the community: for example, the mayor and city council president; the superintendent and school board chair; the county’s chief administrator and the county board chair; local legislators; the heads of key local commissions and task forces. And these folks probably appear with some regularity.

You get the drift. Newsrooms by and large do a commendable job of writing for the source, especially when it comes to public affairs reporting. Public officials speak, and their statements are recorded. Their comments should be given proper notice.

At the same time, newspapers are shortchanging their readers – their customers – if they do not expand their definition of and explore the range of newsmakers. In other words, spend time to identify the players at the core of community conversations.

For example:

  • A city council debates the merits of building a skateboard park. Reporters capture the flavor of the public hearings where proponents and opponents step to the microphone. The comments of the planning commission and city council members are recorded as they cast their final votes. But have you gone beyond the meetings? Have you taken the time to observe youths doing skateboard tricks on the downtown sidewalks, navigating their way among pedestrians? Have you asked business owners and pedestrians – some who may be annoyed by the youths, some who sympathize with the lack of a park – on the pluses and minuses of creating a park? Have you talked with the parents of the kids?
  • A county board considers a conditional-use permit for an expanded feedlot operation. Reporters attend the public hearing, noting the debate and recording commissioner votes.  But have you gone beyond the meetings? Have you toured the feedlot operation firsthand? Have you visited the neighbors to witness their concerns over odor and increased traffic?

Today’s challenging media landscape demands that editors and reporters thoroughly examine their coverage and ask the question: Are we relevant to our readers? Are our news columns dominated by the same set of newsmakers, or are we digging beneath the surface to identify the full cast of characters? Are we writing our stories for the individuals at the top, or tail end, of the news pyramid without giving proper attention to everyone else in the pyramid whose actions collectively represent the full dynamics of a story?

This exercise of scrutinizing coverage goes beyond examining the meetings of local governing bodies. Editors and reporters should regularly brainstorm all aspects of everyday coverage. It can be as easy as tracking down and inserting other voices beyond what is forwarded in a press release or presented at an event.

Consider a big-box retailer that opens as the anchor of a new strip mall on the edge of town. What’s the anticipated impact on the downtown shopping district? Will the discount store strengthen the city as a regional retail center? Gaining these perspectives is just as important as recording the welcoming comments of the mayor at the grand opening. In addition, the stories provide many new faces and names beyond the traditional newsmakers.

Here’s a challenge the next time your staff is brainstorming coverage for a story of community significance. Reporters are certain to rattle off the usual lineup of individuals to solicit perspectives. Some may be appropriate and, indeed, mandatory to contact. But don’t adjourn your session until you’ve come up with at least a handful of individuals who rarely, if ever, are mentioned in your newspaper. Make it a priority to seek their opinions.

Expanding your bucket of newsmakers is all about going beyond the story that is served on the platter. Make no mistake, digging beneath the surface takes legwork – and produces long-term benefits. The enriched coverage is more interesting, and you’ll likely pick up some new readers.

Jim Pumarlo writes, speaks and provides training on Community Newsroom Success Strategies. His newest book is “Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage for Beginning and Veteran Journalists.” He also is author of “Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Coverage” and “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in a Small-Town Newspaper.” He can be contacted at and welcomes comments and questions at

How Losing a Sale can be Good for Business

“As crazy as it sounds, losing a sale can be good for business,” Gerald told me. “It offers a unique chance to build rapport over a long period of time. And when they conduct another advertising review, I’ll be in a better position than before.”

To put it simply, a sales presentation has three possible outcomes: (1) yes, (2) no, or (3) not yet. The good news – for Gerald and other optimistic sales people – is that “no” can be interpreted as “not yet,” instead of “never.” This means there is hope for a future sale, even when the last attempt wasn’t successful. Rapport is a huge element in turning today’s “not yet” into next month’s or next year’s “yes.”

“Selling advertising is all about relationships,” he said. “When there’s not good rapport, even an existing advertiser will find it easier to drop out of the paper if there’s a bump in the road ahead.”

Dale Carnegie wrote, “If you have a lemon, make a lemonade.” With those words in mind, here are some tips to strengthen rapport after a lost sale:

Step 1: Thank sincerely. Gerald’s strategy is to thank a prospect immediately after a presentation. And if they decide not to buy, he thanks them again – with a handwritten note or an e-mail.

“Unless it is a rare circumstance, I drop the must-buy-from-me persona. Some sales people say, ‘Thank you, and by the way, you should reconsider this list of selling points,’ but I disagree. That not-so-subtle message is, ‘You made a bad decision, and here’s your chance to correct it.’ That’s no way to build rapport.

“I simply thank them for their consideration, wish them success – and tell them that I am looking forward to staying in touch.”

Step 2: Keep in touch on a regular basis. “Okay, now that I’ve told them I’m going to stay in touch, I actually stay in touch,” Gerald explained. “Top-of-mind-awareness is just as important in selling as it is in advertising. People like to do business with people they know.”

Because Gerald is genuinely interested in people, it is easy to learn about their interests. He sends occasional links to articles about favorite teams and hobbies. And he makes sure to chat with them at various networking events around town.

Step 3: Monitor the advertising. “Because I want another shot at their business in the future, I follow their marketing,” Gerald said. “At some point along the way, they may ask for feedback on a particular aspect of their ads. The faster I respond, the better my chances of being heard.

“That’s an open door to another sales presentation – and maybe a bigger sale than I would have made if they had said “yes” the first time. The difference is that now we know each other pretty well.”

Gerald has found another benefit. “I’ve gotten some unexpected referrals,” he said. “People not only like to buy from people they know. They like to refer friends to people they know.”


(c) Copyright 2012 by John Foust. All rights reserved.


John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information:

What Do Customers Want?

By John Foust

We all know that sales people should sell benefits. We know that advertising should emphasize benefits. And we know that people buy benefits.

What kinds of benefits do customers want? According to Don, who has been in the advertising business for many years, “It all comes down to: more, better, faster or cheaper. You can talk about other things, but if you don’t show them how your product or service offers at least one of these four, they’re not going to buy.”

Let’s take a look:

1. More: When you’re preparing for a sales presentation, ask yourself if your publication has more coverage than in previous years. Can you offer advertisers more ads for the same dollars? Do you offer extra marketing or analytical services that may appeal to certain businesses?

“When you’re thinking of ad ideas in this category,” Don said, “the most obvious example is a two-for-the-price-of-one offer – or buy-one-get one free. This tactic has been around for a long time, because it works so well.”

There are plenty of other choices. As you’re gathering information, look beyond pricing. Find out if your advertiser has additional services. Or new locations. Or expanded business hours.

2. Better: Every business claims to be better than the competition. The challenge is to be specific. Two questions: (1) Exactly what is it that makes your widget better? (2) Can you communicate that without using the word “quality?”

In my opinion, “quality” is the most overused word in advertising. Usually, it doesn’t mean anything.

Do you know what distinguishes “quality construction” from other types? Do you know the characteristics of “top quality service?” Do you have a good understanding of what “better quality” means? Neither do I. And neither do your customers.

Now, this is not to say that “quality” should never be used in selling or advertising. Just don’t use it in general terms.

3. Faster: We live in a get-it-done-now age. E-mail, texting, speed dating, overnight delivery, drive-in windows – it’s all a reflection of our demand to get things in a hurry.

While writing this paragraph, I did a Google search on “consumer demand for speed.” The search generated over 4 million results in .14 seconds. That’s point-one-four seconds. What took so long?

Healthcare has its own version of speed dating. A medical organization in Texas has a program to help people choose primary care physicians in five-minute interviews.

When it’s time for an oil change, I usually go to a place that offers fast service. Why should I wait an hour somewhere else, when it can be done in 20 minutes? Same oil, faster service.

On the highway, “speed kills.” But in the marketplace, “speed sells.”

4. Cheaper: “Price can be a huge motivator,” Don said. “Even with luxury items – or premium advertising space – people like to get bargains.”

The key is to provide specifics. How much can your customers save? How deep is the discount? How long will the sale last?

(c) Copyright 2012 by John Foust. All rights reserved.

John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information:

Newspapers Are Still Vitally Important

While digital technologies are giving rise to new forms of newspaper distribution, print continues to be the primary format for Canadian adults when it comes to reading newspapers.

A new study conducted by Totum Research on behalf of Newspaper Canada revealed that the majority of adult readers prefers print over other formats, such as websites, phones or tablets, although many of those are also used over the course of a day.

As the research points out, print continues to be unabated in mornings and evenings, with digital formats gaining momentum at different times of a day. The dominance of physical newspaper is particularly noticeable in the boomers’ age group, where 63 per cent choose print over other formats.

On a weekend morning, all adult age groups favour print newspaper over other formats, particularly during breakfast and before lunch. And the time of day seems to be the primary factor also when it comes to information interests.

Click here to read the full study.

Canadian Newspapers Honoured by Society for News Design

The National Post and The Grid, a free weekly paper owned by Torstar, have been named the World’s Best-Designed newspapers by the Society for News Design. The two Canadian papers were among five publications singled out by the SND for their outstanding print design at the 33rd annual Best of News Design Creative Competition. Judges evaluated entries from over 70 countries around the world and awarded prizes based on a number of criteria including writing, visual storytelling, photography/graphics, headlines and overall design.

The World’s Best-Designed category is one part of the larger Best of News Design competition which includes 18 other categories. The National Post received a total of 59 awards at the annual competition, second only to the Los Angeles Times which received 62. A number of other Canadian papers were honoured with awards of excellence, the Toronto Star received 10 while The Globe and Mail received nine.

Click here to read more.

Selling is a business of words

By John Foust, Raleigh, NC

Ad agency legend David Ogilvy once wrote, “Advertising is a business of words.” The same can be said for selling. The right word can make a sale, and the wrong word can lose a sale.

Sharp sales people are aware that certain words call for special handling. Generally speaking, these are common expressions that seem harmless at first glance – but can communicate the wrong message or the wrong tone. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

1. “Advertising cost.” Cost suggests spending. When it comes to money, business people don’t like to think of spending. “Investment” is a better word, because it indicates that there will be a return on their money.

Don’t send the wrong signal. Talk about investing, instead of spending. After all, ROI (return on investment) has been a hot business acronym for years.

2. “Sign here.” When it’s time to close the sale, some prospects flinch at words that suggest an iron-clad, formal agreement. “Sign” is cold. It makes the document sound like a treaty.

It’s better to say, “Just approve here,” or “All we need is your autograph here.” It’s even stronger to follow up with a benefit statement like, “…and we’ll get to work on that ad idea we’ve worked out.”

3. “But.” This little word has big implications. Consider what happens when a sales person says, “I like your idea, BUT it might work better with a change in the headline.”

The word “but” voids the first part of the statement. It says, “Forget what I just said. Here’s the bad news.” And it can make the speaker sound condescending and corrective.

It’s better to substitute “and” for “but.” The statement now becomes, “I like your idea, AND it might work even better with a change in the headline.” See the difference? Although only one word has changed, the statement is less confrontational.

4. Waffle words. “Kinda,” “sorta,” and “basically” are puny words that have joined “you know” in the fuzzy thinker’s vocabulary.

What do these words say about a sales person? At best, they are evidence of bad communication habits. At worst, they suggest that he or she is an indecisive person who has a hard time being specific.

I laugh every time I hear an athlete say, “Basically, we were trying to keep our momentum going.” What does “basically” add to this sentence? Nothing.

5. “You’ll have to…” This phrase creeps into a lot of conversations:

Advertiser: “I need help with my ad design.”

Sales person: “You’ll have to talk to someone in our creative department.”

In reality, your advertisers don’t “have to” do anything. By placing ads in your publication – or on your website – they have put their trust in you to help them grow their businesses. It’s more respectful to substitute “I’ll be glad to” for “You’ll have to.”

Advertiser: “I need help with my ad design.”

Sales person: “I’ll be glad to introduce you to our design team. Let’s set an appointment.”

It’s all a matter of using the right words.

(c) Copyright 2012 by John Foust. All rights reserved.

John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information:

Understanding Community Media

Community media continue to be vitally important to the communities they serve. At least that is the conclusion of Compass24, an extensive study of community media conducted by Ads24. While aiming to uncover recent shifts in readership, demographics and spend patterns of community newspapers, the study also serves as an important tool for advertisers.

Linda Gibson, the CEO of Ads24, pointed out in an interview with Glenda Nevill how “community newspapers provide the perfect opportunity for brands to be more specific, less generic and to showcase their commitment to their customers by being present and involved in their communities.” By understanding the consumption patterns of community newspapers, advertisers are hence able to direct their investment more effectively.

The Compass24 highlights the pertaining relevance of community media, which are expected to provide a differentiated editorial offering from what readers would find in general newspapers. With their focus on local happenings, community newspapers also tend to attract readers, who do not read mainstream newspapers regularly. Although the study focused on South African market, the scale of the study, which included 72 titles, indicates a larger pattern of consumption that could be relevant to other media landscapes.

Click here to read the full article.

Community Newspapers – Snapshot of 2011

Newspapers Canada made a fun summary of the community newspapers survey results of 2011. Click here to view the pdf version.

Did you know that?

  • Every week in Canada, over 1,000 community newspapers circulate over 19 million copies in key metropolitan areas, rural and remote regions, and all areas in between;
  • Community Newspapers are able to target communities like no other medium and are often the only choice for local news and information relevant to readers in the community. They represent the neighbourhood they serve;
  • The readership of community newspapers is strong - 74% of adults are reading a community newspaper every week. Furthermore, community newspapers reach 77% of women—more than any other medium—a key demographic difficult to reach with other media;
  • Community Newspapers are trusted more than any other medium, 41% states that newspapers are the medium to check out ads;
  • The community newspaper’s websites are delivering local information to the community and the neighbouring region at the touch of a button, they become the town square online;
  • Community newspaper readers are committed to their papers with two-thirds reading all or most of the publication;
  • Readers on average share the paper with 2.4 additional readers;
  • Readers want the ads: Almost half of readers indicate there are days when they read the community newspaper as much for the ads as for the news;
  • Readers want the flyers: Community newspapers are a popular vehicle for inserts and advertising supplements. More than a third of readers cite flyers as one of their main reasons for reading their community newspaper.

If you are interested in more readership facts and wish to read the entire survey then click here to view the pdf.

Newspapers are THE Source for Product Information

According to a new study by the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms (CCPRF), 86% of Canadians turn to newspapers to get more product/service information, when they consider buying a new product or service.

The study also shows that traditional media, such as newspapers, is a more preferred and trusted source for product information  rather than using new media sources such as company websites, blogs and social media.

The Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms (CCPRF) analyzed the dynamics of influence on the shopping habits of over 1,000 adults in September 2011.

Read more about the study here.

If you are ready to place a classified ad after reading this study then click here to start placing your order. With Community Classifieds you can make use of traditional media for just a fraction of the price.