Posts Tagged ‘Classifieds in Saskatchewan’

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:

New Study Reveals the Effectiveness of Local Digital Marketing

A February 2013 report by the CMO Council and Balihoo found that investing in local digital marketing was  an extremely effective way to connect with customers.One of the biggest challenges all marketers reportedly faced is effectively targeting their digital efforts to specific regions. To illustrate, while  15% of those surveyed felt that they were under performing in their local marketing efforts, only 7% considered themselves to be ahead of the curve in their local digital strategies.

Many marketers still placed priority on creating across-the-board marketing strategies, with 81% saying that a brands’ overall message was top priority. Also telling, 64% of respondents said they wanted to eliminate  customer confusion caused by conflicting branding messages.

Regarding local marketing platforms, the results revealed that most respondents still rely on corporate websites. From the study:

“Websites remain the primary means brand marketers have to engage customers locally, with 86% citing the corporate site as part of their local engagement strategy. About half of those surveyed also used corporate social media outreach to engage consumers at the local level. By contrast, only one-third of brand marketers reported maintaining a local website, and even fewer, 27%, operated local social pages.”

The following chart lists – by popularity – the different methods marketers reach out to a local audience:

While these numbers may suggest a lack of new strategies, it is important to note that the majority of those questioned stated that they were able to localize any campaign within 20 days. Further, out of those who rolled out a national and local campaign simultaneously (only 3% of respondents) 90% of those said it had a positive effect on their marketing campaign. These figures suggest that more marketing campaigns should and will incorporate a national and local strategy from the beginning.

OCNA Digital Media Study…Continued

Yesterday we wrote about the OCNA’s findings from a digital media study (read it here if you haven’t yet). Today we’d like to highlight an extremely valuable spreadsheet that the OCNA published that should be required of any business owner. The spreadsheet asks you to evaluate your business operations, to see what yor strenghts are, and more importantly, where you have room to grow.

Click here to download the spreadsheet.

OCNA releases findings from community newspaper study!

The Ontario Community Newspaper Association recently commissioned Borrell Associates  to study community newspaper publishing in the U.S. and Canada. The purpose of the study, which can be read in its entirety here, was to help community newspapers develop an online strategy. The key findings are listed below:

▶ 74% of community and smaller-circulation newspapers expect to sell more (online?) advertising in 2013
than in 2012, with 19% predicting no change and 7% budgeting for a decline.
▶ Every newspaper had a website, with an average of 3.5 page views per visit.
▶ Online revenue accounted for an average of 7% of total revenue, while mobile was just under 0.6% and
concentrated at the higher-circulation end of the participants.
▶ Flat-rate agreements or sponsorships are sold by 92% of newspapers, while only 59% are offering CPM
▶ Almost all (98%) of publishers say that print advertising yields the best ROI for media companies.
▶ Almost all (98%) of community newspapers offer banner ads/ROS/untargeted display, with 84% offering
sponsorships and 83% selling business directory listings.
▶ Auto is the vertical likely to have the highest online growth, with 63% of newspapers projecting increased
revenue in 2013.
▶ Content management system satisfaction levels are mediocre. Although 10% said that they were “very
satisfied”, 52% were only “somewhat satisfied and 24% registered varying levels of dissatisfaction.
▶ BLOX-TownNews is the most widely Used system (35%)
▶ Although DoubleClick is (at 19%) the most common ad serving platform – followed by Blox (14%), Yahoo
(9%) and DTI (9%) – there are at least 15 other platforms used by community newspapers.

Tune in tomorrow, where we will be going over more of the findings!

The Four P’s of Marketing

One of our regular contributors, John Foust, has written an excellent article about the four P’s of marketing. Also known as the Marketing Mix, the four P’s have been a marketing maxim for 50 years. John Foust has applied this bedrock theory of marketing and has written on it in a way that lends itself to newspaper advertising. For you who are responsible for organizing advertisements in your newspaper, this article should serve as a refresher on what your advertisers are looking for and how your newspaper can help them achieve those goals.

Marketing is not a one-note tune. In fact, most marketing textbooks feature meticulous descriptions of the Four P’s of marketing – four elements which work together in the creation of a successful campaign. If any one of the four is lacking, failure is a likely possibility.

Media sales people should have a fundamental understanding of these Four P’s. Here’s a quick look:

Product: This represents the product or service offered to consumers. If the product is something that the public would like to own, there is a ready-made marketplace.

I must mention that there is a big difference between a want and a need. Just because someone needs a product or service doesn’t mean that he or she will want to buy it. And just because that person needs a particular product doesn’t mean that any brand in that category will do.

You may need basic transportation, but you want a certain kind of sports car. You may need athletic shoes, but you want Nikes. You may need a house, but you want to live in a particular neighborhood.

Price: Think of the classic television show “The Price is Right.” Pricing strategies create delicate balances. From the seller’s perspective, pricing should meet desired profit margins. From the consumer’s point of view, a price that seems too high for perceived value will seem out of line. And a price that is too low for perceived value will suggest poor quality.

Whatever the price, discounts can be offered to boost sales.

Place: This concerns distribution. Where can consumers find the product? Can they try it on or test drive it in a local store, then buy it and take it home? Do they have to order it – in the store or online? How will they receive it? Does the store have convenient hours? What if inventories are low and the product is out of stock? If it has to be ordered, how long will delivery take?

Product availability is a huge key. Many a sale has been lost because of distribution delays.

Promotion: Essentially, promotion is communication. How do you let your target audience know about the advantages of the product or service?

Here’s where advertising enters the picture. Promotion is one piece of the marketing puzzle. And advertising is one component of promotion – just as public relations, special events and sponsorships are components of promotion.
Recent textbooks have added a fifth P to the formula: People. Without adequate customer service, all of the other P’s don’t add up to a hill of beans or – ahem – peas.

Sadly, some smaller businesses have little or no understanding of the marketing P’s. Of course, they know the importance of each individual element, but they don’t see the connections. That’s where you can help them see the big picture – and set reasonable expectations for their advertising.

After all, the best ad campaign in the world can’t sell a product that is not available or priced incorrectly or lacking in customer service.


(c) Copyright 2013 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:

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

Study Reveals Effectiveness of Flyers

An October study by the Flyer Distribution Standards Association (FDSA) released a national study that sought to find out the usage of print and online flyers, catalogues, coupons and samples, and how consumers engaged with them. The study, which can be viewed here, collected 1,760 online interviews with Canadians 18 and over.

In their own words, the study’s objectives were:

  • Measure usage of printed flyers, online flyers, catalogues, samples and coupons.
  • Establish how frequently Canadians would like to receive flyers.
  • Determine the usage of printed and online flyers, catalogues, samples and coupons for information about where to purchase and pricing of a variety of products and services.
  • Find out about actions taken as a result of viewing a flyer.
  • Break out results by demographic category.

The study revealed that:

  • More people were exposed to print flyers than online flyers.
  • Ninety-one percent of those interviewed welcomed flyers.
  • Eighty-three percent would prefer to get flyers more than once a week.
  • Seventy-seven percent of English-speaking Canadians visited a store within one week as a result of seeing the flyer.
  • Sixty percent of English-speaking Canadians purchased a product as a result of seeing the flyer.

This study revealed the efficiency of using flyers for your advertising – especially if it is placed within a trusted newspaper.

How to Work with Ad Agencies

With experience on both the ad agency and media sides of the business, I’ve learned some lessons about relationships between the two.

There are often clashes between agencies and the media. In most case, the friction between these two key players in the marketing world comes down to two things: control and money. Both want more control of advertisers’ media placement decisions. And both are in business to make money.

Friction doesn’t help either side. And it certainly doesn’t help advertisers.

Here are a few things that media representatives can do to strengthen relationships with ad agencies:

1. Encourage open communication all around. No doubt, things are simpler when the media can communicate directly with a local advertiser. But once that advertiser employs an ad agency, things change.

An ad agency is a lot like a sports agent. Just like an athlete does not deal alone with a team, an ad agency’s client wants the agency to be part of discussions with the media.

Work to build rapport with the agency. Keep them in the loop. After all, you have the same goal: to generate customers for the advertiser.

2. Be careful with spec ideas. I’ve lost count of the media folks who have complained about ad agencies not wanting to see their ideas for ad campaigns. But that should be no surprise. The primary product of an agency is its creativity. That’s the one thing that differentiates Agency A from Agency B. There may not be much difference in the ways agencies crunch numbers and place ads for clients. But there’s a world of difference in their creative philosophies.

The creative product is what you see on their web sites and in their portfolio books and demos. Creativity is their bread and butter. It’s what catches the attention of potential clients. They’re not about to let outsiders take over that part of their business.

3. Don’t try to bypass the agency. Some media representatives – especially those with accounts who have recently hired ad agencies – get frustrated with the new arrangement. They don’t like having additional decision makers or longer approval times. As a result, they are often tempted to try an end run around the agency.

Bad move. It’s not worth risking rapport to meet a tight deadline.

4. Remember that media buyers are numbers people. In most agencies, the media buyers are removed from the creative team. While the copywriters and designers are hammering out ideas, testing offers and measuring concepts against marketing strategies, the media department is analyzing audience statistics and comparing cost-per-thousand figures.

Rarely the twain shall meet. Creatives are right-brainers who don’t spend time with spreadsheets and media buyers are left-brainers who don’t think much about copy.

So when you’re selling to media buyers, talk about numbers – specifics not generalities. And be sure to send updates on your readership figures.

It’s all about getting in step with customers. Whether they’re on the advertiser or the agency side, it’s important to see things from their perspective.


(c) Copyright 2013 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:

The power of the right story

For those who follow our blog, you’ve likely come to recognize John Foust, who is a regular contributor. In this week’s article, John highlights the power of storytelling in your advertisements:

Thomas knows the power of storytelling. “I’ve found that the right stories help me sell more advertising,” he said. “After all, prospects are like everyone else. They like to hear stories and examples of things that have happened to other people.

Thomas is right. Every sales person should have an arsenal of stories for a variety of purposes – to establish credibility, illustrate product benefits and answer objections.

“Sales stories shouldn’t go on and on forever,” he said. “They must be focused and to-the-point, with a clear beginning, middle and end. And I’ve learned that it shouldn’t take long to get to the end. There are a lot of approaches, but the formula I like best is known as SPAR – Situation, Problem, Action and Result.”

John Foust then discusses different types of storytelling, breaking it down into a Situation, Problem and Result. The purpose of any advertising storytelling is to have a specific story arch that highlights a cause and effect. Don’t speak in generalities and don’t leave a story unfinished:

Let’s take a look at Thomas’ storytelling technique:

Situation: “In this step, take a moment to set the stage,” Thomas explained, “For example, you could say, ‘Three months ago, I was working with the Ace Widget Company on a new ad campaign. They had advertised with our paper on occasion, but most of their budget had been spent in other areas.’ In just a couple of sentences, this gives your listener a snapshot of Ace Widget’s situation.”

Problem: “This is where you isolate a specific problem or challenge. Don’t use generalities like, ‘Their advertising wasn’t working.’ Narrow the problem to a challenge that can be easily visualized by your prospect, something like, ‘The main problem with Ace Widget’s advertising was that they were not running ads that generated measurable results. Their ads described their products, but there was no compelling reason for readers to respond immediately.’

“See the difference?” Thomas asked. Now your prospect has a clear picture of what the Ace Widget Company was facing. Of course, that problem should relate to the problem you want to solve for the person who is listening to your story. That’s why it’s important to have a range of stories for different types of challenges faced by advertisers.”
Action: “Here’s the solution,” Thomas said. “Describe – briefly and without exaggerating – the action you took to solve Ace Widget’s specific problem. You might say, ‘After analyzing the problem, I recommended a series of ads promoting discounts on several key products. We tested various discount techniques (for example: half-price, then two-for-the-price-of-one – which is essentially the same offer).’”

Result: “This is the payoff, the point where you show how well the action worked. Your result statement could be something like, ‘During the first month of the campaign, the sales of Ace Widgets’ advertised products increased by 20 percent. By creating measurable results, they have been able to tweak their overall strategy and get more mileage from their marketing budget. This is a big change, because now they have a good feel for what works.’

“There’s the happy ending,” Thomas said.

This technique can add depth to your sales presentations. Every story has a hero. And with a SPAR story, the hero is your newspaper.


(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:

Radio Nanaimo Goes Live

The Nanaimo Daily News made its official foray into radio last Thursday, becoming the first community newspaper to have its own radio service. Radio Nanaimo opened with three music stations – country, oldies and mixed music – that includes weather reports every 30-minutes and editorial, which will be produced by Nanaimo Daily News reporters.

To create this broadcasting venture, the Nanaimo Daily News partnered with VING Radio Network, which will be expanded to Glacier Media papers throughout Vancouver Island. Russ Wag, the general manager of VING Radio Network, feels that the partnership is a great opportunity to utilize the expertise of both parties, calling it “the perfect marriage of broadcast experience with the expertise and resources we already have.”

Hugh Nicholson, publisher of the Nanaimo Daily News, thinks that listeners will be thrilled with a radio station that will have longer periods of uninterrupted music and quality editorial content. Hugh was also encouraged by the opportunity for a new advertising revenue stream.