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Big Ideas for Smaller Newspapers: Publishers Receive Tips at NAA Convention

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Big Ideas for Smaller Newspapers: Publishers Receive Tips at NAA Convention

Article excerpt

REVENUE-GENERATING IDEAS for newspapers with circulations under 75,000 were on the agenda at the annual convention of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) in New Orleans.

At the annual Sunday morning session called "Big Ideas for Smaller-Market Newspapers," success stories involving everything from special sections to online services were discussed.

Dave Tipton, owner of TIP Enterprises and Small Print, Peru, Ind., served as session moderator. In addition to presenting new ideas, he discussed some "Golden Oldies," successful projects from years past.

The following is a selection of ideas from the session. Many were produced as joint efforts of departments, while others were developed as advertising-specific projects. All of the ideas were compiled in a booklet, "Big Ideas for Smaller-Market Newspapers," available through the NAA.

* From the San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times: Develop value cards that enable real estate agents to increase their advertising.

Sell by phone, direct mail, and face-to-face, offering agents 53 Sundays for the price of 52.

* From the Daily Reflector in Greenville, N.C.: Create a "County Fact Book" that, essentially, serves as an annual guide to organizations and services throughout the community for residents.

Overruns can be used through the year for various marketing purposes, including subscription drives, on-site event marketing and general community public relations.

* From the Advocate Co. Ltd. of Barbados, West Indies: Conduct a weekly newspaper contest, in which the object is to win an advertiser's product or service.

The company, for instance, hired a graphic artist who developed a cartoon character; then, from many look-alike characters, readers were asked to find the correct one and send in an entry.

A grand prize of $20,000 was offered by Advocate Co.

* From the Sunbury, Pa., Daily Item: Create a summertime "hot coupon savings page" promotion. Appeal to local merchants' desire to maintain store traffic during the summer months by running money-saving coupons in the paper.

* From the Greeneville (Tenn.) Sun: Mail a contract-renewal letter to advertisers when their contract expires.

The letter should contain information about rates, circulation and frequent-buyer programs. …

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