Get Creative

Get Creative

The annual “MNA Daily Meeting” was held at Grandview Lodge in Nisswa at the end of last week (special thanks to the Brainerd Dispatch for hosting.) Newspaper publishers and advertising directors from across the state gathered to share their revenue generation strategies, with awards being presented to the most innovative advertising ideas in various categories.

Once again, our newspapers proved that time-tested ROP and Classified campaigns still work – they continue to provide a responsive audience at an aggressive CPM – but sometimes they require additionalenhancements to make them a viable solution to advertisers who have a long history of newspaper advertising, or to generate interest from non-traditional newspaper advertisers.

The overall message of the “MNA Daily Meeting” was clear: As newspapers (or as I prefer to call our members – News Media Companies) we must reinforce the importance of creative ROP and Classified concepts and execution in generating sustainable revenue growth, while at the same time leveraging our combined print and digital audience by adding an online component.

Not so long ago, our newspapers were limited to selling print ads in similar ad sizes. An advertiser could buy black and white ads, spot color ads or full color ads in many different sizes – but eighth-page, quarter-page, half-page, and full-page were most common. Desirable ad positions (such as front page or section front ads) were limited. Today, newspapers allow a broad range of creative ad positions, and in many cases inventory is limited only by demand. And on digital platforms, creative execution is virtually unlimited.

In the mid-to-late 1990s newspapers were launching first-generation websites that were governed by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) standard ad sizes. There were three sizes, and in many cases those ad sizes still comprise the majority of digital ads. Now OPA (Online Publishers Association) ads are emerging as advertiser favorites because they are larger and command greater reader attention.

Today, there is a plethora of premium ad positions (both in print and online) that lend themselves to being an eye-catching and imaginative platform – and not surprisingly – produce superior results for advertisers.Print: island ads, waterfall ads, bookend ads, checkerboard ads, goal post ads, L-ads, stairstep ads, gatefold extensions, spadea wraps, front page Sticky Notes. Online: home page wallpaper, home page takeover, fixed panels, XXL box, expanders, peelbacks, mouse-overs.)

The point is this: unique creative executions strategically placed in print or on digital channels produces increased audience engagement, stronger results, and higher advertiser retention rates than a standard ad message ever will.

Make sure you are well versed in the print and digital capabilities of your newspaper and don’t be shy about bundling them together and recommending a multichannel approach when it makes sense. Effectively doing so will position you as a smart and trusted business advisor to your clients, result in better response for your customers, and drive new and incremental revenue to your sales territory. WIN-WIN-WIN!

Have a terrific week,

If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at 612-278-0223 or


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.