Our Basic Newspaper Advertising Sales Course

Ad sales training to help you to start selling fast in your new territory
This is a sample showing just the first four chapters of this course. Buy the full course here starting at $59 
© 2015 Robert McInnis Consulting


Many people, granted most of them in the newspaper industry, regard the publishing of a newspaper as nothing short of a miracle.


Every week, day, or month—depending on your publishing schedule—writers, advertising salespeople, designers, production people, pressmen and women, truck drivers and countless other employees work together to manufacture and deliver an entirely different, completely new product.


And with your digital product, this cycle, or course, repeats dramatically faster.


As you'll find, this unusual aspect of the newspaper industry will make your job exciting at times and extremely frustrating at others.


So let's talk about the major departments that you'll find at your publication. The actual content comes from two separate departments. The ads, whether they be what many refer to as "display" ads (the ones with the borders around them) or "line" ads (the categorized listings of text ads usually found in the classified section) are sold and often produced by the advertising department. So are the digital ads that run in your online publication.


Everything else--the news, features, columns, photos, and stock quotes--all of that comes from the editorial department and is referred to as "editorial content" or simply "editorial".


However, some advertising departments will write their own editorial for certain special sections and features. This allows the advertising department to offer advertisers a deal that's hard to refuse: Buy an ad and also get a free story written about your business. For obvious reasons, this kind of story is typically called "advertorial", and it often wouldn't have made it into the publication through the normal editorial route.


While it's a helpful way to sell advertisers into a special section, be careful that you don't train your advertisers that the only time it's worth running in your publication is when a free story is offered. In fact, many publications won't allow advertorials because they think it diminishes the integrity of their publication and makes it harder to sell without them.


Whatever the case, their ads should get enough of a response to keep them happy without any additional advertorial. You can learn more about these special sections in the upcoming pages about the various products publications sell.


But back to the miracle. All of this content has to be printed on presses and, in most cases, published online. Sometimes the print edition is printed in the same building as you work, other times in a remote location. Many newspapers find it less expensive to have it printed by somebody else.


Then the newspaper has to be delivered, which is one of the things the circulation department takes care of. This department also spends a considerable amount of time encouraging people to read your publication. It might have a phone room set up where telemarketers call and ask people to subscribe. They're probably very active in the community as well, maintaining a presence at many of the area's major events.


There are all sorts of other departments, too. For example, the billing department bills the advertisers who advertise, the credit department determines who is eligible for credit, the human resources department keeps track of hiring, firing, and other employment issues. These departments can be spread throughout the building or sometimes even located within your advertising department.


Many newspapers, when time permits, arrange for salespeople to spend anywhere from half an hour to half a day sitting in some of these departments, getting a better feel for what they do. If, in the next few days, you find yourself feeling abandoned while the rest of the advertising department is distracted by some special section or other initiative, you might want to suggest this to your manager.


At the very least, you'll find that many departments will be happy to share with you what other salespeople do that drive them crazy and how you can avoid doing the same thing.


Let's get into more detail about each major department.


Next: The Editorial Department

Your Publication: Introduction

ABOUT THIS SITE  |  This site is the home of Bob McInnis' Response Oriented Selling newspaper ad sales training program. It also shares a number of insights as well as offers a basic new hires program for brand new ad reps just looking to stabilize their territory.


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