Print advertising sales people need to tell their story

By Peter Wagner
Many of today’s print advertising sales people aren’t selling. They’re not getting face-to-face
with potential customers and they are not telling their story.
Too many print advertising professionals are simply getting by, slowing losing their
customer base, soliciting new and repeat advertising by email.
You and I know how that works. We all get dozens of sales proposals by email every day.
My usual response is a quick push of the delete key. I don’t even take time to respond with
a No, thank you.
Newspaper and shopper sales representatives have to put much of the blame on
themselves for the newspapers are dying statements echoed by the various electronic
and digital media companies. We are not putting up any defense. We are not telling our
History has proven the printed record is the one society depends upon to recall past facts
and interpret the present. Digital files can be fleeting, are mostly undocumented and often
are nothing more than personal opinion or harmful propaganda.
Here are some reasons your community needs and should
support their local paper.
More important, here is why local advertisers will still reach the greatest number of
committed, local buyers through printed publications. These are key points listed below should be included
in your valuable, important story.

  • OUTREACH. Social media and locally produced websites, postings and blogs only
    reach select groups of like-minded followers. They only confirm the thoughts of a
    minority and split the community. Community publications reach deep into all the various
    social and economic levels to create consensus and positive action. They have
    have a long shelf life. Printed media are credible and are often referred
    to for everything within the community.
  • READERSHIP. Contrary to populist edicts, the local printed media still reaches readers of all
    age groups and all interests. That’s why publishers put so much emphasis on
    a well-edited, extensive mix of local news, scholastic and recreational sports,
    previews and coverage of local entertainment and family-fun activities as well as both
    opinion and commentary pieces. Even the local papers’ advertising helps guarantee cross-
    culture readership with information on everything from that week’s grocery specials to
    the specially priced spring tune-ups at the local bike shop.
  • PROFESSIONALISM. No one business is so well prepared to offer readers and
    advertisers a more professional mix of news and advertising services, Printed media
    can provide everything from quality writing and editing to fresh and effective design at
    one quick stop. Publication readers can be sure they will get a great, hometown
    publication complete with the latest details on everything they want to know.
    Advertisers can be equally sure their message will be perfectly presented to the exact
    audience they want to reach.
  • LOCAL EXPERTS. The local paper shares the ideas and opinions of local experts
    from the clergy to the local historian to hometown chefs in columns that both
    enlighten and cause readers to dig deeper and get more involved in the community.
    Those same columnists each have a local following who are potential customers at
    local stores.
  • A CONNECTION WITH THE FAMOUS. The local printed media is often the first, and
    sometimes only, local stop for any politician, actor or artist, activists of other nationally
    or regionally known individuals visiting the community. Through their articles and
    photographs, the publication shares the excitement and purpose of the visit with the
  • THE PAPER IS NON-INTRUSIVE. Unlike Facebook and other social media sites, the
    printed media keeps the reader’s names, addresses, views and interests private. The
    local paper does not collect and sell their reader’s comments, interests or
    secrets that are gleaned by reading the electronic exchanges between paying users
    of some international non-traditional information service.
  • PAPERS ARE ESSENTIAL. Reporters and writers are everywhere that most citizens
    don’t have the time or opportunity to be. They attend meetings, interview sources,
    research facts, ask questions and create stories that keep voters, tax-payers and all
    interested citizens informed and involved. Local papers assure the future of their
    community by being a relentless watchdog of all that goes on around them. Without
    them the community would just be a group of individuals passing through
    the same geographic area. Without them, local businesses would have
    no customer base to whom to sell their goods.
    But nobody is going to know that truth unless their story is told.