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Let Everybody Else

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 weeks ago
Let everybody else, be like everybody else. You be you. I have found that a common mistake in life of young and older is to try and be like someone else. Good luck. Chances are, that the very person you are trying to be like considers themselves to be one-of-a-kind. They may have, in the past, been highly influenced by others they admire, but now they are who they are because of decisions they made. You need to be you. Absolutely, you may follow the lead of the right people and choose to make your results a reflection of they who influenced you. But once you start putting your han… more »

I can’t reach

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 weeks ago
I can’t reach. There are times when things are just too good to not share and this in one of those times. The basis of this discourse is a friend telling me, regarding a new endeavor I had just embarked on; “You will make it happen as is or find a way to make it happen.” Herein lies a pretty simple illustration to a not so simple problem. Standing at a distance and watching the glass cleaner person from inside the building shielded the top part of the window from my view. The glass cleaner was diligently applying his trade and his window cleaning stuff. So far so good. Becaus… more »

I Am Thinking & I Think

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 month ago
Thinking is underutilized. My best thinking is done when I walk around the office as if I am in a daze. The wheels are almost always turning so the dazed-look is well deserved and hard-earned. When, during this process, I come to some conclusion, the dazed look will disappear and I am back to digging and doing. I really should do more thinking in an environment where people don’t view me as milling around. Maybe I am sending the wrong message because I am not in the figurative ditch, feverishly thinking. But the process of thinking is extremely valuable and productive. When I thi…more »

Passion or Performance

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 months ago
Passion will take you to performance. Performance will not take you to passion. Passion is a choice, performance is not. There is a clear difference between passion and performance. A difference that if you don’t have passion, you will not notice. Nor will anyone else. If you have passion the difference is breathtaking! Passion is hot. Set yourself on fire and people will come from miles away to watch you burn. Performance is dry and cold and without passion. Passion will drive you to take action and increase your levels of activity in order to reach the next milestone. Passion req… more »

Just Because You Can…

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 4 months ago
There are specific businesses that have been an integral part of communities for over 100 years, some more some less. These institutions have grown with their communities and experienced the ups and downs of life just as the individuals that make up the community have. They birth people, graduate people, marry people and bury people. These businesses were started and operated for the right reasons and they are alive with a personality and a purpose. Well, many still are. The people who work at these businesses are driven to make their efforts make a difference. Doing the right thin… more »

Tools For Thought

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 10 months ago
Tools For Thought… Do what you say you are going to do, when you said you would do it or let people know why not and when you will. Set reasonable expectations and then manage them, or customers will set unreasonable expectations and hold you and your company accountable. Customer service is either good and getting better or bad and getting worse. Selling is; Helping the Right People, make the Right Informed Decision at the Right Time. (That’s it, don’t complicate the effort.) The sale ain’t made until the money is paid. (Until the money is paid all you have done is take an order… more »

A Critical Need Ignored

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
Many, many times while working with community newspaper advertising sales teams across America, I have preached the critical need to educate all locally controlled businesses about the art and science of advertising. The position I took then and still hold now, is that an educated client makes smarter decisions and can therefore make better-informed judgements regarding your value proposition and the proposition of other media. The primary reason that locally owned businesses are not more educationally-equipped to make reasoned advertising marketing commitments, is that their advert… more »

Extensive, Exhaustive Investigation Finds No Silver Bullet

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
Forever and ever, companies, organizations and individuals have searched for and spent vast sums of time and money pursuing the “Silver Bullet”, to no avail! No one has ever found the Silver Bullet because it does not exist. The silver bullet represents the path that is not there and you would think that fact alone would be enough to call the search off. Forget about it! In the midst of the fight to survive or perhaps thrive, there is almost always someone looking frantically for the solution that requires much less effort and will mystically solve all of the issues now and in the fu… more »

Make The Tag

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
Baseball is still baseball. Baseball is considered by many to be a game of offense but it is not. Baseball is a game of defense. All a team has to do to win a baseball game is keep their opponent from scoring more runs than they do. Baseball is still a game where 9 players try their best to get one player at a time, out. Not much technologically deep about that. Technology has changed the game of baseball for the players and the fans. Technology has introduced a more lively bat to the baseball players that aren’t getting paid millions to get 3 hits out of 10 home plate appearances….more »

I Don’t Like Pennies, But Nick Does

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
Nick would not likely be considered as an example of the upwardly mobile sort. He is a bit frail, has a goatee, his head is shaved-somewhat, he wears black & white low profile Converse and he works at a convenience store. I know this about Nick because I purchased a large cup of House-Blend coffee from him. What I also learned about Nick is that he is a great compliment to the Kum & Go Convenience Store brand. My purchase was $2.77 for which I gave Nick a $5.00 bill. The coffee was $1.77 and Nick asked me if I would like to contribute $1.00 to Habitat for Humanity, which I was glad … more »

Grey Matters in Important Matters

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
The diagnosis is serious. The treatment protocol is complicated. The issue demands immediate action and will get worse if not attended to. The only viable option is delicate surgery. The one decision to be made is which doctor to use. The choices are a doc who has preformed about 50 of the complicated procedures and a doc who has preformed over 1,000. You, as the patient, need to choose. You are 5-miles in the air traveling at over 500 mph when the alarm chimes sound, the seat belt sign is illuminated and the pilot announces that your flight will experience some very turbulent weat… more »

When You Are In, Get Out!

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
Golf is a challenging game. So challenging that it can, for many, hardly be considered a game. Darrell Royal, the legendary coach of the Texas Longhorn Football team once said something to the effect that, squaring the golf club face to the ball at the point of impact, while executing a golf swing is one of the most difficult athletic skills to master. There are not many golfers that would disagree! One of the unwritten tips to enjoying golf is that when you are in trouble the immediate and only objective must be to get out of trouble. Golf courses are designed to make the game ch… more »

I Know A Guy

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
*Guy is a generic label that applies to male and female here in the south. This story is about a male guy but could have easily been about a female.* I know a guy who has served in every professional role from rookie sales person to president. He was willing to do it wrong until he got it right. He has always been close to sales and revenue generation, independent of the duties associated with the various positions held. He won and lost his edge and won it back again. His beginning professional sales path was filled with hurdles, not the least of which was absolutely no experience a… more »

Thankful For What I Cannot Touch

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
The sense of touch is one of the most fantastic senses of all. The touch of a loving hand. The touch of the green grass under our bare feet on a beautiful spring day. The touch of cool rain. The touch of clean bed sheets. These are some of the wonderful things we can touch and enjoy the experience and for these I am thankful. However some of the most important things in my life, I cannot touch and they are the very things I am most thankful for. I cannot touch love, but I can feel it. For love that I can feel, I am thankful. I cannot touch friendship, but I can feel it. For frien… more »

Fried Chicken and Vacuum Cleaners

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
Consider Harland Sanders and James Dyson. These visionary and creative individuals enjoyed monstrous success in industries already filled with monstrous successes. If you had asked the public, prior to these individuals introducing their new ideas to their respective and established markets, if the world needed more fried chicken or another vacuum cleaner the majority would have likely said, absolutely not. Although he probably never said it, Charles H. Duell, the Commissioner of the U.S. Patent office in 1889 is accused of saying; *”that everything that can be invented, has been i… more »


Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 1 year ago
The United States Army has learned, by virtue of countless experiences, how to tactically attack the enemy. Many of these battle tested tactics, have not changed significantly over many, many years. They remain unchanged for one very simple reason. They work. The technology has really changed. Weapons that used to be somewhat accurate are now more technically advanced and these technological advances have made these soldiers and the weapons they use far more effective. Soldiers in the Army are highly trained on how to use the established and successful tactics and how to accurately … more »

Don’t Get Me Started!

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
“Don’t you get me started…” There is a natural and regrettable inclination to avoid conflict at almost any costs. Even though, avoiding, so as not to get someone started, demonstrates your unwilliness to uncover that which must be brought to light. You must peel back the layer of the onion to get to the real issues and that will likely require you to boldly address these hidden issues head-on. When you peel back the layers of the onion, figurative tears may start to flow. In other words, you are going to expose your vulnerable side and your client’s or prospects vulnerable side, … more »

Who The Heck Are They?

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Back in the day when I was making lots of face-to-face calls selling newspaper advertising, I had a very robust list of regular customers that were visited weekly. These regular customers represented a significant portion of my time consumption and almost all of my business. *Admittedly there was very little time devoted to scientifically cultivating new business from this group of customers and almost no time devoted to winning new customers. But that is a subject for another day. * Since I called on these customers weekly, I saw the familiar faces of the employees that worked at … more »

So, You’re Not Doing…

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Wow, you did not see that coming! You just learned that you were expected to do that which you were not instructed to do. Therefore, you did not do the expected, without knowing what it is, and somehow, unexpectedly, you are accountable. The matter is singularly one of reasonable expectations and very clear communications specific to those expectations. What is expected should be inspected to use a tried and true statement. Inspecting anything, with the goal of setting expectations, requires the time committed to doing the work necessary in order to get to know more about every fac… more »

Block Me or I’ll Tackle You

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Successful football teams do two basic things better than their opponents: blocking and tackling. The ability to block and tackle, are skills that football players continually practice and prepare for. Blocking and tackling are skills that are most effective when they employ several critical factors; timing, strength, speed, knowledge, desire and of course being face-to-face. To block or to tackle you have to be close, very close. Before they block or tackle in a game, they spend lots of time learning proven methods and practicing. I vividly and terrifyingly remember when, as a you… more »

It Is Not About The People

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
The understandable and very common answer from those at the “top” is that our people are our greatest asset and that they are the difference makers. People can and do make a difference. But they are not any company or organizations most valuable assets. The most valuable asset is not people; the most valuable asset is the right people. The right people do the right things, the right way, at the right times and if they fail they are not hesitant to share their failures, especially when they are seeking help. Yes, the right people will ask for help and they will take the advice as th… more »

Sure Do Miss Phone Booths

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Go ahead. You are free to assume that everyone and I mean everyone is interested in your side of the phone conversation. While you sit there in, let’s say an airport gate waiting area or while you stand in line at the grocery store, taking far too loudly you obviously are convinced that everyone within a half of a mile is really glued to what you have to say to whom ever you are saying it to. If your opinion, based on your actions, substantiates that the discussion is of such common interest, why not activate the speaker phone function and ask everyone to gather round so we can all… more »

Likesillitus Causes Major Grammatical Disruption

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Like declaring that like is like overused is like really like insulting. While I was like in like the airport like waiting for like the plane to like arrive I was like looking at all of the like interesting people. We will likely all agree that like the airport is like a really great place to like, people watch. So I like, did just that. When I like got on my flight I was like seated behind like one of these interesting people I had been watching who I later discovered is like a recent college graduate (Let’s call him like Ace and his conversation buddy, we’ll call him like Bud) Ac… more »

Practice What I Preach?

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 2 years ago
It has been some time since I updated this blog for which I have a long list of reasons I can supply: people I can blame, circumstances beyond my control, acts of God, sun spots and more. Fact is there are only one person to blame (moi) and one reason to give: lack of discipline. My wife tells me to stop beating myself up all the time so enough about that. Instead I will focus a paragraph or two on why discipline is more important and more difficult to maintain in your sales career (and elsewhere) than ever before. My father was in sales, way back in the day. Was in the retail shoe … more »

And Then, It Got Weird

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops, near a college campus, enjoying the best bagel on the planet (Cinnamon Crunch from Panera) I overheard a statement from a young college student. While having a conversation with their companion, one of the students stated; *”And then* *it got weird.”* I am not really sure exactly what that meant, (and I was grateful for that) because that is when they started whispering. And then, it got weird. We have processes in business that are developed and engineered with a desirable result expected. When we follow the steps and endeavor to own the…more »

My Finger Might Be Broken

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
The day was especially hot in deep south, Texas. The considerable heat was not unusual for August in the Valley but this day was really, really hot! After work, I decided to go for a refreshing swim in our backyard pool. Walking outside I noticed my beautiful wife and her niece sitting on the steps of the pool. They obviously had the same idea as I. After I gave my wife a kiss and said hello to her niece, I dove in. My routine was to dive in the shallow end and swim underwater to the deep end, touch the end of the pool with my hands and swim back to the shallow end. This exercise pr…more »

It is just more work for the teacher and the student

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; feed him for a lifetime. We are all called to teach. We are all called to learn. Teaching is work. In reality, teaching someone something new often requires a great deal more energy and time than does just doing the work yourself. Teaching requires patience. What we have to learn to to do, we learn by doing. But until someone that knows what they are doing, teaches us how to get it done, we are all fishing and floundering! Learning is work. We all need to be taught. Learning requires patience. The right people are willing t… more »

The Pizza Delivery Guy Disagrees

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
He drives an old pickup truck that has very little of the front bumper and grill remaining. The rest of the truck’s body is tattered at best. His tires really need replacing and he drives, in the VERY HOT summer, with the windows down. Often, when he is waiting on the pizza order to be completed so he can make his deliveries, he sits outside and smokes a cigarette. His clothes are okay but nothing that would make anyone envious. He is not especially noticeable because he’s just not. He is as dependable as the rising of the sun and the setting of the same. Every weekday I see him com…more »

The Blue Reality

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Dylan was a great kid. He was only eight when he was taken from us. Far too early in his and our lives. We are not as complete without him as we were with him. The loss is deep and will be with us until we cross over. The reality is, that he is gone from this world and marched boldly into the next world. The memorial service for Dylan was very touching and hopefully, to those who were closest to Dylan, especially comforting. Even at eight, Dylan knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. Dylan was going to be a law enforcement officer. More specifically he was going to be on a SWAT… more »

Your Brand

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
What do you like and what do you dislike? When it comes to brands, everyone has a bias. You either like a brand, love a brand, dislike a brand or disdain a brand. There is no grey area in branding. Rarely, went it comes to labels, does anything conjure up more decisive emotions than when a brand appears. Brands are a big part of our everyday lives. Companies literally spend million and millions of dollars establishing, promoting, protecting and preserving their precious brands. Brand perception and realities can make or break fortunes. Consider the colossal and apparently deliberat… more »

Living Tomorrow, Today

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Sure would be nice if we could live our tomorrows today. Or would it? Haste often does make waste, even thought there are many, many situations that will absolutely warrant a sense of urgency. Mentally moving too fast can cause serious unintended consequences. A sense of urgency can produce desirable results once a path is charted. However, attempting to live tomorrow, today will likely cause you to look beyond the obvious and miss something important. Time really is a great common denominator. How we spend our time and how much time we spend on something tells us and others what w… more »

Don’t try to sound smart

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
My desire is not to sound smart. There are people who try to sound smart and to what end? Who, precisely, other than themselves are they trying to impress? My self-proclaimed worthy goal is, to become smarter by reading, researching, asking questions and listening to answers, doing, falling down-getting back up and always moving forward toward the objective. There will be more wheat than chaff to your carefully selected words if you deliver messages filled with facts and skip the fluff. Getting informed and staying on top of changes within a specific industry or business type is ab…more »

Don’t forget to do this…

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 2 years ago
I am writing today to share a link to another blog that was promoted in an email I received this morning. CLICK HERE for it, *BUT FIRST:* Please note that I do not have a horse in this race: 1. I am not promoting the book that is the subject of the blog. 2. I am not promoting the email subscription they are inviting you to join. I simply like the message. Focus on less, produce more. For some time now I have experienced “memory loss.” It’s called CRS *(Can’t Remember Stuff, although another “S” word is often used…but this is a family friendly column)*. I don’t recall if I already… more »

The cure for what ails you may be closer than you think

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 2 years ago
I have discovered a benefit to aging: you get to take more time off from work for medical reasons. Hahahahaha. I jest of course, but there is a personal track record of the increasing occurrence of medical aches, pains and doctor visits one endures as they over-ripen. Case in point: had to have some x-rays taken this week. The woman taking the “photos” made small talk while waiting in between shots. “What do you do for a living?” she queried. “I work for a free paper publishing trade association,” was my proud reply. “What are you gonna do when that goes under?” was her quick (and c… more »

Right Thing Right Way Right Now: You Better Not Touch That, It’s Hot!

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Right Thing Right Way Right Now: You Better Not Touch That, It’s Hot!: Unless something is glowing or smoking it is really tough to determine if it is hot by just looking. Most of us have been in situations when… more »

You Better Not Touch That, It’s Hot!

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 2 years ago
Unless something is glowing or smoking it is really tough to determine if it is hot by just looking. Most of us have been in situations when we were warned that the item we were considering touching was hot. We couldn’t tell by looking, so in order to satisfy our curiosity and to prove the person issuing the warning wrong and ourselves right, we touched the item. And of course it was hot. As the pain of the burn set in, our behavior was immediately and positively modified. We learned that things may be really hot even thought they don’t look like it and in the future, we might serio…more »

Find Answers and Feel Good at our Leadership Summit

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 2 years ago
I decided not to shave during my early July vacation and now have a closely trimmed beard. I also was fitted with new glasses recently. I took advantage of the opportunity to really change up the style I usually wear. Finally, I have started a new nutritional program (I refuse to call it a diet) in which I am building improved eating habits and utilizing additional vitamins and supplements to build energy. To sum it up, I am really trying to come up with a new, fresh look. Unfortunately, I still look like crap. Photo proof included. I feel better, though. You may remember Billy Cry… more »

You Can’t Lift Up by Putting Down

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Surely or hopefully it makes sense to accept that you cannot lift someone up by putting them down. Unfortunate as it is, there are people who believe that the intellectual “put-down” is the most effective method to motivate. These are the self aggrandizing individuals that likely consider themselves to be a hammer. When you think you are a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. Consider for a moment the most valuable aspect of the hammer and nail relationship. The hammer is used to place the nail in the desired location. When placed properly, *the nail holds things together….more »

Hope This Doesn’t Hurt

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
I sure hope this doesn’t hurt too much, but it ain’t about you, nor is it about me! *(I am going to have to use I far too often in this piece because I will be using personal experience to make the point I want to make.) * Guess by now you have all heard that there is no I in Team. That is because there isn’t an I in Team and for very good reason. No man is an “I” island. I learned this important lesson the hard way. More accurately, the importance of “I”, was taught to me in what I like to characterize as an overly harsh and stunningly blunt manner. After several years at a my f… more »

Think Big Act Small – Just Like Babies

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
If you can change, you can (Fill in this bank). Babies do. Most people don’t like to think about change. Change is often terrifying to many people, largely because they are afraid of the uncertainty of the outcome. How and how much things and people will be different after the change takes place causes deep consternation amongst most of us. The reality is that change is taking place all of the time and the best way to make to most of change is to be proactive. Babies don’t fear change. Babies predictibally react adversely to a change in routine, but they don’t consciously fear it. … more »

Workplace — it could be a lot worse, and you control how it goes!

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
So, do you think you have it bad at work? These two stories appeared next to each other on the local news website in the Syracuse area this morning: Kim Jong Un executed defense chief for sleeping during meeting, spy agency says Fall asleep at a meeting in the USA and you might get fired, or you might get handed a cup of Starbucks. In North Korea you apparently go before the firing squad. And you thought your boss was a jerk? Upstate NY ex-postal carrier faces prison for dumping Bed Bath & Beyond ads If a 12-year old carrier dumps papers he probably gets fired and maybe Mom grounds … more »

Zig Lives On Even If Cold-Calls Haven’t

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
*”Cold Calling Is Dead – Thanks to Social Networking. Get Your Free eBook. Download Yours Now!”* This headline is at the top of my LinkedIn page this morning. What has happened in our profession? Google “cold call” and results return more references to the demise of this sales staple as well as a couple of 2012 links explaining the finer points of the technique (“*7 steps to a perfect cold call – CBS News”, “Seven Secrets to Cold Calling Success – Entrepreneur”*). Contradiction in the search engine! I am confused. When did cold calling die? Must have passed away when Zig Ziglar did… more »

IOT — It’s not short for “IDIOT”, at least not yet.

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
God speaks to me. Often, unfortunately. It’s not that He has a lot to say to me; He has to repeat Himself several times before I actually listen. I am working on that and I am getting better at listening. Case in point: IOT. I have heard the term twice now in the past three days from very legit sources. Repetition merits listening to. If you are new to the term, as I was, it stands for *Internet Of Things*. My first exposure to the phrase came from a friend who owns a fast growing, high-tech lighting company. You’ll see an example of his work if you watch this year’s Super Bowl (the… more »

Political ad spending — looking forward to 2016?

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
I don’t know if anything could have been done to stop the death of the dinosaurs. Lava flowing from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii is going to make its way downhill to the sea, and man will not deter its course. There are some things in which we are powerless. Changes in media spending habits may be one more fine example, but I am betting, and hoping, that we still have a hand in our future. I live in the 24th Congressional District. Incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei is fighting off a strong challenge from Republican John Katko. This means nothing to you if you live outside the district… more »

Don’t let a little rain wash away success

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
It’s Friday afternoon as I write this, pushing toward quitting time. The sun is finally out…this might be the first decent day of the week. On Monday of this week, as rain was pouring down on Central New York, I said to my wife “Thank God we didn’t take this week off!” Looking back on the past few days, I say it again, with gusto, “Thank God we didn’t take this week off!” Rainy, cool, unsettled…not what you’d expect the final week of July to be. There are a couple of great sales reminders in this example. First, don’t assume that what you expect to happen will happen. July is s… more »

Meet a “new school” expert.

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Salespeople from our publishing membership have asked about the new selling style or the “new school” approach to sales. One hears a lot about it today when searching for training and education information on becoming a more effective salesperson. In my mind, Marc Wayshak is one of the best at presenting the skills of a new school salesperson. Marc received rave reviews after presenting at our FCPNY SuperConference earlier this year. I subscribe to Marc’s weekly email. This week’s entry follows, and it is to the point on how the sales process is evolving. From Marc…. *Here Are F… more »

Local ad tracking comes through training, too

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
I am a sucker for a deal. This morning, the McDonald’s drive-thru, two Sausage McMuffins for $3.00 (no, I didn’t eat them both; I shared with my colleague at work. Really, I did.). This particular McDonald’s has two drive-thru lanes but only one pay and pick-up lane. And they were busy. When I got to the pay window, the young lady smiled and said, without hesitation, “that will be $3.28.” I replied, “How do you know? How can you tell which order is mine when you have customers coming from two directions?” She laughed. “The drive-thru order station takes a picture of you and your car… more »

Don’t make people guess who you are.

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Over the past month or so I have been involved with our own FCPNY annual Super Conference and the Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP) conference, held this year at Disney in Orlando. At each event I had the opportunity to meet people face-to-face that previously I had known only through email or phone contact. With many folks today hiding behind their digital communications means, this is becoming a more common occurrence. What’s more, none of these people looked like I imagined they would. Two reasons: 1. I am quickly becoming one of the older people in the conference room… more »

Crazy and fun still sells.

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Two industry headlines in this morning’s* AdMall Minute* email serve as great reminders that anything is possible in advertising. Both reference recent stories in *Advertising Age* magazine. First, and most timely, is Richard Sherman. At this point even the most sleepy non-football fan is likely aware of the Seattle Seahawk’s TV tirade following his team’s win last Sunday, punching their ticket to the Super Bowl. This pro-wrestling-meets-Darth Vader rant featured a deep cutting insult aimed at San Francisco 49er receiver Michael Crabtree, a “mediocre” player according to Sherman (wh… more »

New beginnings

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Happy New Year! I attended a worship service on New Year’s Day and the presider gave a wonderful homily about being granted opportunities to start over. He opened with a cute story about a man who started each day with a review of the local obituaries. Finding his name among the obits one morning, the man called the newspaper editor to complain. After taking an earful of grief from the caller, the editor promised to make it up to him by including his name the next day among the listing of new births. “We’ll give you a whole new beginning,” he told the man. Hopefully neither you nor… more »

One Naughty List To Really Avoid

Anonymous at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all! Referring to the latter, one of the many end-of-year reports and predictions in the news caught my eye this morning. You can click HERE to see the whole story about one online expert’s predictions of ten brands that will not survive 2014. Remember: it’s not scientific and it’s only one opinion but it is interesting. In summary, the list includes: a. Two automakers b. Two magazines c. One sports league d. A camera maker e. Three companies that I will group as "technology" (the list doesn’t discriminate; even tech can fail today) The big surpr… more »

Driving change — a holiday story.

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Growing up in Auburn, NY, my dad worked primarily in auto sales for most of his life. The holiday season was not a time he looked forward to as auto prospects were typically very hard to come by back in the day. In a time when most people holiday shopped local stores or did some catalog shopping — and prepaid for most of their purchases — disposable income was devoted primarily to gifts, festive meals and not much else. Consequently, dealers pulled in their advertising reins as the year wound down. My father never gave me much advice but always proclaimed that “the best time to buy… more »

Tell yourself all the things you need to hear, and do it out loud!

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Here are the two greatest inventions of the last 100 (or so) years: 1. *The thermos bottle*. First mass-produced in 1904, it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold, all without batteries or computer chips. How does it know? Amazing, isn’t it? 2. *Bluetooth technology*. It’s great not because it makes you hands free but rather it allows you to talk to yourself in your car as much as you want without drawing unnecessary attention to yourself during rush hour. You see, I talk to myself. I do it a lot. My kids have always laughed at me because of it. My mother used to say that talkin… more »

I assume you’ve heard this lesson before…

Anonymous at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Tomorrow, October 11 is my 38th wedding anniversary. So today, October 10, I went card shopping. Hey, why wait ’til the last minute? At the drugstore where I went to select the perfect greeting there were a few stacked boxes of cards in the aisle right in front of the “Wife Anniversary” selection. I was working around them, checking out cards when one of the store employees — a not too happy gal about my age — came up to me. “Where’s our girl?” she asked me. “What girl is that?” I replied. “The regular card girl,” she exclaimed. “Doesn’t matter, I ‘ll just have it out with you!”… more »

Follow up on trust

Anonymous at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
A few weeks back I promised to come back with some ideas on building relationships — building trust — in a digital world where voice mail, email, caller ID and a host of other gates are keeping the salesperson at bay. Doing it better than any crotchety, old gatekeeper could have done, too (God bless her soul). Here’s what I’ve come up with: Nothing. Well, at least nothing new. I have participated these past three weeks in a sales sharing program that FCPNY is sponsoring as a member benefit called the *Training Table Forum*. Each Friday morning, sales people from our member public… more »

Trust me…please!

Anonymous at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
I heard a commercial while driving in to work this morning for *Reputation.com*, a service that manages what folks are saying online about you or your company. The commercial said something to the effect that 90% of people believe what they read online about your company, so the inference is that you best be sure that everything out there about you is positive. I did not catch the source of that statistic because I don’t think they gave it. On the other hand, I read a promotional piece this week from a publisher I know that cited *Research* magazine. The stat: seven of ten people sa… more »

It’s time to make a hot splash!

Anonymous at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Being a creature of habit, the first thing I do when I hit the kitchen in the morning is make a cup of Keurig coffee and take it into the family room for my morning news routine. This isn’t a 7-Eleven jumbo cup; it’s a standard cup, doesn’t hold that much or take long to drink. But this morning I spilled it all over the coffee table (how appropriate) and floor. It went everywhere! Boy, when you spread it out and get a good look at it there is a lot more coffee there than meets the eye. If you’re selling free paper advertising, you’ve got a product in hand that holds the same mystiq… more »

Don’t get distracted from the coming opportunity!

Anonymous at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
My wife and I recently drove to Hilton Head, SC for a long week of beach, sun, food and more. Great time, but you notice lots of scary things when you’re driving in the car for a long period of time. One thing I noticed on this trip, as well as a recent long weekend to Maine, is that motorcycle helmet laws vary from state to state. Being from Upstate New York (helmets mandatory) it is odd to see a Harley pass you with a rider’s hair flowing in the wind, only RayBans separating their noggin from the elements, but we saw quite a few on these trips along the East Coast. Equally scary to… more »

Dog days are coming

Anonymous at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
I had the opportunity to travel to Maine this past weekend, stopping along the way in Boston to pick up my son Michael and his girlfriend Lyndsey. Boston is a great city, especially for young people. We walked the Quincy Market area for a while…my wife, Lyndsey, me and Mike who had his miniature Italian greyhound Enzo in tow. Enzo actually belongs to Mike and Lyndsey; a joint venture, dual custody, all that stuff. Cost more than a few bucks, too. You would think a city the size of Boston would have everything you want or need. Not so. Enzo had to be pre-ordered from a breeder in N… more »

“I’m a people person,” she said with a smile…

Anonymous at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
I have no idea how many sales interviews I have conducted or sat in on through the years. A whole lot, I know that. In more than a fair share of them, at one point or another, the applicant answered the “why do you like sales” or “why should we hire you” question with “Well, I’m a people person…I like talking to people…I like working with people.” As opposed to working with wildebeests and Buicks? The interview was over at that point, mainly because I always felt that these very nice people just didn’t get it. Now I have proof. I attended an AdMall webinar this morning, and pick… more »

Celebrating the roots of freedom

Anonymous at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
There is no better time to celebrate the “free” in Free Community Papers of NY than this week when we celebrate the birth of freedom in America. It’s been 237 years since our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and legend has it that the free paper industry’s American roots go back even farther than that, fathered by one of the most famous delegates to the Continental Congress. In 1728, at the age of twenty-two, Benjamin Franklin opened his printing office in Philadelphia where he published *The Pennsylvania Gazette*as well as *Poor Richard’s Almanac*. His printi… more »

“But my territory really is different!”

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
If I had a chicken wing for every time a salesperson argued “I know but my territory is different,” I’d be Colonel Sanders, white suit and all. A sales manager consistently tries to coach up the staff on selling tactics, a new promotion or whatever the need of the week is and some salespeople consistently try to sell the manager back on why his/her ideas won’t work for them. It’s not the salesperson, it’s the territory. “That doesn’t work on my customers” or “that stuff doesn’t work in my area…my area IS DIFFERENT!” You know, maybe they’re right. I never felt that way until recen… more »

The puck stops here

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
I hope you get to meet my wife someday. Great lady. Has put up with me for 38 years this October, not counting the time before that (we were very young when we met — that’s for a different blog). She has changed lately, though. Somehow she has become a rabid hockey fan, Pittsburgh Penguins specifically. How? Why? The Penguins are the favorite team of our 10-year old grandson; maybe the link starts there. But she is into it, staying up late last night to watch them lose in double overtime to the Bruins in the playoffs. They are down 3-0 in a best of seven and it does not look good. … more »

Reading this post? Thank a soldier.

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
As we head into Memorial Day weekend we should take a moment of our professional day to think about those who have given their lives in the service of our great country. Without their sacrifice, without the efforts of American fighting men and women now and then, we might not be in business today as we know it. Want to open a business? Go right ahead. Want to switch careers, maybe move to a different state to start anew? You are free to do so. Want to publish your thoughts and opinions in your publication? The Constitution says “be my guest.” Thank a soldier for preserving those ri… more »

Numbers are changing but it’s still a numbers game

Tom Cuskey at ADvice with Free Community Papers of NY – 3 years ago
Wish me a happy anniversary. Three years ago today, May 15, I was ordained a permanent deacon here in the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse. It’s a wonderful part of my life, a real blessing. What does it have to do with sales training? I thought you’d never ask. Driving to the office this morning I had the Catholic Channel on satellite radio. To be honest, it’s not one of my favorite channels (classic rock’n’roll!) but, just by chance, I happened to hear the host talking about a study of the young men who are going to be ordained as priests this spring. Fascinating stuff considering t… more »


Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Pearls are the result of an oyster overcoming an irritation. A piece of foreign matter is somehow introduced to the inside of the shell where it begins irritating the oyster and until the oyster takes action, the irritation continues. The oyster begins the slow continuous process of covering the irritant with nacre, which is the substance that covers the inside of the oyster shell. Over time and with consistent effort, the oyster turns the irritant into a pearl. As the oyster grows the pearl grows. The oyster would surely expel the irritant if it were able, but since it cannot it i… more »

You Are Going to Have to Separate Yourself

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Harry’s makes disposable razors and there is absolutely nothing unique about that. There are literally hundreds of companies manufacturing and selling razors all across the globe. Harry’s is a rather new business that has deliberately and strategically decided to get into a very old business. Long before razors were an option, sea shells were often used to remove facial hair. Sometime around 3000 BC tools made from copper were developed along with razors that were made from this very pliable material. Back in the heyday of Alexander the Great old Alex used to encourage his soldiers … more »

The Stickiness of Consistency

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Sue Patrick is the model of consistency. Sue Patrick is the owner of Sue Patrick’s Store in Austin, Texas and she carries a vast array of really cool items including an extensive selection of high quality women’s wear and accessories. Her store is also the home to an incredible selection of Texas Longhorn stuff. So it is a “burnt orange wonderland on steroids” for Longhorn fans like me. How do I know all of this? Because one of the consistent visual impressions that Sue Patrick employs, to promote her store and all of the really great items, is her advertising that appears, in full… more »

Please Dispose of Properly and Promptly

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Seems that at one time or another we are all prone to hang onto things that have outlived their value of relative contribution. Perhaps it is sentimental reasons or we feel that the thing we are holding on to will resurrect into something that will make a meaningful contribution. Golf clubs are that way. Every golfer worth their equipment-investment-salt has several golf clubs that are not in use but they hold onto them and naively believe that one day, a great golf light will shine and illuminate the true value of these relics. Computer equipment is very much the same. Almost every… more »

Make It Take It Break It

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
When analyzing the generational transfer of “ideas-concieved”, “plans-initiated”, “significant-accomplishments” and “success-manifest” there is a rather predictable transfer of “It.” This is as true in business and organizations as it is in families. The first generation in this saga has great original ideas and endeavors to work a plan and modify the plan as circumstances and discoveries dictate in order to make “It” work. This generation views success through the lens of how the idea can be integrated into a working model achieving the desired outcome. They are moved to action … more »

Thanks for Your Help, “No Problem”

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Obviously when the employee saw me walk in the door they said to themselves: “Here comes trouble.” How do I know this? Because, after our business was concluded and if they had done a satisfactory job, when I said thank you, they responded; “No Problem.” They didn’t say “*no problem”* because I was potentially a problem, they responded that way because they were in robot mode and really didn’t think about any meaningful and unique response like; “You are welcome Dennis, we appreciate your business Dennis and hope to see you again soon.” This may be a direct result of not really car… more »

Simply Complicated

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
There is too much misguided effort and energy in the business and organizational world today that is looking for a problem to solve. Typically one would accept that there is a problem and then set in motion a plan to get the right players involved to clearly identify the cause and logical solution, all within a specified time frame. The next logical step would be to implement changes in processes, people or behaviors directed at making things simply work better, while keeping everyone informed. Ross Perot started Electronic Data Systems (EDS) on a shoestring and with only a small a… more »

Disruption Intrusive Trespasser

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Face-to-face is without any doubt the most impactful process for accomplishing almost anything worthwhile. Especially when real people are deeply involved and meaningful relationships must be cultivated and fostered. Face-to-face is also the riskiest and most uncertain in the beginning. The best professional and personal relationships are built and maintained in person. When you begin the face-to-face ongoing process of building relationships you are very likely going to be branded as a disruption, or intrusion and possible trespasser. This is a normal reaction from folks who hav… more »

The Plaque, “What’s up with that doc?”

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Fredrick Bean Avery, better known as, Tex Avery is internationally recognized for his ground breaking creative ideas in animated films or “cartoons” as his work was commonly referred to. Tex was born in Taylor, Texas February 26, 1908. Tex worked for Warner Brothers and Metro Golden Mayer where he created or improved such delightful characters as: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig. He made Bugs Bunny more memorable by adding; “What’s up doc” to Bug’s frequent dialogue. He was especially proud of enhancing the viewer experience by having the animated characters speak directly to… more »

The Fight We Won

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
The small hard lump just under the right side of my chin was diagnosed on three separate occasions, within a six-month period, as simply a swollen gland likely caused by allergies and such. The diagnosis was logical since I was visiting the doc to get some relief from the symptoms associated with a recurring sinus infection or an allergic attack. Shortly after the third diagnosis, I called the doc and said we need to revisit this issue as I felt there was something much more than just a swollen gland. She agreed and sent me on to a general surgeon who took one look, felt around the… more »

Community Strong

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Informed communities are strong communities. Many folks in communities are connected well enough to the community to care enough to be proactive in staying on top of changes and other happenings that may have an impact on their community and their lives. Typically and for many years the local newspaper has been the sole trusted provider of unique community information. Newspapers must deliver truth in all kinds of news and information, including advertising. The “unique-trusted-information” task is a formidable one. Recent results from a National Newspaper Association reader survey … more »

Unlimited Limitations

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Everyone is limited and therefore everyone has unlimited possibilities. The talents and capabilities we were given make up our limitations. What we do with those talents and capabilities makeup the unlimited heights to which we all can climb. I would love to dunk a basketball, shoot sub-par golf on a consistent basis, out run a Cheetah, but alas none of these unrealistic goals are going to materialize. The only remote possibility is that I might, one day, shoot below par on an easy golf course, but I am not going to score that well on the tough courses, playing from the back tees t… more »

On Something or Toward Something

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Are you working on something or toward something? There is a vast chasm between the people who work on something and the people that work toward something. They are as opposite as apples are to oranges. Working on something means that you are making a forced effort to accomplish a meaningless task required of you and then, reluctantly, move on to the next meaningless square. The steps required to get to a place of vision when you are working toward something look very similar to the steps taken when you are working on something. The difference lies in the attitude, ultimate outcome … more »


Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Timing is everything. Not exactly… because it does not matter how timely you are, if you are not ready. Professional golfers will tell you it is not strength alone that aids them in hitting the golf ball a mile, it is about speed and timing. When their club passes through the swing plane, while executing the swing they have practiced for years, the club head speed is impressive and the timing of the torque they create with their body is accurately applied. The results is a golf ball that seems to leave earthly gravitational pull and enter into outer space and goes on and on and o…more »

Who Is Fooling Who

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
I remember when not everyone in college passed. I remember when there were fewer really good grades than the other kind. I remember a time when you had to really push hard in college to make excellent grades and the accomplishments were really special, because there were fewer making A’s than the other letter-grades that, by design, represented a lower level of accomplishment. Today it just ain’t so. A study conducted by professors, Stuart Rojstaczer and Christopher Healy, revealed that in 1960 the most common grade in college given nationwide was a C. In fact D’s and F’s accounted … more »

The New Year is Not New

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
There is really nothing new about the new year except for the number of the year. We jump or slide or crawl or run from one day to the next and suddenly, mysteriously, miraculously, wonderfully, or hazily we find ourselves in a NEW YEAR ready to do NEW things and change dramatically. The feeling is held by many that the new year will somehow bring new directions and motivations that were held in darkness for the past 12-months. All we need do is simply endure and patiently wait for one more day, then a light will shine brightly on an opportunity and change our way of life that moves… more »

Learn to Read, Read to Learn

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Since you are reading this, my thoughts will serve to validate the value you obviously place on your reading and your desire to learn. Reading, it appears, to far too many of us has become passé. Andrew Carnegie was one of the wealthiest men in America. He made his fortune in the steel business. His legacy was not only tied to great capitalistic accomplishments but, most notably, to his funding 3,000 libraries in 47 states. Andrew Carnegie believed that all one needs to gain their desired level of success in life is knowledge, aptly applied. Andrew Carnegie believed so strongly that… more »

Drive A Stake In The Ground

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
During the Land Rushes of the late 1800’s, especially in places like Oklahoma, anxious settlers would line up at a specified place, at a specified time. When the signal was given ( often a cannon or rifle shot) they would rush into the unclaimed territory and stake their claim. The claims were determined by driving a stake into the ground. Many of the new land occupiers would immediately take decisive action and begin making modest improvements to the land to further establish their claim to ownership. The stakes that these settlers drove into the ground would often include their na… more »

It goes: Bang, beweekered and clampestuz.

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
“When I am driving about 38 miles per hour, it goes: *”Bang, beweekered and clampestuz.”* These are examples of the ridiculous and peculiar sounds we make as we are attempting to describe to the bewildered mechanic, the sound our car is making and therefore indicating to us, that something is terribly wrong. The description rarely helps the mechanic determine the source of the strange sounds and after they have given us their assurances, we leave our beloved vehicle, wondering what is wrong and how much it is going to cost us. Sometime later we call to check the status only to be … more »

The Veteran I Knew Best

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
My Father served in World War Two. He was an Army Corporal assigned to the Coast Artillery Corps. He voluntarily enlisted May 7, 1942 and after basic training, was shipped to the Philippines. Shortly after arriving in the Philippines he was captured by the Japanese and served the remainder of the war in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. The camp he was held in was, Fukuoka called “Little Pines’ by the prisoners because of a stand of pine trees in the camp and area. My Father did not talk much about the time he was forced to spend in the prisoner of war camp, except to share a few ra… more »

We Should Ask

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
We should ask why Christopher Columbus did not feel a compulsion to stay constantly in touch with all of his friends while he undertook one of the most dangerous and important voyages in history. We should ask why our Founding Fathers were able to write one of the most important documents of all time, even though they were not able to immediately share every development detail with everyone, simultaneously. We should ask why Abraham Lincoln was capable of leading this country through what was arguably one of the greatest challenges ever, without a compulsion of inadvertently adding … more »


Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
One of my more interesting professional endeavors, that included a great many “locational benefits”, was when I served as publisher of The Washington DC Business Journal. Our office was in Northern Virginia. My responsibilities took me into the District frequently and because I was in the District, I would often spend my lunchtime in The Smithsonian or at any of the fabulous monuments and historical places to visit. Since I was there, of course I had to take advantage of the opportunities. It was in DC where I met Trammel Crow. The DC Business Journal complied a list each year of th… more »

Say Again

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
A while ago a magazine requested their readers to send in some statements made by professional leadership at work that they found confusing, ambiguous or downright dumb. Here are some of the selected responses; 1: As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures for the cards will be taken next Wednesday and employees should receive their security cards within two weeks. 2: What we need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter. 3: Email is not to be used to pass on information or data. 4: This project is s…more »

The High Road

Dennis Wade at Right Thing Right Way Right Now – 3 years ago
Years ago before modern paved roads and bridges existed most roads were built at ground level. Fewer roads were built at higher levels for easily understood reasons. The high roads were harder to build. When the weather was fair, most travelers took the low roads. The paths were more direct, requiring less effort and less travel time. When the weather was not good the high road proved to be a safer route even though it was surely going to demand more time and effort. Taking the high road was always harder. When faced with a challenging situation, where tempers and emotions may very … more cropped-paperchain-logo11.png

“Just tell me what you want me to do.”

In the 1986 film, Heartbreak Ridge, Clint Eastwood played Marine Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway. Highway is a battle hardened veteran who is assigned to mold a group of rookie Marines into an elite fighting unit. Each morning Eastwood leads his men on a run and instructs them that they are all to wear the same tee-shirt as he wears. The challenge for his men is that he never tells them what shirt he will be wearing. In the film, this is played for comic relief and his men have to work together to try to find out what the “Gunny” will be wearing.

While amusing in the film, this practice is all too common in the business world. I know a manager of a digital sales team who is very personable and quite intelligent. She is technically proficient, but a poor communicator. She does not clearly describe her expectations to her team or properly explain what she wants them to accomplish. This has resulted in poor sales, low team morale and a very high employee turnover rate. She gives her employees vague instructions and is impatient with them when they ask questions for clarification. Her people try to do their best, try to do what they believe she wanted done and usually are rewarded for their initiative with a chewing out from their boss. In very short order, this manager’s reps learn that the best way to avoid her wrath is to do as little as possible while looking for another job. Her company lost a number of promising employees and untold revenue from her lack of clarity.

Unless they intend to hire a team of psychics and mind readers fully equipped with Ouija boards and crystal balls, leaders need to learn how to communicate their wishes to their teams and how to give clear instructions. One of the most important rules of management I have ever learned is, “Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood!” Here is an example of this, former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had a dictatorial management style. His staff feared him so much that they seldom dared to ask him any questions. On one occasion, while reviewing a document, Hoover made the following notation on it, “Good report, but watch the borders.” His assistant instantly dispatched hundreds of FBI agents to the Canadian and Mexican borders, where they remained until it was discovered that J. Edgar was referring to the typed margins on the document which he felt were too wide. Explaining yourself clearly, confirming that your subordinates fully understand what you want, may take a few minutes, but in the long run this practice greatly enhances the effectiveness of any organization.

This commitment to clear communication should begin before an employee even joins the team. When interviewing candidates for employment, a manager should avoid the temptation to “sell the job.” Sometimes an applicant seems like such a perfect fit for an open position, that the hiring manager will do whatever is necessary to get them to accept the job. They sometimes paint an inaccurate picture of the challenges and responsibilities of the position. This is seldom a good practice. It generally gets the relationship with a new employee off on a poor footing. I find it is better to be bluntly honest about both the opportunities and challenges of the position you are trying to fill. Whenever possible, I like to have the candidate meet my sales team and do a ride along to get a clear picture of what the job entails.

When I did make a new hire or when I took over a new sales team, I made a point of clearly explaining my expectations to those reporting to me. I did this in the form of a written set of “Expectations.” This was a numbered list of what I expected from anyone on my team. This was separate from their revenue goals. The items on the list described behaviors that I expected from my people. This included items like punctuality, number of weekly calls, reports required etc. I also included things like, “I expect my reps to let me know if any account is in jeopardy as soon as they become aware of the situation so that we can work together to remedy it.” This kept me in the loop and made reps feel more comfortable coming to me with problems. I also set an expectation that my reps would not demonstrate a negative attitude in the office. I was careful not to mandate that “reps maintain a positive attitude,” which was unenforceable, I simply asked that they share these thoughts with me rather than bringing down the team. I had my reps each sign a copy of the “Expectations,” and I posted these prominently in the sales room. I updated this document whenever the situation dictated and reviewed it with my team at least once a quarter.

Since I believe leadership is a two-way street, along with the “Expectations” I gave my team a copy of my “Commitments” to them. This was a numbered list of what they could expect (at a minimum) from me. This list included a dozen points starting with, “I will treat every member of this team with respect as professional business people and as human beings.” I went on to items like, “I will help you resolve any customer service problem…so you will never need to face problems alone,” and “I will listen to your concerns, remedy them when I can, and if appropriate, communicate them to upper management.” My list concluded, “I will make this job fun,” which I strongly believe is a prerequisite for long-term success. I had these “Commitments” blown up to poster size and posted a copy above my desk and in the sales room. I instructed my team to point to this signed document, whenever I failed to live up to the items on the list. These two documents clearly define my responsibilities as well as those of my team. I believe they fostered a positive work environment where everyone understood where they stood and what they were to do.

In our business, if an instruction is misunderstood, we may lose a sale or, worst case scenario, an account. In the military, lives or a battle, may be lost if an order is not followed precisely. This is why over the centuries the military has developed a simple yet effective protocol for delivering commands. Though the stakes in the publishing world are not as high as they are on the battlefield, this mode of communication provides a good model to follow.

An officer giving a command will describe exactly what they want the person to do and give them a timeline for accomplishing the assigned task. “I need you to take a position on this particular hill and be dug in with your men by 08 hundred hours. You are then to observe the valley below and report back on any enemy activity you see until relieved.” They will then ask their subordinate if they have any questions. If they do, the officer will answer their queries until both the commander and the subordinate are clear on what needs to be done. The officer will then ask, “Understood?” The subordinate will then say, “Yes Sir, I am to take my men to the top of the hill, dig in and observe the valley below looking for enemy activity there until relieved. If any activity is observed, we will report it to you immediately.” If the command is fully understood, they will salute and part. In just a few minutes the officer communicated what he wanted done, when he wanted it done SM Link & Learn is brought to you every month as part of PaperChain’s® mission to provide educational material to the free paper publishers. If you have an issue you would like to see covered please email janderson@wisad.com, put “Link & Learn” in subject line. Be sure to check out http://www.paperchain.org for past issues, electronic ready promotional ads and much more to help you remain competitive. and why he wanted it done. He also made sure his subordinate had no unanswered questions and had him repeat the order to confirm that he fully understood his instructions.

Following this practice, command, asking for questions, and having the person repeat back the order not only makes sure there is no misunderstandings, but also drives a stake into the heart of the, “I didn’t understand what you wanted” excuse for not doing something. Because the person giving the order fully accepts responsibility for communicating what they want accomplished, responsibility for getting the job done is placed fully on the shoulders of the subordinate. They may fail to accomplish what they’ve been assigned to do, but they cannot honestly say, “They didn’t understand that they were supposed to do it.”

A good definition of a team, or of a business is, “working together toward a common goal.” To do this some people are appointed to leadership roles, ideally because they have the talent and the experience to know how to best achieve the group’s objectives. Their effectiveness is increased by allowing them to use this expertise to direct their team to accomplish more than they ever could on their own. If they are unable to communicate their expertise to those reporting to them, then their effectiveness is negated by their inability to share it with their team. This is why the ability to clearly communicate what you expect of people is the most critical skill in a manager’s toolbox. Your people may have great people skills, they may know your products inside and out, they may be great sales people, but it is unlikely that they are much good at mind reading. When you are “the boss,” your job is not only to tell people what to do…it’s also your job to be sure they understand what you want them to do!

This article was written by Jim Busch.



Free paper industry stronger than ever

by Tim Bingaman
President & CEO Circulation Verification Council
When I was asked to give a “state of the industry” presentation to the IFPA conference, I was a little apprehensive how to address this topic coming off the announcement of nine million circulation just lost in California. As we have seen with the recent announcement of startups in the wake of the closure, the loss of circulation had far more to do with negative money manager influence than problems with the publications themselves. The fact is, the free community paper industry is stronger than ever.
Earlier this year I attended a convention and heard Allen Kupertz from kpartners give a speech on technology. I immediately thought of the free paper industry when he presented this quote: “The Mayans lost to the Aztecs, the Romans lost to the Barbarians, and the French lost to the Vietnamese. In each case the losers had superior technology, but the victors had more troops.” In the case of the free paper industry, your “troops” are your readers or audience. In the last decade, we have all read the self-written obituaries highlighting circulation declines within certain segments of print. Unfortunately, many have taken that to mean that all of print is in decline when in reality, many segments of print, including the free paper industry, are reaching a larger audience than ever before. In addition to stable circulation and readership numbers, some of the free paper industry has expanded their audience with websites, digital editions, social media, mobile & text media, apps, e-newsletters, and video and podcast audiences.
During the same presentation by Allen Kupertz, another item that applied to the free paper industry was a Douglas Adams quote: “Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal. Anything that gets invented between then and before you turn 30 is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck, you can make a career out of it. Anything that gets invented after you’re 30 is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it’s been around for about 10 years, when it gradually turns out to be alright really.” You have all seen the challenge of new media in your markets. Websites, text & mobile, and social media have all been a part of our lives for over a decade now, yet your industry continues to thrive. Your “troops”, or your audience, must continue to expand in order to continue to be relevant in the years ahead. The message of today is embrace them all. Make sure you are reporting your website, digital edition, social media, mobile & text media, apps, e-newsletters, and video and podcast audiences to CVC to show media buyers your true reach within your communities. New CVC survey technology allows you to report unduplicated audience numbers that in most markets show remarkable increases. Plus one in audience, whether that individual comes in the form of a print reader or from new technology, needs to be tracked and reported to advertisers.
When Brian Gay from MFCP approached CVC in 1999 about performing the first comprehensive circulation audits for the free paper industry, we began tracking key data points that to this day show an industry with solid delivery systems, readership, and purchase influence. Receivership scoring is the measure of the publications’ delivery system. In 1999 the average receivership score was 97.1%. That score is virtually unchanged today, with the national average receivership score being 96.6%. As a free paper, one of the most important measurements is what percentage of the papers distributed are read. Readership scoring is another category that has had remarkable stability. In 1999 the average readership score was 77.1%. That score today is 76.9%. The third, and arguably most important, score is the purchase influence a publication has over an audience. Purchase scoring in 1999 was 74.4% and has increased to 76.9% today, showing that more of your readers are relying on local publications than ever before when making purchase decisions for their households.
As many of you know, phone studies were the staple of research in the past. That is changing and has created a new mix of multi-source studies that allow publishers to measure not only their print audience, but all of their reach across multimedia platforms. I encourage you to participate in these new survey methodologies. Online studies, coupled with traditional phone surveys, allow CVC to gather more information about your audience than ever before. Publishers can have up to two studies performed each year, and each publication can add two questions of their choice at no additional charge. You can view the online study template at https://www.research.net/r/2015CVC.

How Did Your Publication Celebrate Free Community Paper Month?

PaperChain is Sharing $500 in Prizes for Publisher Feedback!

We are seeking publisher feedback regarding the recently completed Free Paper Month celebration during July 2015. Members of the internal marketing committee of PaperChain spent a considerable amount of time in an attempt to make the month-long celebration of Free Community Papers a valuable marketing opportunity.

In order to determine our effectiveness, and in an attempt to constantly improve the celebration, we have developed a short (7 question) survey that we would ask you to take. Your input, whether you participated in Free Paper Month OR NOT, will help us to strengthen Free Paper Month in the future.

The survey will take you LESS than 5 minutes, and we will be conducting a random drawing from all of the responses to give away $500 in cash prizes. There will be (1) $200 winner, (2) $100 winners and (2) $50 winners. If you would like to be in the drawing simply provide your contact information found at the end of the survey. If you prefer to remain anonymous that is fine, just leave the contact information blank and we will leave you out of the drawing.

You opinions are most important to us, thank you in advance for helping us to improve our annual Free Paper Month celebration.

To take the survey click on this link:


July is Free Community Paper Month

By: Ed Coats, event chairperson
All too often these days we hear “print is dead.” In reality, however, print is far from perishing. Nowhere is this more evident than in the free community paper industry.
In our busy everyday world, we sometimes forget to boast about how important and relevant our community papers are. They are significant not only in aiding advertisers to share their message with potential customers but also in delivering local community news of interest to readers in homes across the country.
Paper Chain is the common link between all free community papers across the country. For that reason, we feel it is the responsibility of Paper Chain to be the leader in expanding awareness of the free community paper industry and letting people know print is not dead but very much alive and well.
This July we again celebrate Free Community Paper Month. During this time, we ask that all the state, regional and local free community paper organizations get together and celebrate.
To do this, Paper Chain will be providing materials to help you promote this event.

Here is the agenda for the 2015 celebration roll out:
1. Shown below is the Free Community Paper Month Logo. Please use this logo often on your masthead, folios, promotional ads, articles and as fillers throughout your paper leading up to and during the month of July. For original artwork and PDF’s visit http://paperchain.org/freepapermonth.html

2. Also shown is a sample ad from the 2014 Free Community Paper Month celebration.  They will also be available on the website noted above on or about the first of June and will also be distributed by your state, regional and national associations.
3. Publishers are asked to not alter the logo, but to use it often.  We encourage you to localize the ad and draw your reader’s attention to the important role your paper and staff play in this industry and how this industry stimulates the local and national economy.
4. We are all so very busy these days but we also encourage you to brainstorm with your staff and find ways to use the month of July to highlight your organization’s accomplishments and the many ways your publications help drive and support the local economy.
5. The 2015 celebration is a national event but you can provide the local flavor. Ask your town fathers, city council and county government to consider taking action on a local proclamation formally recognizing Free Community Paper Month. Suggested proclamations can also be found athttp://paperchain.org/freepapermonth.html.

Your paper has made a great investment in your community and this industry. Only you and your staff can help us bring that story to your readers in this consolidated industry-wide effort. Please consider active participation in the July 2015 Free Community Paper Month. Visit us on Facebook and let us know your plans for Free Community Paper Month.  Thank you in advance for all you do to enhance the industry with every issue you publish and your support with this project.

PaperChain 2014 Media Buyer Survey Brings Smiles to Free Paper Publishers

PaperChain – the association-driven marke ing effort for the free paper industry – has recently released results of a survey aimed at measuring free paper appeal to major media buyers. The results are very promising.

Accompanying this article is a summary report of the survey along with some commentary from Tim Bingaman of Circulation Verification Council. Tim and CVC have long worked hard to sell major ad buyers on the strengths and advantages of utilizing free papers; his comments on the survey and the comparisons provided to the 2008 poll are especially insightful and based on years of working closely with publishers and advertisers.

From Tim:
“With 90% now saying they have experience placing ads in free papers it looks like your FPI (ed.- free paper industry) may have turned the corner on general acceptance. It’s pretty rare that we hear the, “my client prefers to buy paid publications” statement anymore. When reviewing some old data I think it’s interesting to note that between 2002 (the first study) and 2008 (the second study) the score remained flat at 65%. It appears that attitudes have been changed recently as the score has increased 25 percentage points in that time. It correlates well with what we have heard from the media panels at the association meetings and with the increased media searches we see on the free papers.”

“It appears that there were a few more major buyers in this survey as evidenced by an 8% jump in those that reported they made national buys in radio, TV and outdoor. There was a 20% jump in those that reported they purchase print nationally. Regional print buyers remained un- changed for media other than print. There was an increase of 13% more reporting they make regional print buys. There were big increases (about 19% weighted) in those that reported they purchase state & local media.”

“The 2014 study had far more active “media buyers” than previous surveys. Media directors remained pretty much unchanged at 26% vs. 21%, but active media buyers increased from 18% to 41%. Media coordinators remained unchanged at 8% while media planners saw a big jump at 12% to 30%. The 2014 study had more media buyers with longer tenure in the industry. Both 5-10 years and 10+ years increased while those reporting less than 5 years fell from 24% to 12%.”

“I do think there are some tremendous opportunities for free papers that share the same city (not necessarily market) to work together. A couple of well-trained reps working the majors for 5-10 publications in a market could have some impact.”

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY: Shop Small on November 29!

What will you be doing on November 29, 2014, the Saturday after Thanksgiving?

Participating in Small Business Saturday of course! Heading into its fifth year, Small Business Saturday, which falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a day dedicated to local, independently-owned small businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods across the country.

There are many organizations, national and local, that have done a great job organizing and getting the word out about the outsized contributions that small businesses make to our communities. One of those is the Small Business SaturdayCoalition which PaperChain and several of our industry’s associations have joined to help spread the word about Small Business Saturday. Visit http://smallbusinesssaturday.com for more information.

Almost universally, Americans say they support and value small businesses in their communities. How could you not? They provide products and services you can’t get elsewhere, customer service is generally more personal, and they contribute enormously to the fabric of our neighborhoods and cities.

As hometown publishers, we know the the value and unrivaled service of our merchants on Main Street. We’re dedicated to promoting their success all year long! Last year, millions of Americans, shopped at independently-owned small businesses on Small Business Saturday. This year, we invite you to help make the day even bigger for small business. Here are ways your publication and your local businesses can get involved and help support Small Business Saturday:  https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/rally?linknav=us-open-shopsmall-subnav-rally

Shop Small on November 29, 2014:
By shopping small, you are showing your support for small businesses and creating goodwill within the communities where you work and live.  Make a day of it by shopping with friends and dining out at your favorite small restaurants.

Community papers and independent business owners should make the day your own:
Small businesses are known for having outstanding customer service and offering unique products.  Think about having special pages and promotions and lead neighboring small businesses to join forces to create a block party or holiday event.  Don’t forget to leverage Small Business Saturday marketing tools found here:  https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/marketing-materials-signup?linknav=us-amex-loy-open-shopsmall-sbo-login-sbostart

And check the interactive map here  http://shopsmallnow.americanexpress.com/?linknav=us-loy-open-shopsmall-subnavmap  to find your local businesses that are planning to participate.

Spread the word:
Sign up for email updates at www.shopsmall.com and make sure to ‘Like’ the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/shopsmall). Tell your family, friends and loyal customers about Small Business Saturday on your social networks. And of course, publish special sections for the big day.

PaperChain and our industry is excited to be part of the Small Business Saturday Coalition.  We encourage all of you to shop small on November 29, 2014 and help spread the word.  Let’s make Small Business Saturday, the biggest shopping day of them all – we’ll see you on Main Street!

Visit http://smallbusinesssaturday.com for more information.

SEO is important for your website……

Here is why, and how that relates to your SRDS Listing

You know that improved Search Engine Optimization will help your website rank higher on the search engines when someone is looking for something you offer. Everyone correctly wants to be on the first page of Google listings as an example. Being on later pages most of the time means people will never find you. Doing things to improve SEO creates “lift” in your position on search engines.

Well, that same concept works as well inside the SRDS database. When an agency is researching a market for an ad buy, they will often not go much deeper than the first few listings. You will be happy to know that as a member of PaperChain you get “lifted” in the listing to the top of those that did not purchase that position. That is a big advantage for your paper.

Both CVC and PaperChain invest in SRDS database promotions including this “Lift” for MFCP members.  This is a significant investment for CVC and PaperChain that would cost individual publishers $400 to $800 each month if purchased alone.

We occasionally hear of ad buys as a result of positioning in the SRDS database. Here are a couple of recent examples:

Fillmore County Journal, in Preston, MN received a big grand opening ad program from the nation’s largest beauty supply retailer because of their SRDS listing.  The Fillmore County Journal is listed fourth in the Rochester, MN DMA because of their elevated listing.  Without the PaperChain upgraded listing the buy probably would have gone to a daily newspaper listed above them.  The Fillmore County Journal would have been the tenth paper listed without the PaperChain upgrade.

Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc. in Des Moines, IA publishes 26 publications and received a significant double truck retail display ad series from a national retailer.  Their publications are listed third in the Des Moines DMA because of their elevated listing.  They would have been listed significantly lower in the list of 66 publications the media buyer had to choose from.

Please be aware and reminded that keeping your listing in SRDS up to date can make a big difference in  terms of your receiving insertion orders from ad agencies searching for media in your area. You can see your SRDS information and make updates by emailing June Levy at june.levy@kantarmedia.com.

SEO is important for your website……

Here is why, and how that relates to your SRDS Listing

You know that improved Search Engine Optimization will help your website rank higher on the search engines when someone is looking for something you offer. Everyone correctly wants to be on the first page of Google listings as an example. Being on later pages most of the time means people will never find you. Doing things to improve SEO creates “lift” in your position on search engines.

Well, that same concept works as well inside the SRDS database. When an agency is researching a market for an ad buy, they will often not go much deeper than the first few listings. You will be happy to know that as a member of PaperChain you get “lifted” in the listing to the top of those that did not purchase that position. That is a big advantage for your paper.

Both CVC and PaperChain invest in SRDS database promotions including this “Lift” for MFCP members.  This is a significant investment for CVC and PaperChain that would cost individual publishers $400 to $800 each month if purchased alone.

We occasionally hear of ad buys as a result of positioning in the SRDS database. Here are a couple of recent examples:

Fillmore County Journal, in Preston, MN received a big grand opening ad program from the nation’s largest beauty supply retailer because of their SRDS listing.  The Fillmore County Journal is listed fourth in the Rochester, MN DMA because of their elevated listing.  Without the PaperChain upgraded listing the buy probably would have gone to a daily newspaper listed above them.  The Fillmore County Journal would have been the tenth paper listed without the PaperChain upgrade.

Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc. in Des Moines, IA publishes 26 publications and received a significant double truck retail display ad series from a national retailer.  Their publications are listed third in the Des Moines DMA because of their elevated listing.  They would have been listed significantly lower in the list of 66 publications the media buyer had to choose from.

Please be aware and reminded that keeping your listing in SRDS up to date can make a big difference in  terms of your receiving insertion orders from ad agencies searching for media in your area. You can see your SRDS information and make updates by emailing June Levy at june.levy@kantarmedia.com.

July – Free Community Paper Month

Scarlette Merfeld 

The last month has been full of activity as we prepare for the July celebration.
We had high hopes of landing a national sponsor but we just ran out of time and couldn’t nail down the final approvals necessary to move forward with the national organization we had been courting.
I wanted to make you aware of some addition details to the information sent out last month. The committee has developed a series of Free Community Paper promotional ads. I am pleased to report that Graphic Designer Hank McAfee from Tower Publications has done a great job on the layout of these ads which are now up on the Free Community Paper Month Web site,http://paperchain.org/freepapermonth.html
The created ads focus on the strength of our industry and readership. By using the heading “Free Community Paper, The best things in life are free”. They personalize for our readers the concept of how their community paper is keeping it super local.
I also want to remind publishers and staff to try and get your city, town, or county government body to make the Free Community Paper Month Proclamation, officially proclaiming July as a special celebration of your paper. A copy of the sample proclamation can also be found on the web site noted above.
Remember, your paper has made a great investment in your community and this industry. Only you and your staff can help us bring that story alive to your readers in this consolidated industry-wide effort. Please consider active participation in the July 2014 Free Community Paper Month. We hope our efforts to secure a national partner/sponsor are buoyed by strong support from participating papers in 2014. If we can’t demonstrate our unity with a program like this it becomes difficult to prove it to an outside concern that our industry is worth an investment.
Visit us on Facebook and let us know your plans for Free Community Paper Month. Thank you in advance for all you do to enhance the industry with every
issue you publish and your support for this project.

PaperChain – Promoting Community Papers

“What or who is PaperChain?” “What do they do?” “What does it mean to me?” …quite possibly the top questions anyone who has ever served on the PaperChain committee has fielded from publishers across the country.

Let’s break each one down.
“What or who is PaperChain?” PaperChain is a national entity created to promote the community paper industry. PaperChain is steered by an all-volunteer committee of publishers, managers, and free paper association directors. These individuals are deeply invested and passionate about the industry, just like every publisher across the country. These individuals believe that a cohesive effort to promote community papers can yield greater results at a higher level than what most state, regional, or national associations might be able to achieve alone.
If you work for or operate an audited free publication, and are a member of any of the various state, regional, or national associations, you are PaperChain. You are part of an industry standard based on audited circulation that delivers results with every publication. When rolled up, this standard represents a circulation of over 44.2 million.
“What do they do?” It is the mission of PaperChain to promote this industry that is based on this reliable, trusted, and audited circulation. In order to achieve this, we look at two audiences.
The first is media buyers. PaperChain works very closely with SRDS which is a data clearing house for media buyers. Over 15,000 users pay to have access to the data SRDS gathers. They access this data over 300,000 times a year. PaperChain and SRDS (with great assistance from CVC) have created listings within the SRDS database for each of our PaperChain publications. We are putting your publication’s information in front of media buyers, planners, and executives. Our partnership does not stop there. Amongst other things, we have negotiated premium search placement, links to CVC audits, and PaperChain endorsement identification. So not only are you listed, but you get special treatment for even better awareness. In addition to SRDS, we promote the industry through various social media, press releases, and our own website, http://www.paperchain.com.
Our second audience is your readers. PaperChain has endeavored to partner with the industry associations to promote Free Paper Month at a local level. Our promotions take the strength of free papers and localize it for your market. We strongly encourage you to participate in this national campaign which will be coming to you for July of 2014.
PaperChain does not sell ads. We believe that the best sales reps in the industry are yours. Our objective is to promote, create awareness, and build strength, then allow you to capitalize in your markets for the benefit of your publication.
“What does it mean to me?” PaperChain is an endorsement of your publication. It is something to be proud of. This holds true for the media buyer audience we are working to bring to you as well as your local audience. Great investments have been made on your behalf. Investments such as the audits, the SRDS partnership, and Free Paper Month promotions are yours to take advantage of.
PaperChain means you have a low-cost marketing arm. Purchased alone, an SRDS marketing package would cost each publication thousands of dollars annually. PaperChain, in coordination with the various trade associations, is handling this for you. As mentioned above, we are promoting at the macro level, and you can capitalize on this in your local markets.
So now that I’ve answered these questions, as best as possible in limited space, I have a question for you? “Will you work with us?”
PaperChain’s strength is derived from the strength of the state, regional, and national associations, and the strength of each of the PaperChain publications. We are asking you to continue your efforts to build a reputable publication in your local market, to support your trade associations through the sales and publication of network ads, to get involved in Free Paper Month, and to promote the PaperChain brand within your publication. And finally, if you would like to join the efforts of the PaperChain committee we look forward to that opportunity and look forward to hearing from you.
John Draper
President, PaperChain
Publisher, Pipestone Publishing Co.

The Power of Partnership; A Philanthropic Partnership

PaperChain to support national military charity Fisher House Foundation

By Courtney Rae Kasper, Scotsman Media Group, Syracuse, New York, 2013 Rising Star
Imagine a loved one being sent to combat for freedom fighting efforts, away from family and not knowing if or when they will return home. Now imagine that this same loved one is heroically wounded in combat, and his or her only wish is to have family by their bedside during the healing process. Oftentimes, more funding is needed beyond that typically provided by the military to make this possible.
Take the case of Navy Lt. Brad Snyder of Florida, as profiled in the latest edition of The Patriot magazine (Volume 4, Issue 2 2013). Snyder was embedded with an assault unit after surviving an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan in September 2011. The tragic accident left Snyder blind, and he was brought back stateside to recover in a facility away from home.
But thanks to the national military charity Fisher House Foundation, Snyder’s family was able to stay in a home-away-from-home, free of charge, near the medical facility where he was being treated. The wounded soldier’s mother, brother and sister were able to comfort and support him during this drastic time of need, including helping him learn Braille. Snyder’s steady road to recovery lead him to regain his athletic abilities and bring home multiple gold medals from the 2012 Warrior Games and Paralympics Games.
The Snyder family is just one of the 180,000 military families that the Fisher House Foundation has aided in its 20-plus years of existence. And PaperChain is proud to announce Fisher House as the organization’s new charity partner.
According to the Association of Free Community Papers’ Executive Director Loren Colburn, he discovered the highly rated Fisher House through researching CharityWatch (an online charity rating guide distributed by the American Institute of Philanthropy) and quickly knew it would be a lasting match for PaperChain members. “We all feel an obligation to do those things in the community we serve and this is one that we thought people would quickly embrace because of the nature of it. Everyone wants to do what they can to help veterans,” Colburn said.
Headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, Fisher House has been providing a safe haven for wounded warriors and their families since 1991. Fisher House Foundation is comprised of a network of 62 comfort homes on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers across the country and abroad. (At present, there are plans to build more than 15 new homes across the country during the next three years.) The 5,000- to 16,500-square-foot homes boast as many as 21 suites with private bedrooms and baths, and shared kitchen, laundry, dining and living spaces that are donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs by Fisher House.
It is estimated that the program has saved military families $200 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation, and just in 2012, it served a daily lodging capacity of 735 for an average 10-day length of stay. This year the non-profit marked a milestone with the five millionth lodging night for families of service men and women.
Fisher House also operates the Hero Miles Program, which uses donated frequent flyer miles to transport family members to the bedside of injured veterans; the Hotels for Heroes Program, which provides free lodging for family members through donated hotel points; and a grant program that supports scholarship funds as well as additional military charities.
Through this philanthropic partnership, PaperChain members will donate available space to run Fisher House advertisements and help the charity and industry gain recognition, while impacting the lives of veterans and their families. “The idea was to find an organization that we can move the needle for and see an immediate result,” Colburn said. “For instance, with two of the programs Fisher House has in place, if we started an ad campaign nationwide and all of sudden there was a high influx of hotel points, then Fisher House would be able to say that it came from our partnership with the free community papers.”
With PaperChain being the largest network of newspaper associations and member publications in the nation, Cindy Campbell, vice president for Community Relations and Media Affairs, said that Fisher House is honored by the opportunity and is hopeful that the partnership will further expose the charity through its free paper publications. “For us, the most important part of the partnership is the chance to get our voice out there,” Campbell said. “We are very grateful to have this opportunity, and we hope that the local papers and their patrons will see the ads, go to our website and donate or volunteer – all very important to helping the mission.”
For more information, visit www.paperchain.com andwww.fisherhouse.org.
The Young family takes time away from the hospital to return to the kitchen inside the Tampa Fisher House to feed their young daughter.
Photo Credit: Craig Orsini | www.orsinistudio.com
Each Fisher House has a manager, but they couldn’t do everything they do without the help of their volunteers who give so generously of their time.
Photo Credit: Craig Orsini | www.orsinistudio.com
One couple enjoys the peace and quiet of the Tampa Fisher House living room.
Photo Credit: Craig Orsini | www.orsinistudio.com
The spacious dining room inside the Fisher House provides plenty of room to not only eat, but to also gather to play games.
Photo Credit: Craig Orsini | www.orsinistudio.com

Free Community Papers are alive and well

~Kevin Slimp, Speaker/Writer/Consultant

I had to laugh a few days ago, when I received a copy of an industry publication featuring my pic on the top fold of the front page with the headline, “Slimp’s invention has served newspaper industry for 20 years.”

I have to tell you. I don’t know where those years went. Back in those days, it seemed like everybody introduced me as the “young whiz kid” of the newspaper industry when I stepped on stage at a convention. It seems, in those early days, everyone wanted me to speak about where I came up with the idea for using PDFs to print newspapers and transmit ads. My most popular line was, “I don’t know. It seemed like it ought to work.”

Kevin meets with publishers for four hours
to discuss the future of the industry
at a publisher’s summit in November.

You know, most great discoveries in life and business seem to boil down to common sense. As I write this column, I’m in Nashville, Tennessee, where I’ll be leading a publishers’ summit this week. A large group of publishers – I’m really quite surprised at just how large it is – from metro dailies to the smallest community papers are coming together to discuss how to be even more successful in the future.

When I lead something like this, I become a statistic junkie for days before, as I study every stat I can get my hands on. Two statistics struck me as very interesting as I prepared for this summit.
The first was a study released by Pew Research Center, indicating just how little most social media sites, other than Facebook, are actually used by anyone. My best friend, Ken, who is a marketing guru in Dallas, had me convinced that it was time to throw away Facebook, paper and all my other resources because the world, as he had described it, had turned to Instagram and Twitter.  Well I certainly know now, thanks to this study, that compared to print and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are used by just a small portion of the population. I was especially surprised at how few teens used Instagram, after Ken almost had me drinking the Kool-Aid.

More surprising to me, however, were the most recent statistics from the Alliance for Audited Media, formerly known as ABC, showing the circulation of the 25 largest metro papers in the country. You may be wondering why I’m writing a column for a free paper industry pub about metro circulation. Just follow along for a little while longer.

How’s this for a surprising number? The Atlanta Journal Constitution had a 33 percent increase in circulation. That’s not a misprint. They grew from 174,000 subscribers to 231,000 in one year. And the Orange County Register, the same paper I predicted would have huge growth, grew 27 percent, from 280,000 subscribers to 356,000.

I know what you’re thinking, “It’s those digital subscribers.” But guess what? Atlanta’s total digital circulation sits at 6,000, while Orange County’s sits at 15,000. Yes, less than 5 percent of total circulation for both.

So why do I even bother you with this stuff? Because, my friends, print is alive and well. We keep hearing that community papers, as a whole, are doing well this year. But we also keep hearing that the big papers are dying, which – in turn – means that we’re all going with them.

That whole mess in New Orleans and other Newhouse cities has caused the whole nation to believe the sky is falling. But guess what. It’s not. More newspapers than the naysayers would like us to believe are doing very well. Sure, some aren’t. But many are. I believe that’s always been the case.
What am I going to say to this group of distinguished publishers tomorrow? I’m going to remind them that their future is bright, if they’ll resist the lure of the “print is dead” philosophy and keep producing quality publications.

You know, there are groups that don’t invite me to speak anymore because I refuse to say that we should all abandon print. But I remember when I was working on the PDF project 20 years ago. It seemed that everybody, including Adobe, said it would never work.  Only a few close colleagues believed that we would ever transmit and print files in a method we take for granted today.
But common sense told me they were wrong. And common sense tells me that statistics don’t lie. We have a bright future. Hold on for the ride.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY: Shop Small on November 30!

What will you be doing on November 30, 2013, the Saturday after Thanksgiving?

Participating in Small Business Saturday of course!  Heading into its fourth year, Small Business Saturday, which falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a day dedicated to local, independently-owned small businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods across the country.

There are many organizations, national and local, that have done a great job organizing and getting the word out about the outsized contributions that small businesses make to our communities. One of those is the Small Business SaturdayCoalition which PaperChain and several of our industry’s associations have joined to help spread the word about Small Business Saturday. Visit http://smallbusinesssaturday.com for more information.

Almost universally, Americans say they support and value small businesses in their communities. How could you not? They provide products and services you can’t get elsewhere, customer service is generally more personal, and they contribute enormously to the fabric of our neighborhoods and cities.

As hometown publishers, we know the the value and unrivaled service of our merchants on Main Street. We’re dedicated to promoting their success all year long! Last year, millions of Americans, shopped at independently-owned small businesses on Small Business Saturday. This year, we invite you to help make the day even bigger for small business. Here are ways your publication and your local businesses can get involved and help support Small Business Saturday:

Shop Small on November 30, 2013:

By shopping small, you are showing your support for small businesses and creating goodwill within the communities where you work and live.  Make a day of it by shopping with friends and dining out at your favorite small restaurants.

Community papers and independent business owners should make the day your own:

Small businesses are known for having outstanding customer service and offering unique products.  Think about having special pages and promotions and lead neighboring small businesses to join forces to create a block party or holiday event.  Don’t forget to leverage Small Business Saturday marketing tools found here:  https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/resources?linknav=us-open-shopsmall-homepage-getresources

And check the interactive map here https://shopsmallneighborhoods.americanexpress.com/ to find your local businesses that are planning to participate.

Spread the word:

Sign up for email updates at www.shopsmall.com and make sure to ‘Like’ the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/shopsmall). Tell your family, friends and loyal customers about Small Business Saturday on your social networks. And of course, publish special sections for the big day.

PaperChain and our industry is excited to be part of the Small Business Saturday Coalition.  We encourage all of you to shop small on November 30, 2013 and help spread the word.  Let’s make Small Business Saturday, the biggest shopping day of them all – we’ll see you on Main Street!

Visit http://smallbusinesssaturday.com for more information.

Free Community Paper Month a great success

Switching “Free Community Paper Month” to the month of July for the first time this year and replacing “Free Paper Week,” which had been held during the Month of March, has generated a great deal of new excitement.

The committee held a contest during the month of July for readers and member papers. Throughout the nation our community papers and readers were able to learn about the vibrancy of our industry and had a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to a local merchant from their immediate area.

In addition to the contest for readers, the member papers were asked to publish a Free Community Paper Month advertisement during the month of July and submit a tearsheet to the committee for their chance to win up to $2,000 in advertising reimbursement. This encouraged our members to roll the dice and really make a splash with the Free Community Paper Month promotion. Many publishers really thought outside the box and were very creative with their promotional activity.

As a result, the 2013 contest brought in 1,702 reader entries to the web site, and 64 PaperChain members submitted tearsheets for entry into the contest. Clearly every Free Community Paper who participated was a winner.

By chance — and this was a computer generated random pick — both winners were from the great state of Wisconsin. Laura Shepard avid reader of the Advertiser Community News in Seymour, Wisconsin who reads about everything happening in our small town community was the winner of $500 from PaperChain.

Also a winner of $500 was Laura’s favorite Free Community Paper the Advertiser Community News, in Seymour.

Our member winner who won the full $2,000 reimbursement for running ads valued at more than this amount was, The Great Dane Shopping News from Verona, Wisconsin. Woodward Community Media Group Publisher Steve Fisher states, “We are very happy to receive this prize! The marketing and promotional support provided by PaperChain is key to helping each individual member keep the value of our products top of mind to our readers, advertisers and employees. Kudos to PaperChain.”

Committee members would like to thank everyone who participated and ask that you look for an even bigger and better Free Community Paper Month in July 2014. We encourage you to lend your support and ideas to our committee. We hear a lot these days about how great other mediums are and we also hear about the mediums that are not doing so well. If we don’t tell our story with enthusiasm, no one will. So spread the word, lift your voices and let’s make sure to pave the way for future successes.

Washington DC need to know!

By the time that you read this we will be just a few short weeks from the Monumental Conference in Washington D.C. We have listed here a few things that will help you with your travels.

The Hotel and Registration

The Hotel is the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton, 1250 South Hayes Street, Arlington, Virginia 22202. It is connected to and has a private entrance to the Pentagon City Fashion Mall featuring over 120 stores and dozens of restaurants and eateries. The direct number for the hotel is 703-451-5000

Registration will be open at noon on Thursday and at 7:30 AM on Friday and Saturday. It is located on the second floor next to the Grand Ballroom. All room elevators have a second floor stop so there is no reason to leave the building.

Getting There By Air

Reagan airport is the closest and is a $7 cab fare to the hotel. Washington/Baltimore is about 35 miles away and Dulles about 15. For the best means of transportation from these hotels, please contact the hotel Concierge Services direct at 703-415-5000

By Automobile

The hotel is located right off  US route I-395 at the Pentagon City exit. The hotel has a Concierge Service at 703-415-5000 that will be happy to give you personalized directions from any location.

By Amtrack

Amtrack trains discharge at Union Station in center city D.C. I would highly recommend the Metro to the hotel as it is only $3 and takes you right to the front door of the hotel. I used it last week and found it to be clean, fast and safe.


The average temperature for Washington in September is 80 degree high and 63 degree low.

All sessions Thursday Friday and Saturday are Business Casual. We want you to be comfortable; however it is a business meeting in a very business district, so please use your own discretion.

Thursday evening is Vendors welcome night, be comfortable. It is a great chance to wind down from your trip, meet old friends, and make some new ones.

Don’t miss the Friday night outing at the National Press Club and the nighttime tour of our Nations Capital. Dinner will be at the press club near the Whitehouse where correspondents and reporters have been writing stories for decades. You will have a chance to walk the halls where Newspaper Legends have made history and the signed pictures on the walls will attest to that. As this is a working business property, please dress accordingly, no shorts or dungarees. Sport coats would be accepted, but not required,

Saturday night will be on your own and your packet will include area restaurant guides for everything from Taco Bell to Ruth Chris, all within 5 minutes of the hotel.


  • Please bring a bundle of your papers to exchange and plenty of business cards
  • Please bring your open mind and 3-minute ideas and plan to learn from the great speakers and your peers
  • Please bring your appetite, we always have plenty of great food
  • It’s Washington DC! If you have any ideas to change it, Congress is in session, go tell them
  • Bring your wallet and credit card to buy a drink for one of the hard working people who made all of this possible.



Happy Free Community Paper Month!

Just a few days in, and we already have over 120 readers entered into our contest — as well as a few publishers submitting promo tearsheets (for June!). We’re off to a fantastic start — kudos to PaperChain and all the folks who make great stuff happen!

Watch for all the stories, newsletters, blogs and social postings that will happen during Free Community Paper Month — we’ll spread their message socially through PaperChain’s spaces. And while you’re at it, please take a moment to “like,” “retweet” and “comment” on the official PaperChain sites:
and the news & materials:
Tech Committee Co-chair

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Notice to All Publishers:

Celebrate Free Community Paper Month in July!

Industry insiders know and recognize the valuable service our free community papers provide to readers and advertisers, but all too often in the hustle and bustle of today’s fast pace world those simple facts get overlooked.

For the benefit of publishers of this valuable service, and for future generations of free paper publishers who will follow, it’s important to remind those we serve of our important role in their community and to toot our horn just a little bit. SincePaperChain is the common link between all the national, regional and state freepaper organizations it makes sense that it leads the charge to organize a recognition and celebration of our industry.

Your PaperChain leadership believes the noble mission of Free Community Papers fits perfectly with the national celebration of freedom the United States so proudly enjoys. The concepts of freedom and liberty and the rights we hold so dear provide the nation’s free papers with the perfect backdrop to remind the country of the valuable services we bring to over 56 million homes each week. In the spirit of independence and freedom celebrated nationwide every July we need your help to spread the word and demonstrate the reach of our industry. We will do this through a grand celebration of the Free Community Paper Industry during the entire month of July.

 Here is the agenda for the 2013 celebration roll out.

  1. Shown here is the Free Community Paper Month Logo.

Please use this logo often on your mast head, folios, promotional ads, articles and as fillers throughout your paper leading up to and during the month of July. For original artwork and PDF’s visit http://paperchain.org/freepapermonth.html.

  1. Also shown below is a Free Community Paper Month ad describing how your paper and your readers can participate. By participating both you and your readers will learn more about the industry and have the opportunity to sign up to win a $500 gift certificate to a local merchant of your choice (compliments of PaperChain) when they visit http://paperchain.com/contest/.
  2. As a Free Community Paper Publisher, your publication has two ways to win. If one of your readers is selected to win the $500 prize, you also get to pocket $500. You can also win up to $2,000 reimbursement for the promotional ad space you donate to the promotion of Free Community Paper Month. To register for this reimbursement a publication only needs to provide one tear-sheet electronically to contest@paperchain.com. If your tear-sheet is randomly selected you’ll be asked to document and supply proof of all the ads and logo space you’ve committed to the program and based on your advertising rates you will be reimbursed up to $2,000 for your promotional efforts.
  3. Publishers are asked not to alter the logo, but to use it often. We encourage you to localize the ad and draw your reader’s attention to the important role your paper and staff play in this industry and how this industry stimulates the local and national economy.
  4. We are all so very busy these days but we also encourage you to brainstorm with your staff and find ways to use the month of July to highlight your publication’s accomplishments and the many ways your publications help drive and support the local economy.
  5. The 2013 celebration is only the beginning. In August the newly formed committee will begin work on the 2014 celebration. Their first order of business will be to begin work on national and state political proclamations formally recognizing Free Community Paper Month. They also anticipate some more elaborate contests for both readers and publications to stimulate even greater participation.

Your paper has made a great investment in your community and this industry. Only you and your staff can help us bring that story alive to your readers in this consolidated industry-wide effort. Please consider active participation in the July 2013 Free Community Paper Month. Visit us on Facebook and let us know your plans for Free Community Paper Month and thanks in advance for all you do to enhance the industry with every issue you publish.

Questions: Contact Scarlette Merfeld ads@denpubs.com or 518-585-9173 x 117.


On behalf of the entire PaperChain committee I am happy to announce “JULY is National Free Paper Month”. We are currently forming a committee to work out all the details on how to promote and celebrate it.  Many ideas have been bantered about and I can assure you the ideas are awesome!  The internal committee came up with the idea to switch the celebration from March to July in order to take advantage of the spirit of independence.

Dan Alexander, Sr. and co-chair of the internal marketing committee for PaperChain said, “Given the state of some daily pubs pulling back, I think the political mood is such that we could be welcomed as providing our communities with a very valuable service, supporting and providing an economic stimulant and identity to the areas we serve. Mom, Apple Pie and your Free Community Paper. It doesn’t get any more patriot than that!!!”

Scarlette Merfeld from Denton Publications has agreed to chair the Free Paper Month committee and if you would like to be involved, please drop me an email.  Please watch for details and help us to promote our industry and plan to get involved in National Free Paper Month – July!

Officials for Rotary International have been invited to attend the AFCP conference in Denver April 25-27 to meet with publishers to encourage participation in PaperChain organized Rotary promotional materials.  Please help us to help Rotary meet their marketing needs and help prove the effectiveness of free papers!

Lastly I want to encourage you to share the Link and Learn and Link and Earn with your staff members.  This unique monthly feature is courtesy of PaperChain!

Please feel free to reach out to me with any PaperChain related questions or to volunteer to help.

Greg Birkett

Make Digital Reporting a New Year’s Resolution!

by the AFCP Technology Committee

In keeping with our committee’s mission to help our publishers harness the full potential of emerging technologies, the first “Digital Bytes” feature of the New Year asks, “What’s in Your CVC Audit Report?” Here’s a hint: If it’s not the full range of Digital Data now measured under newly expanded “Paragraph Six,” you are missing tremendous opportunities.

Adding to the established anchor analytics on general website activity and companion digital editions of publications, our audit reports now offer verified reporting for mobile-text marketing, social media, and email databases. The industry should welcome and embrace the new reporting opportunities, says tech entrepreneur, Joe Nicastro: “Websites, digital editions and social media statistics have become so vital to our industry. In the past we simply relied on our publication audits. Although those audits are a very important part of our industry, online statistics are becoming just as important if not more important.”

“The reason being,” Nicastro asserts, “is that advertisers hear more and more about online marketing, they know about companies like Facebook and Twitter as well as Google. They hear all the time they need to have an online presence to increase their business. Your online numbers become very important and can play a large role in increasing your print revenue. If your traffic to your website, digital editions  and other types of online media are growing it can show your advertisers as well as potential advertisers that your publications understand the need for traditional print but also understand online advertising and how it can help their businesses.”

For publishers who have long embraced the existing digital reporting, the new opportunities offered under CVC‘s Paragraph Six are most welcome. However, not everyone is onboard with the “legacy metrics” according to CVC VP and digital lead, Jim Kennedy. “Currently 59% are reporting general website activity (6A),” he says, noting however that the industry still has room to grow from the “14% who present data for both web activity and digital editions.” He is hopeful, as is the AFCP Digital Committee, the current industry reporting baseline will serve as a “springboard, as publications not only offer the banner ads, but begin to incorporate the other, expanded Paragraph 6 platforms into their programs for advertising opportunities.”

Our industry has plenty of examples of success leveraging website analytics and digital metrics, and Delta Publications has done so for years. As an early adopter, Joe Mathes is excited about the expanded reporting and the opportunities it offers to enhance the conversations with prospective advertisers. “Today it’s imperative to include digital information along with your CVC audit. Advertisers are hungry for digital data,” he notes from experience, adding that, “in some cases more so than your circulation numbers. It doesn’t matter if your numbers aren’t great. To some advertisers, 1,000 unique visitors are more desirable than 10,000 copies in print.”

“Reporting your text message advertising statistics is key to lending credibility to your product and will help lay the ground work for the future success of your text ad sales,” adds Ken Ubert, President and Publisher of Hometown Publications – Express News. “We recently landed a large grocery store chain for Text It Advertising, our newspaper’s retail mobile division, in large part due to being able to back-up our personal stats with third-party audit reporting. It is great that CVC will now be offering this to publishers, which is something the ‘big guys’ want to see.”

The message from the trenches is simple, befitting a New Year’s Resolution: “Include all your digital numbers, and you make your company as attractive as possible!” These sentiments are echoed by another tech entrepreneur and friend of the industry, Justin Gerena, who proclaims: “We’re living in a media buyer’s fantasy right now — never before have they been able to make decision based on cold hard facts about exposure, reach, and results.” His conclusion, that we should all want to do our easy homework here, notes that “CVC can’t make it any easier to report digital circulation data. It’s a no-brainer to report on digital reach, especially when you have vendors who can do it for you. No excuses when data is so readily available.”

PaperChain and Rotary Work Together for Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort

Join fellow PaperChain publishers and Rotary International in helping support the relief efforts for those effected by Hurricane Sandy.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone along the east coast who has been affected by the devastation delivered by Hurricane Sandy!

Here is a tremendous opportunity for our member publications to run a small ad on a space available basis to help raise relief funds for our fellow Americans who have suffered devastating losses. As the weather continues to make their situation even more difficult, these folks who have lost everything will be in even greater need of our help.

The ad available at the link below will allow readers to make a donation through a special PayPal account set up with Rotary Club of Wall Street and PaperChain to track funds generated from your generous donation of space to this worthy endeavor. Just follow the link and run the ad with the easy to use QR code that will direct the user to the donation site with the PayPal form.

Download the PaperChain Hurricane Sandy Relief Ad

Please run the ad as many times in November as you have space available and help us send a message of support this Thanksgiving for those people in serious need of our help. Thanks in advance for your generosity at this time of need.


Carol Toomey 
AFCP President

Member & Past District Governor, Rotary International
Greg Birkett
Chair of PaperChain

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY: Shop Small on November 24!

What will you be doing on November 24, 2012, the Saturday after Thanksgiving?  

Participating in Small Business Saturday of course!  Heading into its third year, Small Business Saturday, which falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a day dedicated to local, independently-owned small businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods across the country.

There are many organizations, national and local, that have done a great job organizing and getting the word out about the outsized contributions that small businesses make to our communities. One of those is the Small Business Saturday Coalition which PaperChain and several of our industry’s associations have joined to help spread the word about Small Business Saturday. Visit http://smallbusinesssaturday.com for more information.

Almost universally, Americans say they support and value small businesses in their communities. How could you not? They provide products and services you can’t get elsewhere, customer service is generally more personal, and they contribute enormously to the fabric of our neighborhoods and cities.

As hometown publishers, we know the the value and unrivaled service of our merchants on Main Street. We’re dedicated to promoting their success all year long! Last year, millions of Americans, shopped at independently-owned small businesses on Small Business Saturday. This year, we invite you to help make the day even bigger for small business. Here are ways your publication and your local businesses can get involved and help support Small Business Saturday:

·      Shop Small on November 24, 2012:

By shopping small, you are showing your support for small businesses and creating goodwill within the communities where you work and live.  Make a day of it by shopping with friends and dining out at your favorite small restaurants.

·      Community papers and independent business owners should make the day your own:

Small businesses are known for having outstanding customer service and offering unique products.  Think about having special pages and promotions and lead neighboring small businesses to join forces to create a block party or holiday event.  Don’t forget to leverage Small Business Saturday marketing tools found here:  www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/rally-your-town  And check the interactive map here http://smallbusinesssaturday.com to find your local businesses that are planning to participate.

·      Spread the word: 

Sign up for email updates at www.shopsmall.com and make sure to ‘Like’ the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/shopsmall). Tell your family, friends and loyal customers about Small Business Saturday on your social networks. And of course, publish special sections for the big day.

PaperChain and our industry is excited to be part of the Small Business Saturday Coalition.  We encourage all of you to shop small on November 24, 2012 and help spread the word.  Let’s make Small Business Saturday, the biggest shopping day of them all – we’ll see you on Main Street!

Visit http://smallbusinesssaturday.com for more information.


At the IFPA meeting in New Orleans they hosted a media buyers panel made up of David Crawford, former media buyer and now with SRDS, 2 other media buyers and Tim Bingaman from CVC as host and moderator. The information that they gave to the audience was very valuable. They gave some great insight into the media buying process and what is important to media buyers.

I found it interesting to hear them speak of a “Dead Room” full of printed media kits that no one looks at anymore. Media buyers want their information electronically. They referred to these rooms as the room of broken dreams. I also found it interesting that they do want relationships with the media and find it most useful when representatives go out of their way to state their case on particular accounts or advertisers.

One thing that they stressed is the importance of audited circulation. When they have the choice, they said audited wins every time. This is where my guilt comes in. I am behind on my quarterly audit reports. I put it on the back burner, feeling I have so many more important things to get done. I had the best intentions of getting them caught up and then having my circulation manager complete the task going forward on a weekly basis. That just makes sense, doesn’t it?

I know there are many of you that have been behind on your audit reports – misery likes company, they say. After hearing the media buyer’s discussion, I know that I need to move the project to the front burner and get them up to date as soon as I can, and keep them that way. To help the free paper industry, please keep your audits up to date. It is important, as an industry that we continue to plead our case that our papers continue to thrive and that our circulations are not plummeting like the dailies – this could be our chance to finally convince media buyers of the strength of our local circulation.

Your PaperChain committee has been working hard to make a small budget work to promote the free paper industry. One of our key allies in the promotion is our inclusion and prominent positioning on the SRDS platform, where media buyers look to find information about advertising opportunities in markets around the country. Douglas Fry from SAPA put together a great “sizzle reel” about the power of our papers that is on the SRDS site for media buyers to view. They played it at the IFPA conference for all to see, and you can view it, too, by going to the PaperChain site at: http://www.paperchainnetwork.net

Watch for more information about how PaperChain and the Free Paper Industry are using SRDS to help us spread the good news that in the free paper world, print is not dead!




The Board of Directors of Midwest Free Community Papers is pleased to announce the hiring of Dick Colvinto the position of Executive Director, replacing Brian Gay who retired at the end of June.

A team has been appointed to work with Dick to plan for a smooth transition into the position.  Start dates and specifics will be worked out very soon.

Dick brings with him a wealth of sales and free paper experience having worked with the Texas Community Newspaper Association, the Southwest Association of Community Publications, and the PennySaver, a division of Harte Hanks in California. He also served in various roles for Magic Ads, Sacramento and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Dick Colvin said, “I have very large shoes to fill in replacing Brian Gay and I look forward to working closely with the MFCP board to strengthen the association and provide great service to their member papers.”

MFCP President, Joel Klaassen said “There was a strong field of candidates that applied for this position and it was a hard decision but we are excited to start this new chapter in MFCP’s rich history and I am very pleased to be able to have Dick at the helm leading our association.”



Make Your Message Sticky

by Jim Busch, Ideas & Eyeballs

We live in a crazy busy world. Everyone is constantly inundated with information and sales pitches. This creates a challenge for sales people because we have to break through the clutter and make our presentations memorable and impactful. We need to make our presentations “sticky” to engage the prospect so that they retain the information we share with them. I like to use”visual analogies” to sell advertising.

For example: I was doing a presentation to a customer who advertised in a competitive product to convince him to include us in his marketing mix. I did some research and found that about one third of the market read their product exclusively and almost an equal number read only my paper. The remaining third read both publications. I could have printed out the research and shared the numbers, but in most cases this overwhelms the customer. Instead I bought three cheap clear plastic vases and two bags of Hershey’s Kisses, one milk and one dark chocolate. I put milk chocolate candy in one vase and the dark chocolate kisses in another. The third vase was left empty. During the presentation I pulled out the three vases and told the customer that they represented the readership of the two local papers. The vase on the left with the silver wrapped candy was my paper, and the purple wrapped candy on the right was my competitor. I then poured some of each into the empty vase in the middle telling him that this was a more accurate description of the market because a third of local residents read both. I then took the vase of milk chocolate candy away and put it behind my back. I told the customer”You current program misses one third of your potential customers” and pointing the the mixed vase “you are cutting your exposure to these people in half.” This image helped the customer to understand what he was doing much more clearly than any chart or PowerPoint could do, The sight of having his “candy” taken away invoked the natural human tendency to avoid loss. Making my point visually burned this into the customer’s brain and helped position the value of my paper. They expanded their budget and now advertise in both papers.

One final point: I first considered using dried beans to make my point but decided to go with the chocolate. After my demo, the client ate some of my “props” and I left the rest for his staff. This small gift made the presentation more memorable and literally left a “good taste in the customer’s mouth.” Whenever possible use visual analogies to prove the value of your products. Doing so will make what your presentations much “stickier!”

Announcing the 2012 Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl K-12:

Calling all competitors!
Do you have what it takes to be a recycling champion?

Compete against other schools in your state and nationwide to see who recycles the most. There are great prizes for top performers!

The 2012 Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl K-12 school competition registration database is now open. The competition will be held October 15 to November 9, 2012, with registration closing on Tuesday, October 9, 2012. The first 1000 schools to register will receive a Recycle-Bowl coordinator toolkit. The toolkit will include Recycle-Bowl competition posters, lesson plans, a paper making DVD, plastic bottle flake “test tubes”, a library book, etc.

For complete details on criteria, prizes and more, register to participate in a September 18 webinar on the topic from 4:30 – 5:30 PM EDT at:https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/311899209
More information about the competition can be found at: http://recycle-bowl.org

Just a reminder, this competition is separate from the previously posted AF&PA Recycling Awards, which will launch in December and focus on paper recovery from schools, businesses and communities.  For details of previous AF&PA Recycling Award winners and their programs, visit paperrecycles.org.

Report: Going Paperless May Not Be Better for the Environment

The Non-Profit, Two Sides, Launches Educational Campaign to Promote Proper Marketing Claims Related to Print and Paper

Two Sideshas just launched a nationwide initiative to assist major U.S. companies in developing and implementing best practices related to environmental marketing claims for print and paper. According to Two Sides research on 94 leading companies, 50 percent of them are using unsubstantiated environmental claims to encourage consumers to switch to lower-cost electronic billing and services.

“The objective of our new program is to offer our expertise at no cost to U.S. corporations who currently make environmental claims about print and paper relative to online billing and communication. Our research has shown that many companies are using negative claims that are not verifiable or factual related to the environmental impacts of print and paper, and as a result do not meet best practice guidelines for environmental marketing,” says Two Sides President and COO Phil Riebel. “Two Sides and our 60 member companies are committed to sharing our collective expertise on the life-cycle and environmental impacts of print and paper. Our discussions to date have been very productive and the end result has been more accurate claims that are not damaging to the paper, printing and mailing sectors that provide over 8 million U.S. jobs.”

Two Sides, which represents companies across the graphic communications supply chain, will assist companies to develop and follow best practices for environmental marketing, including the use of science-based and verifiable information. The non-profit conducted a similar campaign in the United Kingdom with great success. More than 80 percent of the U.K. companies approached — including well-known names like British Telecom, Barclaycard, Vodafone and EON Energy — agreed to change their messaging to eliminate misleading or factually incorrect environmental claims about the use of print and paper.

“The fact is, print and paper products made in the U.S. have a great environmental story to tell,” Riebel says. “Paper comes from a renewable resource — trees grown in responsibly managed forests — and it’s recycled more than any other commodity, including plastics, metals and glass. The continuing demand for sustainably sourced paper gives U.S. landowners and families a financial incentive to continue managing their lands responsibly and keep them forested rather than selling them for development or other non-forest uses. Thanks in great part to the sustainable forestry practices advanced by the paper and forest products industry, the volume of growing trees in U.S. forests has increased nearly 50 percent over the last half century.”

“Many major U.S. companies have implemented credible sustainability initiatives that focus on true performance measurement and factual environmental claims,” Riebel says. “However, in some cases marketing seems to take the upper hand on science. Two Sides is committed to help change this, and our experience to date shows that we’ve been successful in finding mutually acceptable solutions.”

About Two Sides:

Two Sides is an initiative by companies from the Graphic Communication Value Chain including forestry, pulp, paper, inks and chemicals, pre-press, press, finishing, publishing and printing. Membership spans Europe, the United States and Australia. Our common goal is to promote the responsible production and use of print and paper, and dispel common environmental misconceptions by providing users with verifiable information on why print and paper is an attractive, practical and sustainable communications medium. For more information about Two Sides, please contact Phil Riebel at 1-855-896-7433 or pnr@twosides.info, or visit the Two Sides U.S. website at www.twosides.us.

PaperChain and Rotary International Link to Strengthen Communities.

PaperChain is proud to announce our new partnership with Rotary International. It has been PaperChain’s longstanding desire to partner with a charitable organization who contributes to the improvement and quality of life in the communities our member publications serve. What better partner to align ourselves with than Rotary International which is active in many of our member’s communities and whose core participants are very often the merchants and business people we do business with all year long.

About Rotary International:

Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self. Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations.

Publishers, Here’s How You Can Lend a Hand:

You can help by running ads on a space available basis to help promote Rotary’s program. A variety of ads are available for review and immediate download for use in your publication. You can retrieve them from www.paperchainnetwork.net. There are two tabs on the site dedicated to these high quality, high recognition ads. We also encourage you to get involved with your local Rotary Club. Reach out to them and inform them about the free paper industry.


By Jack Guza

When I find myself inundated with negative ads from a political candidate toward their opponent, or a particular product that claims to be better than the competing brand, I often take a second look at the person or product that is the recipient of the trash talk. Almost always, the reason for the negative talk is because the person or product getting attacked is well received by the majority of the people. It’s easier to claim ineffectiveness rather than providing positive information about one’s self that people will want to support, or a product that people will want to buy. I believe that people know what they want and are intelligent enough to make their own decisions without someone telling them they should like someone or something, simply because they say you should do so. I don’t want anyone to tell me why I shouldn’t like a person or a product as I am capable of making my own decisions when I am given the opportunity to receive pertinent information. I will look at what each person or product has to offer and then decide which I choose to support with my vote at the polls or with my dollars at the cash register.Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see a political candidate explaining to you in your local community newspaper, what he or she actually will do if elected, rather than the constant barrage of negative attack ads directed at their opponent on TV? You could actually get to know the candidate by reading their own words and learning in detail what they stand for and how they plan to address tough issues. This would certainly help you choose the person you feel would address your concerns.

There are also those who will claim a tried and true product or medium is no longer preferred because it is in their best interest to do so. A perfect example of this is when some say newspapers are no longer effective and that most people prefer receiving their news and information electronically…Really??? While today’s newspapers offer multi-media options and will continue to do so, publishers know their readers and advertisers want and need their print publication for many reasons, primarily because they are highly read and extremely effective news and advertising mediums.

According to the 2011 results of an annual survey conducted by the National Newspaper Association (NNA), and the research arm of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism, print is the preferred medium in multiple categories.The study shows that 74 percent of people in communities served by a newspaper with circulations under 15,000 read a localnewspaper each week. They prefer the printed copy to the online version, with 48 percent saying they never read the local news online. They prefer to receive advertising through the newspaper (51 percent) instead of on the Internet (11 percent); and only about a quarter of respondents said they had found local news through a mobile device in the past 30 days. Slightly more (38 percent) said they had received local shopping information by mobile device. The local community newspaper is the primary source of information about the local community for 51.8% of respondents compared to seeking information from friends and relatives (16%) and TV (13.2 %.) Readers are seven times more likely to get their news from their community newspaper than from the internet (7.4%). Less than 6% say their primary local news source is radio.

Print is engaging and oh so convenient. Like the 1977 hit by Lionel Richie and the Commodores, reading your local newspaper is “Easy Like Sunday Morning.” There’s nothing like settling in and reading your local paper wherever and whenever it fits your busy lifestyle. The staff at your community newspaper work long hours to bring local news and advertising offers from area businesses together for you in a handy and easy to read format each and every week.

Fortunately, the electronic age is here to stay. The internet, smart phones, iPads and notebooks are wonderful tools that have a place in our lives – just as newspapers do. You don’t have to choose one over the other. Use whatever you would like and soak up the information. The internet offers a (world) of information at your fingertips. However, when I want to put my thumb on the pulse of the community that I choose to live in, I find the most comprehensive source of news, local information and advertising offerings that affect myself, my family, friends and co-workers in my local community newspaper. That’s why I choose print!

Jack Guza is the Executive Director of Community Papers of Michigan / jackguza@cpapersmi.com / 800-783-0267




Committed to Recycling? There’s an Award for That!

The 2012 American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) Recycling Awards are officially underway! The annual awards recognize outstanding paper recycling efforts of schools, businesses, and communities.

Publishers are invited to enter this contest with their own programs — and encouraged to spread the word to local scholastic and nonprofit recycling leaders. You each have a chance to win a $2,000 cash prize, original framed artwork, and recognition in local and national media. Winners and finalists will also be featured as best practices on the paperrecycles.orgwebsite.

Thanks to the efforts of millions of Americans who recycle paper every day, in 2010 a record-high of 63.5 percent of the paper consumed in this country was recovered for recycling. While this is great news, the paper industry has set a new goal of exceeding 70 percent recovery by the year 2020.

The new recovery goal is part of an extensive, quantifiable set of sustainability goals set by the industry in an initiative called Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. This effort represents the next phase in the forest products industry’s on-going legacy as a leader in sustainability, from raw materials and product manufacturing, to the health and safety of the workforce, to the economic contributions the industry makes in local communities. For additional details on the suite of goals included in the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative, please click here.

AF&PA is pleased to recognize successful and innovative school, business, and community paper recycling programs as part of this effort. Award-winning programs and finalists in each area provide valuable case studies and best practices that can be replicated across the country, further improving our collective paper recovery results.

The deadline for entries is February 10, 2012, you can click here to enter the contest today: http://www.paperrecyclingawards.com/ For detailed criteria, case studies of previous AF&PA Recycling Award winners and more information, please visit paperrecycles.org.

Connecting Readers With the Workings of Washington, DC

Citizens are getting engaged in federal policymaking at record levels. A new report shows that Congressional offices have seen the volume in constituent communications rise between 200 and 1,000 percent since the turn of the century. That’s a phenomenal jump in interest and involvement from our neighbors and readers.

At the same time, original, local sourcing of national affairs has contracted at inverse proportions. Today, fewer than half of the states have a dedicated reporter sending news back home from the banks of the Potomac.

What if there was a way to fill the gaping void? A way to share the straightforward facts about current legislation, capture local opinion and advance the debate? A tool to drive additional traffic and a resource to glean community generated content? And all at no cost to your papers?

If this sounds interesting, here’s some good news. There’s a free online platform called PopVox.com that does all of the above. Our free community paper industry has been using them for several months now in grassroots advocacy efforts. We’ve been part of the rigorous beta testing process, and our hands-on has been a two thumbs up.

While PopVox.com is an excellent tool for driving communication to Congress, it also provides a wealth of unbiased information of local interest. You can cut through partisan spin with matter of fact legislative summaries by bill number, and links to the actual language. Or you can track whats new, what’s trending in popularity and what’s scheduled for consideration. With easy to use widgets you can essentially host your own online forum on any pending legislation as well as track, map, display and capture comments within the communities you serve.

www.PopVox.com has a lot of untapped potential for publishers. And for the price — access, data, widgets and dynamic content are FREE! — it’s well worth a look to see how you might benefit from connecting your readers with the real-time workings of Washington, D.C.


Here’s a look at how POPVOX can help local publishers. With POPVOX, you can:
– Pick out local quotes (from your district or state) supporting/opposing a bill. (Say your local reporter is doing a story on the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, NC, and the effects on veterans stationed there. On POPVOX, you can find personal accounts (https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/s277/report#nation). Or you’re covering a national story like Postal Reform, but want a perspective from the local area your paper is based. You can drill down and compare national sentiment with, for example, what Floridians think, and also find a comment written by someone locally (https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr1351/report#state=FL)
– Search activity feed to find what comments are coming up in the district. This will allow a reporter to have the pulse of the local area. What are people commenting on? What’s on their minds? And perhaps be able to report on a trend or concern before it reaching the tipping point.
– Pick a “comment to Congress” or “quote of the week” to highlight in an editorial or text box.
 Use data and public sentiment when interviewing local candidates. If a candidate says, “no one in my district supports x, y or z…” a reporter can ask a great follow-up question based on the publicly displayed comments on POPVOX.
– Invite local legislators to respond your constituents on the paper’s website. All comments to Congress written using POPVOX are delivered to the appropriate Congressional office. So why not ask them to follow up in an interview?
– Add widget to article pages that mention bills or in editorial columns — to empower users and have them view the local newspaper site as their place for action. (https://www.popvox.com/services/widgets#splash)
– Add localized comment stream (displaying only comments from the district). You can display all comments — supporting and opposing — from a district on a particular issue, so it’s neutral, dynamic content for your website. (https://www.popvox.com/services/widgets#commentstream)


Free At Last!
Inside the Legals Victory in Ohio
by Jim Haigh

Years of persistence — what some have called blind optimism and others, insanity — paid off when Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the biennial Budget into law on June 30, 2011. Contained in the 3,264 page document were 420 pages of provisions that bring the legal advertising process into the 21st Century. It is a model of comprehensive compromise in both policy and politics, so much so that the key stakeholders locked in perennial antagonism all declared victory at the end of the day.

Local Government cheered the very real cost savings on otherwise unfunded mandates. The pay-to-read press heralded the preservation of legal advertising in print, which was not entirely a given this time around — and their enthusiasm spilled into an historical whitewash of relentless opposition great and small.

And for the free community paper industry: We’re finally legal in Ohio.

All of which is best for the people — as better informed citizens and as taxpayers footing the bill. But this legislated outcome didn’t happen by itself. It didn’t happen overnight or with a Hail Mary as time ran out. Nor because any major stakeholder suddenly abandoned self-interst for altruism. Columbus Messenger publisher, Phil Daubel, began his personal crusade over twenty years ago with some very near misses along the way. Guess which influential lobby always managed to pull the plug?
From our rise as an industry generations ago, free community papers have fought for the right to publish legal advertising. For at least the last decade and a half, measures have been introduced across state legislatures that would take that public notice out of print and place it all online. During this latter span of time, both alternatives to subscription newspapers made advances at the margins of select types of official notice. But neither vision became the model of wholesale reform of any state’s legal advertising regime since our industry’s victory in Minnesota last century.
What I call the Buckeye Compromise embraces both the realities of the digital age — and the time-tested power of papers without paywalls. Progress was methodically paved over the last half-decade through the legal establishment of a Task Force charged with making change, constructively engaging that commission, having hands in the direct process turning an eight page report into nearly five hundred pages of legislative sausage, and advocating the ultimate provisions as bills and amendments. That is the essence of the long, slow process where all parties were held to their bottom-line gives and takes. Which is not to say that even the agreed-to framework wasn’t subject to backpedalling and covert obstruction.
The publicly endorsed nuts and bolts — legalizing free community papers with audited circulations, capping rates at lowest earned commercial, allowing for internet posting in lieu of second paper for same notice and for summarized descriptions on second consecutive print publication — cemented the fallback position, a mousetrap of sorts. Our peers with the monopoly, and the license to print money, still hoped to stall any movement. While our friends — and soon to be advertisers — would have much preferred doing away with print altogether. That was basically Governor Kasich’s original proposal, and that worst-case scenario feeling quite real drove home, finally, the wisdom of expanding print to save it.
I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of prominent free community paper veterans that have told me these last few years that our Legals ambitions were doomed to the internet. But I, along with enough equally stubborn folks, continued to believe that we could finally achieve reform because of the internet. Ohio can and should become the first state domino in this still-new century. To do so we must leverage the larger fear of the incumbent monopoly — total migration to the internet — and continue working with Local Government to quantify the very real savings we will bring. This won’t change the underlying competing ambitions — to stall just one more legislative session and otherwise to push web-only or bust — but having our fallback option on the table at the beginning increases the odds should process approach endgame. As we now see in Ohio, not only can this be done but all sides can even feel like they won when the dust finally settles.

Become a Fan of Legal Advertising Reform!

Helping the Postal Service Help Itself

Volumes are being written about the fiscal state of affairs at the USPS these days. Sadly, much of it is oppositional commentary — and what passes for reporting is increasingly incomplete or inaccurate. Many publishers are members of the Saturation Mailers Coalition (if you’re not, and you mail, you should be!), where they receive the facts straight up — along with critical analysis and a longstanding seat at the policy table.

Those who follow the US Postal Service closely understand that, in spite of cyclical and structural conditions, the USPS would actually be in the black if not for unique, burdensome mandates including pre-funding health benefits of yet-to-be-hired retirees. The casual observer of Postal affairs is hard pressed to find mention that this $5.5 billion annual obligation alone drives the revolving shortfall, or to read that the USPS is actually due somewhere between $50 billion and $75 billion for years of pension over-payments.
In so-called main stream media, even the successful ongoing efforts to cut costs and achieve operational efficiencies get short shrift — like the $12 billion saved right-sizing its workforce the last few years or even the $3.8 billion in cuts from latest labor negotiations. Instead, the average citizen is exposed to Postal “news” in a simple, and generally false frame: Sinking ship bailing water with a teaspoon. Some of the harshest coverage has come from the Wall Street Journal, ironically with no disclosure that they oppose reforms to the below-cost priority delivery of their own publication (http://bit.ly/iJrYxh).
The latest cost-cutting measure, announced this week in a press release entitled “U.S. Postal Service Institutes Cash Conservation Plan — Payments to FERS Suspended” (http://1.usa.gov/k00Sc4) is already getting the “grasping at straws” treatment. Coverage has universally depicted the anticipated $800 million current year savings (by not needlessly adding to the $7 billion account surplus) as a drop in the bucket, compared to the projected operating deficit. Missing again is the context: The unique pre-payment burdens and historical overpayments noted above — and the fact that these and other operational fixes can only happen by Congressional action.
Most coverage of the latest Postal cost-cutting also missed another critical fact: There’s legislation that would actually fix the immediate fiscal impediments. HR 1351 — the Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011 — is endorsed by the Saturation Mailers Coalition and the broad, diverse consensus of Postal Stakeholders, including the Free Community Paper Industry. This important legislation will help the USPS help itself, allowing it to continue paving its self-sustaining path: http://bit.ly/mySCNR

The CPF President’s Message: It was a terrific conference!

Memo to the Community Papers of Florida (CPF) staff:
“I just want to say thank you for all you did last week to make our conference a great experience for all of our members!
“As always, you came through in a big way. Thanks so much for your time and dedication! You guys Rock!”It was a terrific conference. The gang at the Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP) was great to work with. Together the two associations put on an extraordinary show and those who attended went home armed with new knowledge as well as memories of a great time.

There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. In this issue of the CPF newsletter you will find numerous conference photos worth a million words.

Congratulations to the recipient of the annual CPF Terry Hisken Telemarketing Excellence Award. Jennifer Ingram was surprised to receive an award that she help initiate. It was well deserved and we do appreciate all the work she has done for this association.

We also congratulate Stephen Clark. The son of CPF staff member Tiffany Clark was the recipient of the annual CPF Scholarship. He will receive $1,000 a year for up to five years to help him with his college expenses.

The Florida association members are used to the great Kentucky Derby wrap-up of our annual conferences. For many of the first-time attendees from AFCP, it was a conclusion to a conference that they will long remember. What an event and what a race!

We were overwhelmed by the ladies’ participation in the Kentucky Derby hat contest. The contestants showed up in large numbers and the designs rivaled those that were shown at the Kentucky Derby on television. Congratulations are in order for Pam Slaven of Tower Publications in Gainesville. The judges voted her hat the “Loveliest” and she took the top prize of $300.

The weather was perfect for Friday night’s Beach Party. The band, “Changes in Latitude” was outstanding. We also helped Mexico celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Thursday night, and the participation of those who attended was gratifying.

Dan Clark and Diana Ciotta fired us up during their keynote sessions. And once again, The Leadership Institute (TLI) provided the learning sessions that have become a tradition in the free paper industry.

Kevin Slimp provided over a half dozen outstanding graphic sessions for both publishers and graphic artists. The Saturation Mailers Coalition’s Donna Hanbery updated publishers on postal news, while Tim Brennan and Nancy Chodak offered instruction in Co-op issues. Peter Lamb’s “Red Finger / Green Finger” session was a hit, as were the Digital and Niche Panel sessions.

For those members that attended, thank you. For those that missed this year’s conference, we hope to see you next year.

The costs of this conference were borne by both associations’ classified networks. CPF dug into its rainy day fund to pay the tab.

With classified network funds declining, you can help by selling network ads. Updated information is available in the CPF office and in the members-only section of the CPF Web site. It’s equally important that you run the ads each week. Results for the advertisers are the key to the future of this association.



Preserving the Power of Advertising

The readers of this blog are mostly publishers and advertisers. Our audience already appreciates the importance of advertising, because that’s what we do for a living. The facts and figures that follow are not meant to simply preach to the choir, but instead to get the choir ready to sing to an audience less attuned to our function in fueling commerce.

Advertising is an essential investment for businesses of all shapes and sizes — from the family-owned merchant on Main Street to the maker of an internationally distributed product. Our Tax Code has long understood the need for advertising in business, enshrining it as a deductible expense. From time to time, however, as government looks for untapped piggybanks, scrutiny lands on advertising. Periodically at the federal level, and increasingly in cash-strapped states, schemes are hatched attempting to directly tax advertising.

On the flip side of that coin are plots to remove the tax deduction of this necessary business expense. And we are now in such a time, as the perfect storm of commingled debates on federal debt limits, recurring deficits, tax code reform and the next budget approach the horizon. Words used to frame the debate include “loopholes” and “corporate giveaways” — casting a wide and indiscriminate net. Increasingly, the term “tax expenditure” is the device employed to shove all deductions into the same toxic box.

The debate is just getting started, and the powerful statistics that follow clearly show that removing advertising as a business expense deduction will kill jobs and crush our economy. The data come from a new study which underscores the power of advertising to stimulate job creation and economic growth. The bottom line: Advertising Powers 15% of Nation’s Jobs and 20% of Total Economic Output.

Key findings show that advertising plays a major role in bolstering the nation’s employment figures and economy, including:

• Ad expenditures account for $5.8 trillion of the $29.6 trillion in U.S. economic output (20%);

• Ad expenditures support 19.8 million of the nation’s 133.4 million jobs (15%);

• Annually, U.S. businesses spend $279 billion in advertising;

• Every dollar of this ad investment generates nearly $20 of economic output; and

• Each million dollars of ad spending results in the creation of 69 American jobs.

The comprehensive study is called The Economic Impact of Advertising Expenditures in the United States. It assesses advertising’s economic impact across 52 industries, plus government, in every state and Washington, D.C., as well as in each of the 435 U.S. congressional districts. It was commissioned by our peers at The Advertising Coalition, a group of leading trade associations, media and marketing companies, including ANA and the 4 A’s.

And The National Ad Design Contest Winners Are…

PaperChain is excited to share the five most-outstanding entries — selected from a total of 188 outstanding entries from graphic designers at free community papers across the country. Awards for PaperChain’s National Ad Design Contest were presented at a ceremony this past weekend at the joint Conference of the Association of Free Community Papers and Community Papers of Florida. Each artist received $250 and earned an additional $100 for their publication.

This special competition was put together to develop ads promoting the free paper industry and was open to all PaperChain affiliated free community papers. The winning ads are now a resource for our publications to use — as house ads, or sales flyers or however you choose to promote the VALUE OF FREE PAPERS. We encourage you to download and begin using these award-winning resources today: http://paperchainnetwork.net/addesigncontest.html

Because of the abundance of highly creative ad designs — nearly 200 in all — the judges had a difficult time narrowing this category down to the final five. The winning designers in alphabetical order are:

Catrina Cacace
Yorktown Heights, NY

Headline – “Everyone”

LINK: http://paperchainnetwork.net/images/CCPS4.pdf

The Judges Say: “Eye catching graphic plays well with the font selection and the message. Simple presentation creates impact.”

Colleen Kennedy
Warsaw Penny Saver
Warsaw, NY

Headline – “In Print We Trust”

LINK: http://paperchainnetwork.net/images/CKWPS2.pdf

The Judges Say: “Patriotic look plays well with the message. Font selections create a bond with graphic to build emotion in the reader.”

Tracy Sake
Csi Media, LLC
Delavan, WI

Headline – “Free Papers – In Your Home Every Week”

LINK: http://paperchainnetwork.net/images/TSCSI1.pdf

The Judges Say: “Straight forward and right to the point makes this an impactful ad design. Very clean lines and attractive photo.”

Sara Hart Sanders
Oyster Pointer
Newport News, VA

Headline – “If You’re Looking At This Space, So Are your Clients”

LINK: http://paperchainnetwork.net/images/SHSOP.pdf

The Judges Say: “Entertaining graphic is effective in grabbing your attention but the copy delivers a knockout punch for the overall message.”

Cindy Seaver
Community Shopper’s Guide
Otsego, MI

Headline – “Because Sometimes The World Is…Right Where You Live”

LINK: http://paperchainnetwork.net/images/CSCSG.pdf

The Judges Say: “Map graphic is attention getting but also relates well with the local content message.”

Potential Partners in Community Engagement

Every free community paper publisher I’ve met has stories about their support for hometown groups. Volunteer service, donations of cash and pulp and ink to projects as diverse as their communities. These partnerships build a better place and reinforce our role as local leaders. They generally fall in the category of charity, not business — but what about opportunities serve both?

When I entered the contentious policy debate surrounding “Saving News” and the “Future of Media,” I came across some very interesting examples of this in community media. Local partnerships where publishers are getting story leads and new advertiser requests, while expanding audience and fostering community dialogue. This potentially promising area of community engagement is happening through partnerships with our peers in local, nonprofit community media including Low Power FM Radio and Public Access Television.

In Philadelphia, University City Review has teamed up with LPFM Community Radio Station 88.1 WPEB FM to produce the UC Review Community News Hour. The program is hosted by Editor and Publisher, Bob Christian and Staff Reporter, Nicole Contosta. Each week they provide neighborhood news, a calendar of events, as well as newsmaker interviews with many of the interesting people in their West Philadelphia community. In our Nation’s Capitol, Washington Informer Publisher, Denise Rolark Barnes hosts area leaders and newsmakers for in-depth discussions of the most pressing issues in her community on her program, Washington Informer News. Each week, viewpoint and perspective on politics, social issues, public and community affairs can be seen on DCTV, Comcast Channels 95 and 96, RCN 10 and 11, and on Verizon.

Now is the perfect time to explore whether there might be a good fit for your paper. Community media centers, which create and transmit PEG programming, have dwindling resources and will welcome new opportunities to team up. At the same time, LPFM stations are set to explode across the landscape, with many as 2,000 new noncommercial stations expected nationally by 2013. While some currently dot the rural landscape, with a modest transmission range of 10 to 15 miles, new licenses will be granted in cities and suburbs with a range of a few neighborhoods. A result of the Local Community Radio Act, which reduces the amount of bandwidth allowed between existing FM stations, these volunteer broadcasters will be in the community interest business and not the advertising business.

No formal census has been taken within our industry on for-profit/nonprofit media partnerships like these case studies with LPFM and PEG, but their success should be explored and any similar stories shared. More so, considering current economics and the recent passage of the Local Community Radio Act. For now you can find a low power, non-profit station in your area here: http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/fmq.html by searching for LPFM under “Service type” and interactive maps are coming in the near future.

Testimonials 2.0 – A Case Study in Success with Free Papers

Testimonials 2.0 – A Case Study in Success

Here’s some good news from one of our publishing peers. It serves as an excellent example of both self promotion and the enduring power of print. The short video also illustrates the simplicity of proactively harnessing the power of social media to effectively tell the story of the power of print.

George Moses is a member of Community Papers of Michigan, and he sent the link to his YouTube clip (below) to Executive Director, Jack Guza. Jack, in turn, shared this good news case study with our industry blog here at PaperChain. “This is another excellent way to tout the value of print,” Jack says. “George is proud of the results his magazine produces and is happy to share this with you. This video will help promote print as a strong and viable medium for realtors in your markets as well.”

This video features several of George’s real estate advertisers who are extremely happy with the response they have received after advertising in George’s monthly publication, the Marketeer! The Marketeer is mailed to over 46,000 homes in Livingston County.

Video testimonials such as this can now be created with little time or expense. When keeping production simple and real, the balance of the efforts can be focused on finding your advertisers with the most compelling stories to tell. These powerful videos can posted on YouTube and your website, and then actively disseminated across social networks like facebook, twitter and Linkedin. This is just another great way to share your success stories to a larger audience.

Positive comments from satisfied customers need to be shouted from the rooftops!
Thanks for sharing and well done George!

Click on this link:

Community Paper Veterans Reclaim Philly Weeklies

Several storied titles, including the Northeast Times, The Starnewspapers and My Community Trend, are now back out from under the shadows of the big city dailies. In total, 55 community publications, many of which were packaged into the turbulent ownership custody of The Inquirerand the Daily News, are now owned and operated by successful veterans of community paper publishing.

Broad Street Media L.L.C., a new company whose investors includeClifford and Stuart Richner of Richner Communications Inc., along with publishing executive Darwin Oordt, will bring new energy to the group of hometown weeklies had been run as the division, Broad Street Publications. According to a spokesman for the most recent owners,Philadelphia Media Network, operating the community papers whose combined circulation totals over 670,000, “was just not core to our business and we were not succeeding at running that enterprise profitably.”

Broad Street Media CEO, Darwin Oordt, plans to change that and has reason to be optimistic with a record of success dating back to 1972. “Philadelphia is a great city and a great market,” says Oordt. “Philly has been known for its outstanding newspapers since Benjamin Franklin published the Pennsylvania Gazette here nearly 300 years ago. We intend to continue in that tradition, while bringing these papers into the 21st Century, and further developing a strategic partnership with the Philadelphia Media Network.”

The new owners bring with them a wealth of experience in the suburban and community publishing industry. The Richners’ principal business isRichner Communications, which publishes 28 community newspapers and shoppers in Long Island, NY. Oordt, an industry veteran who recently served as president of the Maryland Pennysaver, is currently chief executive officer of NJ Media Group, LLC, publisher of the New Jersey Marketeer, a group of shoppers in northern New Jersey also owned by Oordt and the Richners. This is a homecoming of sorts for Oordt who at one time served as chief executive officer of Broad Street Publishing, and who brings with him extensive knowledge of the publications and the greater Philadelphia market.

PaperChain announces Ad Design Contest

PaperChain is a national organization whose goal is to help their members to promote the Free Paper industry to local businesses and advertising agencies. Because we know the graphic and design talent within our own core of publications we would like to encourage our members’ design staff to participate in our National Design Contest. The winning ads will become a resource for our publications to use as house ads and sales flyers to use within your publications to promote the VALUE OF FREE PAPERS.

We will choose 5 winners who will each receive $250 for the artist and $100 for the publication. Winners will receive national recognition for winning, plus, they will be supporting our industry! Dick Colvin shared, “Once we have all the ads compiled we will make them available to you for your own promotional purposes.”

We look forward to your participation and we greatly appreciate your support!
Dick Colvin
Chair, PaperChain Campaign Committee
For more details contact: info@paperchain.com

Free Community Papers Seek Role In National Financial Literacy Campaign

Washington, D.C – When the federal government quietly announced that it is gearing up to promote financial literacy in a significant way, the free community paper industry let them know that our publishers would be a perfect fit for their plans. Years before the economic downturn, Congress created an obscure federal commission tasked with promoting good personal financial hygiene. That agency, the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, is itself comprised of representatives of twenty-two prominent federal entities. Behind the bureaucratic scenes, they forged and solicited public feedback on a Draft National Strategy for Financial Literacy.

In response, PaperChain on behalf of its Member Associations and the united Free Community Paper Industry, filed formal Comments to the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, and its lead agency the Department of the Treasury, endorsing key components of the Draft National Strategy for Financial Literacy while simultaneously demonstrating concrete ways our industry could advance this worthy cause. Of particular interest to our hometown publishers and the diverse communities they serve across the land is the Plan’s call to create a National Media Campaign.

Weighing in at this stage of the game could pay dividends, as only 69 unique comments were filed in response to the Federal Register Notice. And of those, less than a dozen came from interested trade associations. By any measure, this raises the profile of PaperChain’s recommendations as well as the Free Community Paper Industry itself, before both the Commission and its nearly two dozen member agencies that span federal government. It’s worth noting that many of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission members have their own awareness campaigns and media budgets, and include such prominent players as the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Education as well as the Small Business Administration.

While the free community paper industry comments were specific to the FLEC Draft Plan, they offered a blueprint for successful national media campaigns for any federal entity:

“PaperChain champions the Vision, Mission and Goals detailed in the working Draft of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy. We take keen interest in the first explicit Goal, ‘Increase Awareness of and Access to Financial Education,’ as well as the multiple mentions of collaboration and partnerships from the national down to the most local, community-based level. We are confident that our industry can deliver critical and unique capabilities to specific objectives set forth in ‘Goal 1.’ At the same time, PaperChain also welcomes the opportunity to serve as a key partner across action areas, and as bridge-builder across macro and micro-geographic divides.”

“PaperChain strongly agrees that a national media campaign will be vital to the National Strategy. A multitude of options exist across traditional and emerging platforms, and we envision the Commission thoughtfully adopting a strategic blend of so-called old and new media in its ultimate campaign. All of the best efforts, from identifying at-risk groups to developing ideal curricula, simply cannot achieve full potential if the intended audience is not reached. The Commission must carefully evaluate the possibilities presented by ‘innovative technologies to reach people,’ but also maintain constant focus on the most basic need to ‘reach people where they are.’ At the end of the day, people come home, and they can still be found most reliably at their residence.”

Read PaperChain Comments here: http://scr.bi/hhHZvi

More Good News: Latest Audits Show Continued Growth for Free Community Papers!

by Jim Haigh, Government Relations Consultant of AFCP and MACPA

According to the latest analysis by Circulation Verification Council, the combined circulation of free community newspapers grew 1.41% year over year. The independent, third-party reporting audit company’s early data also shows an impressive yearly gain of 2.15% for free magazines, while shoppers remained stable, down less than a quarter of a percent between the second and third quarters.

The latest round of audited circulation data remain consistent with prior reports of solid, stable performance in hometown communities (http://bit.ly/24zbKH). “These are outstanding results,” stated Brian Gay, Chairman of PaperChain and Executive Director of Midwest Free Community Papers, adding “all the more so in this economic environment.” Mr. Gay also drew attention to the fact that the audit results, current and historic, only tell the story of the community papers’ print products. “These are honest, straightforward counts of hometown papers on the kitchen table,” noted Gay, “not double or triple counting of the same person viewing a publication across platforms and gadgets. Our digital readership is exploding, but we’re not selling the same reader three times over to our advertisers.”
The Chair of PaperChain’s Campaign Committee, Dick Colvin, Executive Director of Texas Community Newspaper Association, touted the power of the latest circulation gains. “Our industry has a compelling story to tell advertisers, a combined audited circulation over 65 million. Local advertisers have understood the power of audited free circulation for more than a generation, that’s results based appreciation. More recently, major accounts have begun to see the light,” Colvin said.
But Mr. Colvin also sought to proactively address any confusion over standards and metrics. “Just as national advertisers and agencies have finally gotten past the ‘people only read what they pay for’ myth and developed an understanding of free circulation backed by rigorous bona fides, they might get confounded by the loosened rules going into effect for other print media,” he said. “I don’t think the majority still can pass the last test on the electronic, bundling and one penny rules from April 2009.” (take ABC’s Quiz here: http://bit.ly/7HuVeV)

Newspapers Continue to Attract Consumers with Buying Power

According to the latest research by Scarsborough Research, 71% of adults read a newspaper in print or online within the last week.  Beyond the size of readership, newspapers continue to deliver an educated demographic with 80 percent of adults in households earning $100,000 or more reading a newspaper in print or online each week.

The research statistics continue to impress, reinforcing what we always knew – that newspapers remain a trusted source for households coast to coast.  Astonishingly powerful numbers resulting from a one week evaluation period:

  • The latest data from Scarborough Research indicates that newspapers continue to attract highly educated consumers who are ready to shop and spend. In an average week:
  • 85 percent of adults who have done post-graduate work or who have advanced degrees read a print newspaper or visited a newspaper website.
  • 81 percent of women in a management or professional position with a household income of $100,000 a year or more read a newspaper in print or online; 73 percent read the print product
  • Full-time working women who shop, read newspapers in large numbers. A high percentage of those who bought at the following stores in the last 30 days read a newspaper in print or online last week: JC Penney (75 percent); Lord & Taylor (87 percent); Macy’s (77 percent); Nieman Marcus (76 percent); Nordstrom (78 percent); Kohl’s (76 percent); Target (75 percent); TJ Maxx (76 percent); Wal-Mart (74 percent)
  • 76 percent of adults who spent more than $500 on fine jewelry in the last year read a newspaper in print or online; 80 percent of adults who spent $500 or more on business clothing read a newspaper in print or online, the figure is 77 percent for those who spent more than $500 on women’s shoes

To read the entire report, please visit NAA.org

Americans Spending More Time Following the News

Pew Research Center conducted a study on the amount of time Americans spend in following the news and where they obtain their news. Newspaper remains strong, however there have been shifts for readers of all ages to rely on their trusted newspaper in print as well as online.

As reported in the study by Pew Research, “…online newspaper readership continues to grow and is offsetting some of the overall decline in readership. This year, 17% of Americans say they read something on a newspaper’s website yesterday, up from 13% in 2008 and 9% in 2006.”

For more information on the study, please visit PewResearch.org.

Editor And Publisher Reports Valuations Are Up for Weekly Newspapers

Are Weekly Newspaper Valuations on the Rise?
By: Mark Fitzgerald

For the first time in three years, the valuations for weekly newspapers are beginning to rise, says the newspaper brokerage firm W.B. Grimes & Co. Recently closed transactions have had multiples to cash flow of between five time to seven times cash flow “with several deals completed at the higher end,” Grimes says in its current newsletter.

“With revenues (and in many cases cash flow) increasing at most newspapers versus their 2009 lows, most buyers are beginning to consider the newspaper’s performance over a multi-year period as opposed to just the trailing twelve months,” the Grimes newletter says. “Although full credit for 2007 and prior performance is rightfully not being granted, we are finding buyers (and their banks) more comfortable looking forward twelve months and making conservative growth projections. The net result, is some credit for past performance.”

Grimes says more buyers appear to be re-entering the market, “although it is still puzzling why most of the major groups remain on the sidelines shunning the smaller strategic acquisitions that made so much sense (and still do) for the past 20 years.”

Another broker with a speciality in community newspapers does not see the market quite so optimitically. John Cribb, managing director of Cribb, Greene & Associates, said he believes the valuations for weeklies will remain in the 4 time to 8 times area, with most deals in the 5 to 6 times EBITDA. “The number of deals may rise if we can get banks to loan money,” Cribb said.

This article is currently featured on EditorandPublisher.com, “America’s Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry”.

Labor Day: Community Papers Pay Homage to The American Work Force

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City.  The holiday was a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Through the years, the nation has given increasing emphasis on Labor Day organizing parades, fireworks displays and public celebrations. 10,000 workers marched in the first Labor Day on September 5, 1882 amidst horse drawn wagons and the country’s first electric street lights. Life and times were quite different back then, but one part remains the same today, community papers. They captured the first Labor Day 128 years ago and have continued to provide news coverage and pay homage to the country’s work force of today.

Community papers are an American tradition. We wish you all a very happy (and relaxing) Labor Day!

To find a community paper near you, please visit http://www.paperchain.com/.

Advertising Throughout New England Has Never Been Sweeter

CPNE Community Papers of New Englandencompasses 130 member publications throughout New England to provide unparalleled advertising services that reach the masses.

Target by state or the entire region: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Islande.  CPNE’s incredible Classifieds Special makes it possible for you to reach 1,400,000 households for as low as $170!

Jump start your season. Rev up your year with unbeatable advertising within the Community Papers of New England.

Call Toll Free: 877-423-6399
Email: bne@cpne.biz
Visit: http://www.cpne.biz/

By City. By State. By Region. Nationwide.
Visit PaperChain.com/Advertising to learn more about national and regional programs.

If You’ve Said It Once. You’ve Said It A Million Times

The Wisconsin Community Papers Association is currently featuring the campaign:

If You’ve Said It Once, You’ve Said It A Million Times (or Two Million in their case). This is a brilliant statement on the power of advertising in community papers.  We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.  The ad speaks of unbeatable ad packages for classified, display and online advertising that exist within WCP and the community paper associations throughout North America.

Be sure to visit PaperChain.com to explore these incredibly low priced and targeted advertising programs.

Imagine for just $199 you can reach 2,000,000 households.
$699 = 10,000,000 households.

To place your advertising is simple…
Call: 931.922.0484
Email: info@paperchain.com

IFPA’s Revenue Summit July 31st in Minneapolis

The first-ever REVENUE SUMMIT of the IFPA has been well received.  If you haven’t already reserved your space, now is the time!  This summit promises success-driven ideas to strengthen your publishing enterprise and be the most valuable asset to your advertisers.

Learn New Revenue Ideas For Your Company
IFPA presents a unique new opportunity for you to share and receive new revenue producing ideas!
Our first ever… REVENUE SUMMIT will be held on Saturday, July 31 in Minneapolis. It is designed for a Sales Manager & Publisher together with a Top Sales Professionals from each participating company to come and share sales & revenue ideas.
Join the leaders in the publishing industry.  Learn more about the first annual Revenue Summit organized by the IFPA (Independent Free Papers of America) by visiting http://www.ifpa.com/

Mother & Son Reunite From A Classified Ad

As seen in the news this week, a mother and her long lost son have reconnected after a lifetime apart. Thanks to a classified ad she placed in the newspaper, Todd Smith found his birth mother after he was given up for adoption.

On April 19, 1967, Patti Langdon was forced by her strict father to give up her newborn son when she was 22 years old and unwed. Ever since she has been haunted by thoughts of her only son. “Every April 19, I cry,” she stated. “Every Mother’s Day, I disappear for the day.”

For the past 43 years, she searched for her son by placing a “Happy Birthday” ad in the classifieds section of the local newspaper on April 19th each year. The message was always the same which read as, “Happy Birthday Baby Boy Langdon. I’ve Always Loved You. Your Birth Mom, Patti Langdon.” This year the message changed to include her son’s name after she learned it from the adoption agency.

After decades awaiting a response, she finally received one on Monday when her birth son, Todd Smith, appeared at her front door. Smith had come across Langdon’s ad by accident, when curiosity led him to do a computer search on how many babies were born at Tacoma General Hospital on his birthday. Of the 75,000 search results, he said, the first was Langdon’s 2-month-old classified ad, wishing him a happy 43rd birthday.

Truly a wonderful result from a simple classified ad.

Click here to view the news interview on ABC:

Community Papers of Florida Elect New President

PaperChain proudly announces the election of Charlie Delatorre as president of the Community Papers of Florida (CPF). Delatorre is also the president and publisher of Tower Publications in Gainesville.

A longtime board member, he has served CPF for a number of years. His company produces award-winning publications in the Gainesville area, and has been instrumental in providing network classified revenue for many of the free paper associations.

Justo Rey, the president of Forum Publishing Group based in Deerfield Beach, was named vice president. Jack Glarrow, president of the Breeze Newspapers in Southwest Florida, will serve as secretary. Vincent Grassia, group publisher of the Journal Community Publishing Group in Florida, was re-elected treasurer.
Charlie Delatorre, (right) is featured in the photo with Jim Kendall, CPF’s Past President.

CPNE’s May 2010 Conference a Success

On May 22nd & 23rd, the Community Newspaper Association of New England hosted the Annual Spring Conference & Trade Show in downtown Providence, Rhode Island.
The highly anticipated conference featured nationally known speakers including Neil DeLuca on Social Media Buzz and Tim Bingaman, President/CEO of CVC (Circulation Verification Council), along with respected industry veterans, Denise Gibson, Ian Murren, Douglas Fry and Tim Smith.

IFPA Announces The 2010 Revenue Summit


IFPA presents a unique new opportunity for you to share and receive new revenue producing ideas!
Our first ever…REVENUE SUMMIT will be held on Saturday, July 31 in Minneapolis. It is designed for a SALES MANAGER/PUBLISHER together with a TOP SALES PROFESSIONAL from each participating company to come and share sales & revenue ideas.   Click “IFPA” for more information.

Association of Free Community Papers Announces 2010 Winners

AFCP hosts a yearly advertising, editorial and marketing awards contest to recognize the “Best of the Best” of our industry’s best use of creative and technical skill. Congratulations.

Click below to check out the winners!


Steve Jobs Speaks On Newspapers at D8 Conference

Steve Jobs, visionary and founder behind Apple, spoke at the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital Conference last week.  His remarks emphasized his interest in the proliferation of revenue-generating avenues and increased smart-device applications for the newspaper industry.

“I don’t want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers,” Mr. Jobs said during an on-stage interview yesterday.  “I think we need editorial oversight now more than ever. Anything we can do to help newspapers find new ways of expression that will help them get paid, I am all for.”

With the recent unveiling of the i-Pad, the next generation of apps are emerging that provide digital editions of dailies and weekly community newspapers.

Confidence In Newspaper Advertising

As stated in the former blog, the results of our current U.S. Census have uncovered that fifty-eight of adults in the U.S. read a daily newspaper. Sixty-eight percent read their Community Paper or the daily paper’s Sunday edition. Newspaper readers spend and average of 45 minutes to 1 hour per day reading at least one paper.

Still true today, newspapers get the biggest share of advertising revenue in this country. Almost 22% of all ad dollars go to newspapers and over 85% of that money is spent by local advertisers.

The media landscape has changed and businesses are charged with the increasing complexity of how to plan their media.  With over 1,600 daily newspapers and over 7,000 weekly newspapers; its clear that newspapers have remained a viable and reliable source to reach their target consumers.

Now’s the time to explore your most cost effective advertising options in print media. Visit www.PaperChain.com/advertising to reach over 1,000,000 households for as little as $170!

Print Readership is Highest Among Baby Boomers

According to a NAS report published in March 2010, time spent on print media (community & daily papers, magazines & books) is highest among older Baby Boomers who are spending an average of 100 minutes per day reading their favorite print media.  The study also reported that the younger Boomer segment (ages 45-54 years) spends an average of 30 minutes per day.

In addition to national papers, the research stated that 58% read their local daily papers regularly, and 68% read their local community papers regularly.

The Baby Boomer generation consists of individuals born between 1946 and 1966.  According to the United States 2010 Census, there are an estimated 78 million Boomers with 91% reporting middle to affluent income.  Since Boomers have a reputation of affluence, the report of newspaper readership is great news to the Community Paper industry.  Overall, Baby Boomers have been less affected by the recession in comparison with the younger generations, controlling $7 trillion of the nation’s household wealth .

Now’s the time to research your options and effectively advertise your business. Visit www.PaperChain.com/advertising for exceptional programs and opportunities.

Publishers Across the Country Meet in Tuscon, Arizona for the AFCP Annual Conference

The wait is finally over for the highly-anticipated AFCP Conference, welcoming publishers throughout the United States.  After the recent economic challenges, the newspaper industry has begun to level out with reports of growth in various sectors.  As reported last week by Editor & Publisher, newspaper readership per copy is up, providing increased value to their advertisers.

The AFCP Conference has an impressive line up of speakers and special guests. The new AFCP President, Scott Patterson and Executive Director, Loren Colburn will be recognized in their new positions within the organization.

Additionally, the conference welcomes, Dan Clark, author of the “Chicken Soup” best selling book series, as one of the keynote speakers. This year’s conference promises powerful advancement sessions for the industry for technology, sales, management, marketing and trends.

PaperChain & All National March of Dimes Supporters Honored in USA Today

In the the April 22nd edition of USA Today, PaperChain and other national sponsors will be recognized for their contributions to the March of Dimes.

PaperChain, an association of over 2,000 free community newspapers nationwide, has been a media partner in March for Babies and March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Monthfor the past 7 years. Member newspapers have contributed millions of dollars in advertising space for these critical March of Dimes campaigns, and newspaper staff have joined volunteer committees in chapters across the country.

To take part in a walk in your community or to support the March of Dimes, please visit www.MarchofDimes.com.

The Power of One Community at a Time: PaperChain Provides Nationwide Support to the March of Dimes

Over the past few years, countless publishers within PaperChain have offered overwhelming support in the fight against birth defects.  Coast to coast, local community papers and associations have provided valuable space for public service announcements to promote the great work of the March of Dimes and continued need for funding.

As spring arrives, walks will be held across the country to raise important dollars for research, community endeavors and many other March of Dimes support programs.  We encourage others to support the March of Dimes by participating in a local walk within your community or donate online at http://www.marchofdimes.com/

Their mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. They carry out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies’ lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birthweight.

AFCP 2010 Conference April 22 – 24 in Tucson, Arizona

The industry’s much anticipated conference is almost here and, while hundreds have already made reservations, there’s still time for your organization to register.

RETREAT FROM THE ORDINARY. AFCP is proud to bring you to The Westin La Paloma in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. With all the surrounding amenities, this will be one of the best conferences yet!

Prepare to Learn. Grow. Succeed.

Conference Highlights Include…
Dan Clark’s “Chicken Soup” for the Free Paper Industry
Clark is an internationally recognized speaker, New York Times best selling author and CEO of Clark Success Systems, a multi-million dollar management, consulting, publishing and entertainment corporation. As a primary contributing author to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series and author of 20 of his own books, including the highly acclaimed business leadership book, “Forgotten Fundamentals,” (along with many more accomplishments), it’s no surprise that in 2005 Dan was inducted into the National Speakers Hall of Fame.  This is a presentation you do not want to miss!

There are many new courses added to this year’s “Leadership Institute” portion of the conference.

Plus a wide range of sessions covering: Advanced Technology, Web-Based Initiatives, Public Speaking, Selling Success Tips, Effective Advertising Campaigns, Networking and more.

Register for golf, tennis or plan your breakaway poolside or at the Westin La Paloma spa.

For the conference brochure or to register visit:www.afcp.org
View the Westin La Paloma video:http://www.livebrochure.net/westinlapaloma

SAPA & IFPA Announce Joint Conference in September 2010 – “Rhythm In The Music City”

Plan now on attending the joint 2010 conference with IFPA in rockin’ Nashville, Tennessee at the Hilton Hotel Downtown.Partake in valuable seminars, open forums, a vendor showcase, Awards banquet, design contests, luxurious settings, and plenty of entertainment.

Seminar topics include: sales, motivation, classified ad program development, ad layout & design, and how to compete with broadcast media.  For more information and to register, please visit http://www.sapatoday.com/events.html

PaperChain Campaign Earns Advertising Federation’s Silver ADDY Award

Debuting in the email of agency’s, media buyers and planners nationwide this past fall, PaperChain’s “Go Red. Get Energized” interactive e-campaign creatively communicated the strengths of community papers everywhere.

The energy drink concept was part of an advanced Personal URL email campaign inviting media buyers to participate in a brief survey to gain valuable insights into America’s personal medium.  Community papers are more connected to their readers than any other form of media, having a similar foundation to today’s ‘ever-so-popular’ social media.  By reporting on local sports, city government, community businesses and the people you know, community papers offer content that’s truly relevant to their readers.  Known to be one of the few advertising mediums that’s priced well, the energy drink campaign showed how community papers can give a boost to your business’ bottom line.

Check out PaperChain’s newest collaborative advertising program  – “One Call Advertising” to place advertising in thousands to millions of households at unbeatable prices! www.paperchain.com/advertising.

See how you can advertise in 100’s of community papers for just $199!

Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP) Appoints New Executive Director

Loren Colburn, publisher of the Scotsman Press, has been appointed executive director of the Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP). The selection was made after a three-month process and announced during the association’s winter board meeting. Colburn has served as president of the AFCP and is currently its secretary-treasurer.

“We are very excited to have Loren Colburn in this key leadership position,” Orestes Baez, current president of the AFCP, said in a statement. “Loren is the consummate professional and has the skill set and leadership strength to bring this organization through this most difficult chapter and up into new heights and direction.”
During his presentation, Colburn emphasized several key advertising initiatives such as adding a banner ad network and display ad network. “Among the many priorities expressed by the board over the past few years, focusing on expanding the revenue opportunities that helps AFCP provide more member benefits is a critical success factor for us going forward,” Colburn said.

Colburn succeeds Craig McMullin, who lost his life last year in an accident.

For more information please visit: http://www.afcp.org/.

The Year 2010. A Look Ahead.

PaperChain, the nation’s largest collaboration of local publishers, proudly announces the 2010 board of directors.
Chairman: Brian Gay
Vice Chairman: Greg Birkett
Treasurer: Alyse Mitten

Secretary: John Draper

Committe Chairs:

Trade Shows: Gary Rudy
Marketing: Dan Buendo
Public Service: Janelle Anderson
Database: Douglas Fry

Special thanks to our past Chairman and board members for their contributions to the growth of the community paper industry.

The Visionaries. The Movers. The Shakers. A Look At Past Leaders of The Community Paper Industry

2009 was a monumental year in the community paper industry as publishers across the country weathered the economical storm to cement the free publishing industry’s role in the society of today and tomorrow.

There are many publishers and executives to honor and remember of 2009. We have selected a few to profile from Ink magazine.

Craig McMullin: AFCP’s Executive Director for over ten years, McMullin was known for his passion and forward thinking strategy.  He unexpectedly passed away in August 2009 leaving behind a legacy in the industry. His most notable professional accomplishments included the growth of AFCP’s membership circulation from 10 million to over 30 million.  In addition, as a result NANI (National Advertising Network, Inc.) revenues grew from $600,000 to near $4 million.

Bart Loiacono: Publisher of Nitelife, the number one entertainment and leisure guide in the West Suburbs of Chicago.  Loiacono was a member of the AFCP board and many free paper associations. He lost his battle to cancer in November 2009.

Charles Papy, Jr.: The Community Papers of Florida lost a longtime friend when attorney, Charles Papy, Jr., passed away in January. As the CPF attorney for over 20 years he was successful in passing tax laws that benefited the member publications in various regions.

Arline Hawken: One of the industry’s visionaries and veterans, Hawken dedicated a lifetime to the community paper industry.  From her roots in publishing a shopper in Michigan, she later moved to Stuart, Florida where she and her husband published Flashes Shopping Guide for 56 years and contributed to the establishment of CPF.

Charles Mouser: An icon in the free paper industry, Mouser had his finger firmly on the pulse of our profession. As a highly respected speaker at conferences throughout the country he spent his final years publishing the Mouser Report Email to keep publishing professionals current on the industry.  He passed away in February.

Please join us in remembering each individual and the important impact they have made on our profession.

PaperChain Launches One Call State & National Advertising Resource

As the nation’s largest collaboration of newspaper associations and publishers,PaperChain.com introduces a new online source for One Call Advertising.

Extraordinary Opportunity…
Visit PaperChain.com to connect with

your One Call Advertising sources.
    • Target a region, state or all of North America.
  • Place your ads in one or in hundreds of community papers at unbeatable prices.

One Call. 
One Email. 
One Great Price!

(For as little as $175, you can place a classified ad in over 100 publications with a single call!)

For targeted advertising that works,visithttp://www.paperchain.com/ ‘s One Call Advertising page today.



Enter AFCP’s 2010 Annual Awards Contest! Download the Entry Form Today!

Each year, the “Best of the Best” compete in this prestigious national contest.

Reward Your Advertisers. 

Reward Your Staff.

Publishers are invited to enter AFCP’s 2010 Annual Awards contest and showcase your best work!

Each year, the Best of the Best compete in this prestigious national contest. Some of our best work is done by AFCP’s smallest members. So, complete your entries and send them to the AFCP office by January 22, 2010. You may just head home with an armload of plaques.

Design an Ad Contest
Designers show your talents for a chance to earn cash prizes. $500 to the top winner; $300 for second prize and $100 for third prize. Check out the “Design an Ad Contest” in category 41 in this year’s contest.

Participation for all AFCP members is FREE!

For this year’s awards contest entry form 
simply click here!

Study: U.S. readership of newspapers tops 170M

Almost 75 percent of U.S. adults, or nearly 171 million people, read a paper in the past week, according to the latest Integrated Newspaper Audience finding from Scarborough Research.The report examined print and online readership and was conducted as part of the Scarborough USA+ Study, which captures media patterns and other consumer behaviors across the country.

Scarborough said the data indicates that newspapers are still read in print or online by a critical mass of U.S. adults on a daily and weekly basis.

“While our data does show that print newspaper readership is slowly declining, it also illustrates that reports about the pending death of the newspaper industry are not supported by audience data,” said Gary Meo, Scarborough’s senior vice president of print and digital media services. “Given the fragmentation of media choices, printed newspapers are holding onto their audiences relatively well and this is refreshing news.”

The analysis of Scarborough audience data not only indicated that newspapers are being read by a majority of adults in print and online, but also that these integrated newspaper audiences continue to attract educated, affluent readers. In an average week:

•79 percent of adults employed in white collar positions read a newspaper in print or online.

•82 percent of adults with household incomes of $100,000 or more read a printed newspaper in print or online.

•84 percent of adults who are college graduates or who have advanced degrees read a printed newspaper in print or online.

Article published by News&Tech: The premier resource for insight, analysis and technology integration in newspaper, digital and hybrid production. http://www.NewsAndTech.com.

AFCP April 2010 Conference – Treasures in Tuscson

Set within the beautiful Westin, La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Arizona, the 2010 AFCP Conference promises an impressive schedule of educational seminars, presentations, explorations into publishing and new technology and insightful sessions.

Plus a tradition of great social networking amongst the most reputable community paper publishers in the country!

Mark your calendars for the annual AFCP Conference: April 22nd – 24th, 2010. Register early at www.afcp.org

PaperChain Publishers Proudly Support the March of Dimes

November is Prematurity Awareness Month for the March of Dimes, an organization that has long been supported by the thousands of member publishers of PaperChain. It is during the holiday season when children are at the forefront of our minds further fueling PaperChain’s commitment as community publishers to support the needs of parents, children and families.

March of Dimes is the leading organization for pregnancy and baby health and its mission is to improve the health of all babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Over the years, the PaperChain committee has adopted the March of Dimes as its favored charitable organization. To date, millions of dollars in advertising space has been provided to the March of Dimes to further their message, increase awareness and generate support.

A longstanding tradition in the home, everyone reads their local community paperfor local news, advertisement, business announcements and promotions. The PaperChain publishers hope that by reaching out to our communities with this powerful public service announcement that you too will be motivated to support the March of Dimes.

For more information, read your local paper or please visitwww.marchofdimes.com.

The Washington Informer Newspaper Celebrates 45 Years as the Source for News in the African American Community

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Washington Informer, an award-winning newspaper, founded on the principles of storied newspaper publishers, Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwarm to inform its readers about events that directly affect the African-American community has reached yet another milestone in its history.

Founded by the late civil rights activist, Dr. Calvin W. Rolark on October 16, 1964, to inform District residents about salient issues that pertained to the Black community, the paper also sought to instill a sense of pride and camaraderie among readers. The Washington Informer, an institution in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, celebrates its 45th anniversary this month and continues to provide comprehensive news coverage with a distinct perspective.

Today, Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes charts the direction of the publication using the same philosophy learned by her father’s side: give voice to the voiceless, uplift and educate the Black community.

“My father had the vision to start The Washington Informer early in his career. With the support, both financial and inspirational, from his wife, Wilhelmina J. Rolark, he established an institution that I hope will stand the test of time for generations to come,” Barnes said.

“This anniversary is the Washington Informer Newspaper Company’s opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to our readers and advertisers who have supported us over the past 45 years. Without them and the contributions they make to our community, there would be nothing for the Informer to report,” she said

Barnes has also moved the paper into the 21st century by including an online presence. The Washington Informer currently enjoys 25,000 unique visitors to its web site on a weekly basis.

“While this anniversary gives us an opportunity to see from where we have come…and how we have come through, it also forces us to look towards the future. Our presence online has allowed us to become a global publication, reaching readers all over the world. And, with that comes a greater ability to tell the untold story or address the distorted perceptions about Africans or people of color throughout the Diaspora,” Barnes said.

In the spirit of community, one of tenets on which the paper was founded, the Washington Informer sponsors the D.C. City-Wide Spelling Bee in which nearly 3,000 students participate annually. The paper also provides an opportunity for students to develop journalistic skills through its sponsorship of the Birney-Savoy Informer, a monthly supplement included in the paper and penned by students who attend Birney-Savoy Elementary School in Southeast, Washington, D.C.

Since 1969, the Washington Informer has maintained memberships with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the oldest trade association of African-American owned newspapers in the country and the Newspaper Association of America.

“This is also my chance to say thank you to the Informer staff – the men, women, and sometimes children – who have dedicated their time to writing the stories and photographing the events in a highly professional manner in order to produce a newspaper of excellence.”

CVC Releases Latest Audit Reports on Community Papers

Despite Harsh Media Climate, Community and Niche Publications Show Circulation Stability

ST. LOUIS – Despite a tough climate for the publishing industry, community and niche publications have shown circulation stability throughout the past year, according to recent audit data from Circulation Verification Council (CVC).

Some niche publication industries have actually seen an increase in circulation, including ethnic, business and children’s publications,” CVC President and CEO Tim Bingaman said. “Even though community and some categories of niche publications have seen a slight decrease in circulation over the past year, the numbers pale in comparison to the double-digit circulation drops that have been making news the last few months.” Overall the news for community and niche publications is quite positive considering the economic conditions.

“Although there are losses to both free and paid publications, circulation losses in free publications typically do not have the same impact as losses in paid publications,” Bingaman said. It’s common for publishers to shave circulation in area fringe markets outside their core distribution area to cut costs while having the least impact to advertisers.

Two other indicators – readership and purchase intention – also illustrate the stability and value community and niche publications offer to their readers and markets.

Readership of community and niche publications remains stable. Nationally, 76.9% of people report they read the community and niche publications they receive through home delivery or mail distribution. This figure has remained stable over the course of the past two years, according to CVC audit data.

“A stable readership figure tells advertisers that these publications are relied upon by readers who depend on these publications for community news and purchasing decisions,” Bingaman said.

Increasing numbers of readers indicate they frequently purchase products or services from advertisements seen in community and niche publications, as indicated by CVC readership studies. Up from 74.4% in 2007/2008, 75.6% of readers now indicate they make purchases based on ads in these publications.

“This increase is potentially significant, because purchase intention scores have been stable for years,” Bingaman said. “A blip in the national average of one to two percent requires substantial change in purchasing behaviors from existing readers. This shows that readers are increasingly looking to community and niche publications to research sales and buying opportunities before spending money.”

Figures in this article are based on like comparisons between the 4th quarter of 2008 and the 1st quarter of 2009. Figures in this release are bases nationwide edition reporting with an overall circulation of 33,077,623.

Circulation Verification Council (CVC) is an independent, third party reporting audit company. CVC audits more than 4,900 editions nationwide with a combined circulation of more than 70 million. For more information on CVC, please visitwww.cvcaudit.com.

MACPA Fall Conference 2009 October 16-18

MACPA [Mid Atlantic Community Papers Association]

History in the Making
The Fall Conference 2009

October 16th to 18th
at the Wyndham Gettysburg
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Making History Together
This year’s conference will feature the talented members of MACPA as our moderators and speakers. These challenging times have offered us opportunities to think outside the box and MACPA is doing just that. Be sure to attend and participate in an informational array of round table discussions, workshops, the Capital Hill report and lectures for publishers, general managers and professionals in advertising sales.

Register today online at:

IFPA Fall Conference To Be Held In Chicago

Don’t miss the upcoming IFPA Conference in Chicago. To be held September 24th – 26th, 2009 at the Westin O’Hare; the conference promises insightful seminars, networking and innovative strategies for the enduring free newspaper industry.

Book by September 2nd to get the IFPA Conference special room rate of $139 per night. Click here to book today! http://tiny.cc/JSAAT

For what promises to be the largest free newspaper conference IFPA has ever hosted, the event will provide a great opporutnity to discuss business opportunities, ideas and the legacy of community papers in the every day lives of our readers. PaperChain is proud to partner in this great endeavor, the continuing evolution and innovation of our industry serving over 65,187,292 readers weekly across the United States.

IFPA will be holding the conference in conjunction with MFCP, CPII, CPM, MFPA, WCP and CPOWV. For more information, please visitwww.freepaperconference.com.

Supporters of Newspapers Speak Out

The Newspaper Association of America launched a full scale campaign debunking many myths reported within the press on the future of print media. Supporters of newspaper can be found on every corner, in every building and at the morning table with a cup of coffee.

Print media is so highly valued, in fact, it is the only form of media that is saved, displayed on coffee tables and desks, and is even shared with others. No other media can claim this.

At a time when every industry has been effected by the economy, newspaper has become a target. After the strikes of 2007 affecting the television industry, and the preponderance of blogs and social media often diluting important issues; print media has been faced with some dynamic challenges to diversify and streamline to best serve their readers and advertisers.

The below is an excerpt from a letter issued by John F. Sturm, NAA President and CEO.

Myth: No one reads newspapers anymore.
Reality: More than 104 million adults read a print newspaper every day, more than 115 million on Sundays. That’s more people than watch the Super Bowl (94 million), American Idol (23 million) or that typically watch the late local news (65 million).

Myth: Young people no longer read newspapers
Reality: 61% of 18-23 year olds and 25-34 year olds read a newspaper in an average week and 65% of them read a newspaepr or visited a newspaper website in the past week.

Myth: Newspaper readership is tanking
Reality: Average weekday readership declined 1.8% between 2007 & 2008; a total of 7% since its peak in 2002. Compare that to the 10% decline seen in the prime time TV audience in 2007 alone. Meanwhile newspapers’ web audience has grown nearly 75% since 2004 to 73 million unique visitors a month.

Myth: Newspaper advertising doesn’t work
Reality: Google’s own research shows that 56% of consumers researched or purchased products they saw in a newspaper. Google also says that newspaper advertising reinforces online ads: 52% are more likely to buy products if they see it in the paper.

The facts vs the fiction provide a telling story, one which shows the continuing value of print media, and especially your community paper to deliver the news “you want to read”. Click to connect for free reseach of thousands of local papers in every DMA and every city throughout the U.S. www.paperchain.com.

Independent Local Papers vs. Daily Newspapers

The debate. Fact vs. Fiction. Research. Audits.

Community and niche publications bring buyers and sellers together with more audited circulation than your daily. During tough times, it’s more important to make the right advertising choice.

Community papers, entertainment weeklies, shopping guides and free publications reach over 65,000,000 audited homes per week… more than all the dailies combined nationwide.


  • Advertising & New Business Development within a Vertical Market
  • Advertising & New Business Development with Specific Geographic or Psychographic Criteria
  • National or Franchise Businesses that Seek to ‘Connect’ With Their Community
  • Test Marketing Products or Services
  • National Businesses with Regionalized Promotions & Products
  • Local Businesses

As media buying has taken on an entirely new scope, reaching new levels of negotiation, target marketing and quantitative performance. Today’s media buyers are charged with the mounting challenges in research and planning within a complex world.

Print media decisions come down to the analysis of audited circulation in relation to professional Reach, Penetration and Readership.

Reach tests the quality and reliability of a publication’s print run in combination with the methods of distribution – whether by carrier, mail or controlled bulk. Currently CVC, one of the nation’s most respected independent media auditing companies, reports a national average of 97.1% receivership for free local papers.

PENETRATION is where community papers are second to none. No other form of print or electronic media compares to free paper market penetration – whether you desire to target a specified demographic or a geographic region.

Proof of Readership requires auditor-to-reader contact in order to provide media buyers and publishers with the assurance that local newspapers are more than just delivered. The national average for community paper readership is 76.9%. That’s 3 out of every 4 households. In addition, readers of community newspapers report 74.4% of their buying decisions are made from free newspaper advertising and editorial.

Local papers cover every industry, every community, every lifestyle. To create strategic campaigns in print, online and through custom value programs, utilize PaperChain’s free online directory of publications, or call 931.922.0484 for assistance with your next campaign.

Research and discover nearly 3,000 audited publications where some of the most effective campaigns unfold.



PaperChain.com The #1 Source for Media Placement. The #1 Source for Media Industry Events.

PaperChain invites media buyers and advertising industry executives to visit the website regularly for the most comprehensive resource of local publications, and for regular updates of industry happenings.

Mark Your Calendars…

Aug 28 – 29 2009
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky
Visit: www.sapatoday.com for general information
or http://www.sapatoday.com/events.html for conference details.

July 23, 2009
Winning New Business By Perfecting Your Pitch, NY, NY
Visit: www.aaaa.org for more information.

August 3-5, 2009
4A’s Conference, San Francisco, CA
Visit: www.aaaa.org for more information.

July 15-17, 2009
Non Profit Marketing Conference, Chicago, Illinois
Visit: www.marketingpower.com for more information.

August 19, 2009 3pm (EST) Teleseminar
Insider’s Guide To Becoming A Local Media Expert
Visit: www.prsa.org for general information
or http://www.prsa.org/PDseminars/DisplayEvent.cfm?semID=548 for details.

Community & Niche Media = Target Marketing

It’s this fusion of media in vertical or regional markets that has provided powerful results for national companies on a local level.

Community Newspapers & Special Interest Weeklies. The Original Social Medium. Local newspapers possess traits that are invariably similar to social media. They represent a more personal connection to the readership they serve by providing localized information not available in any other medium. Much like word-ofmouth and social media marketing, localized newspapers and niche weeklies inform and communicate on personally relevant topics from local government and sports to special interests and charitable causes.Localized campaigns placed by agencies have shown a trend for national companies to become active partners within their communities.

Rethink Shopping Guides
As a whole, Shoppers and Pennysavers have sustained throughout the economic downturn much like Walmart has reported growth in sales. Why? Studies have shown that consumers of all income levels are increasingly driven to incentive pricing and coupons. For companies seeking to market with a cost saving message, Shoppers and Pennysavers present a unique opportunity to expand a
client’s customer base through a controlled and targeted campaign.

The Marriage of Local Newspapers & Online
Newspapers have continually expanded their online editions to provide up-tothe-minute news and reader supplied content. As a result, the bond of newspapers and their readers has increased and two important forms of information distribution have evolved to best serve the needs of advertisers and readers.

The Advertising Challenge
How do you enter the fragmented mindset of the target consumer and appeal to his or her likes, dislikes, habits, rituals and needs? To accomplish this, local publishers and agencies have aligned to create strategic campaigns in print, online and through custom value programs. Visit http://www.paperchain.com for the latest news on the local media industry. Research and discover nearly 3,000 audited publications where some of the most effective campaigns unfold.