Media companies need to be more flexible for advertisers, panel says
Panel at NAA mediaXchange conference discusses relationship between newspaper publishers and advertisers
By Caitlin Curley
Richard Branch, media director for Sports Authority, and Kathy Bonney, senior manager of print media for Staples. (Photo by Daniel Petty/for NAA)
Newspapers are still a viable option for ad placement, but publishers need to put more effort into flexibility, creativity and building personal relationships with advertisers, said a panel of experts at the NAA mediaXchange 2014 conference.
The panelists, some from advertising and some from publishing, began by saying that with the increasing popularity of digital and social advertising, it is up to newspaper publications to show advertisers why print ads are still worth it.
To do this, the panel recommended that publishers form personal relationships with advertisers in order to adapt to each individual client’s needs.
“I would get my butt out of the office and into some of the offices of the CEO’s of the companies and the clients,” said Richard Branch, media director of Sports Authority. “If I was named the publisher of a newspaper the first thing I would want to do is get out there and understand the needs of my clients.”
The panel also recommended that print media continue to propose new and innovative ideas to advertisers. These ideas should include the integration of all media types available, including print, broadcast, digital and radio.
“People have many choices today in the way they consume their media, so we need to be relevant at all times,” said Steve Mueller, president of NSA Media, a company that offers marketing strategies that combine digital and print media. “Every day is exciting and every client is a new strategy.”
Next, the panelists said that publishers need to remain as flexible as possible with advertisers. This includes being open to late publishing, and working with the advertisers’ schedules.
“Listen to your clients,” said Alison Karp, senior partner at MEC/AT&T. “It means a lot if you’re willing to work with us.”
Mueller warned that as publishers go above and beyond to impress advertisers, it may be tempting to lie about the current state that their papers are in. He advised against this, saying that the quality of newspaper content is always more important than the quantity it reaches.
The panelists then took a positive note by reminding the audience that newspaper media is still important to advertising today.
“The perceived change (in print media) is much larger than the actual change,” said Karp. “We need to remember that someone is going to find a story wherever they can find a story.”
Caitlin Curley is a journalism student at Colorado State University. Find her on Twitter at @caitlinjcurley.
First Published: March 18, 2014