By Sarah Billingsley, Communications Director
As we contemplate the recent assertion ‘print is not dead’ from a report published by www.whoneedsnewspapers.org, we’d like to share some of the current marketing efforts from members of our sales cooperative. We’re not only checking the pulse of PRINT advertising from national brands and agencies but we’re trying to pump some blood back into the veins before that patient expires. After all, it’s the final quarter of the year, a time when we often see additional non-local ad dollars surface.
Earlier this month, AWN president Brian Hieggelke (publisher, Newcity and veteran seller in our network) sent a well-crafted e-blast to a good-sized list of advertising contacts (see excerpts from his letter below). The clever message which took a fresh approach to our greatest advertising success story in our 17-year history was sent to past, current, and prospective advertisers in an effort to spark AWN marketing efforts. Apparently it’s generated some response already- within a week, he received positive feedback and a several nibbles from advertisers an agencies who may see AWN as a possible marketing channel for their plans. Here’s some of that letter:…I wanted to drop you a quick note with an update on our organization, which is rocking its second decade. We’re currently 150+ publications strong, coast to coast in markets from Maine to Hawaii and from Washington to Florida, with a weekly circulation of five million in print and 15 million unique visitors online each month.
Our audience of local influencers is a marketer’s dream: educated, engaged, conscious and affluent city dwellers.
Over the last 15 years, we’ve worked with national brands in just about every category: spirits, television, finance, automotive, telecom, you name it, to help establish authentic local relationships with their target consumers.
Altoids is a great example. In the 1990’s, Leo Burnett’s creative team of Steffan Postaer and Mark Faulkner brilliantly seized upon the quirky British phrase “Curiously Strong Mints” and built an edgy, graphic campaign around it. Initially they used two mediums: outdoor, where the poster-like quality could reign magnificently, and alt weeklies, where the trendsetting audiences would shoot product trial and word-of-mouth out of a rocket. Within the decade, Altoids was a billion-dollar brand, and we’d worked closely with its media team all the way to the top.
Got any brands looking to make magic happen? Let us see how The Alts can help with a launch or a “freshening up.” Our capabilities include print, digital and in-market event execution.
In addition to Brian’s efforts, AWN sales representatives across the country are pitching The Alts to a wide variety of national advertisers in a variety of categories. The list includes our standard brand categories (wireless, alcohol, and tobacco) as well as additional categories that can also find a valuable audience within our industry (such as automotive, restaurant chains, political campaigns, and publishing houses).
Also we recently created a more up-to-date, customizable AWN sales deck for sellers within our network to take to market. If you’d like a copy or are just curious, let us know and we’ll send a copy via email.
As you know, AWN needs active participation from sellers in order to continue to pursue advertising opportunities for the network. We are spreading the word, and we would love to hear what you have been doing to keep this ball rollin’. Please copy us on your e-blasts, send us your current AWN claims list, and/or give us a call and tell us how we can help you. We look forward to hearing from you.