Missouri Press has much to offer

By Jack Whitaker
By now you either attended the annual MPA meeting in Columbia or have heard about it. Either way, I can
report that the meeting was a great success. Registration was good and we virtually filled the Stoney Creek Inn.
Individual sessions were great and the coordination with the MU Journalism School Centennial worked out well. Our political forums were well attended and lively. All were very informative.
A highlight of the Convention for me was the Newspaper Next presentation that we sponsored. I was fortunate to attend the all-day workshop on this program in California last year. We have implemented numerous ideas from that workshop in Hannibal.
But I want to talk to you about a different topic this month. The Missouri Press Association is a multi-faceted organization that does many things for this industry and for each of us. Not only does it lobby in Jefferson City for open records and to protect our profession, it also provides many other services for us.
One of the most important services, one that assists us in achieving financial goals, is advertising placement. Several programs form the foundation of MPA’s various networks. And Networks pay big dividends.
To cite a few, I offer the following facts and figures that you may or may not be aware of:
• The statewide classified ad network paid out $29,600 in June to all participating newspapers. In addition to that, nearly $14,000 was paid in sales commissions over the last six months.

• The statewide 2X2 display ad network paid $28,675 to participating member newspapers in December, 2007, along with an additional $3,500 in sales commissions.

• The statewide online ad network, the new kid on the block, paid $1,092 in July to participating newspapers.

• The ConnectMo ad program has been paying between $12,000 and $15,000 per month to participating newspapers.

Add these up and you find a significant amount of money just waiting to be earned by participating in these programs. These ad networks produce amazing results, but not only for the newspapers that run the ads. Members that sell the ads are also paid the most through high commissions on their sales.
Most important, however, is the fact that these networks are producing tangible results for our advertisers. This form of advertising is extremely cost-efficient, so it is extremely attractive to ad buyers. Since their ads produce results and generate leads and sales, they are relatively easy to justify.
Once an advertiser gets results from his ad(s), he usually continues to run the ads.
Believe it or not, ad buyers of these programs are in every local community. They include employee recruitment firms, retailers with online sales, tourism agencies, Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus and their festivals and fairs. Real estate brokers, developers, attorneys, manufacturers, collectors and auction houses are just a few of the potential advertisers.
So, what is my point? If you are not participating now, give each of these programs serious consideration. If you are participating in one or two of the programs, consider expanding to additional ones this year. It costs nothing to join and you simply can not lose money. There is only an upside to all of this.

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