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New overtime rule takes effect next year Guest Column:

Right and left brain selling By John Foust

Ar k ansas


Publisher Weekly


Vol. 14 | No. 43 | Thursday, October 24, 2019

Serving Press and State Since 1873

Saline Courier’s circulation director makes the right calls As a newspaper circulation director and a high school football official, Glenn Waits knows plenty about difficult calls.

for the Saline Courier in Benton, there are also the kind of calls he gets in the early mornings from subscribers who may have missed a delivery or have other questions. Follow-up from those calls requires his full attention. It’s focused and consistent customer service that makes the difference in his business, Waits said. “I can’t possibly know if 5,000 people got their paper on a given day so I appreciate any calls I may get,” said Waits, who’s been in newspaper circulation departments for more than three decades.

Glenn Waits

There are those calls under the Friday night lights – holds, pass interference and such that he tries to handle without getting too engaged with coaches or spectators that may disagree. As circulation director

Waits has overseen circulation and the mail room at the Courier for nearly five years. Before that, he ran circulation departments in Hot Springs and Lubbock, Texas, and was a zone manager for the Arkansas DemocratGazette. He got his start in the newspaper

industry in 1987 as a district manager for the Arkansas Democrat in Little Rock. Unlike the calls he makes on the football field as an official, he said his philosophy for boosting circulation sales is to make calls proactively to existing customers to make sure his team his providing the best level of service. Additionally, he’ll spend his work days calling on former subscribers trying to get them back. “Sometimes it’s hard to fit in your day, but you have to do it, and that’s calling your customers before you lose them and calling them afterward to try to get them back into the fold,” he said. Waits uses old-fashioned shoe leather, too, when recruiting new customers. As new subdivisions and developments pop up within his circulation area, he’ll go door-to-door with complimentary copies and information on how to subscribe. While other newspapers may entice new and returning customers with discounted Continued on Page 2

Annual ArkLaMiss conference less than two weeks away The annual ArkLaMiss Circulation, Marketing and Audience Development Conference is less than two weeks away. The conference is scheduled for Nov. 7-8 at the Ameristar Hotel and Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Register now for the conference at arkansaspress.org/2019Arklamiss. Attendees will learn best practices for growing revenue and readership through better marketing techniques and strategies. Gwen Vargo, director of reader revenue for the American

Press Institute, is the featured speaker at the conference. She will give advice in two different sessions about how to understand newspaper readers and how to encourage people to subscribe to newspapers. Participants also will take part in a roundtable discussion and a Hot Ideas Exchange moderated by Dennis Dunn, vice president of operations for the Anniston Star in Anniston, Alabama. Though the deadline to book a room at the conference rate has expired, rooms are still available at the hotel. To reserve a room, call (601) 638-1000.


Newspaper Academy webinar to focus on production tips

Extravaganza,” Adobe tools.

The Newspaper Academy will host a 100-minute newspaper production webinar on Friday, Nov. 8. Kevin Slimp will instruct participants in what he’s calling a “Production highlighting several

The Nov. 8 webinar starts at 10 a.m. Slimp promises 100 minutes of training in advanced InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat and more. The webinar will cover InDesign scripts, tables and data merge, Photoshop settings and advanced editing tips, and advice on improving PDF quality and creating PDF files for newspaper presses. The cost of the webinar is $69. To register, visit www.newspaperacademy.com

mark your calendar APA will be closed on Thursday , Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Arkansas Publisher Weekly


Saline Courier’s circulation director makes the right calls Continued from Page 1

rates or a free month’s subscription, Waits warned against doing so because he thinks customers want a consistent subscription rate.

minimizing our losses,” he said. “We’ve picked up a lot of subscribers over the last two months and I anticipate we’re going to be up year after year.”

“One of the things I’ve seen through the years is people under the impression that you’ll keep charging them the same rate,” after the promotion ends, he said. “The churn rate there is quite a bit higher. That’s why you work hard to get that one that pays full rate now rather than work harder over the next three years to keep somebody else.”

Waits said one valuable tool that’s helped him build his subscriber base is the ArkLaMiss Circulation, Marketing and Audience Development Conference. He’s been four times to the annual meeting, held in Vicksburg, Mississippi. This year’s conference is Nov. 7-8 at the Ameristar Hotel and Casino. Registration is still open for the event.

The Courier’s circulation has remained steady and may even increase this year, bucking industry trends. Waits credits the consistency to the Courier’s commitment to local news (The newspaper measures every issue by just exactly how much local news is in its product.) Waits also believes that the Democrat-Gazette’s recent decision to deliver a print edition on Sundays only has driven additional subscribers to the Saline County newspaper.

Through his conference attendance, Waits has met counterparts from other regions who share the same types of concerns but may have alternative solutions to problems, he said. He’s met people at the conference who he will call on throughout the year for advice.

“It’s a challenge, really in capturing young readers, but we’re doing a good job of

“It really is a good setting to get out of your element and see what other people are doing,” Waits said. “Every time I’ve gone, I’ve gained a different perspective from my little world. I go into it looking for a different idea or acquiring or retaining customers, and every time I’ve found that.”

Newspapers across the country adopting core values statement Because multiple news organizations have requested it, Arkansas DemocratGazette Publisher Walter Hussman authorized newspapers across the country to also adopt the “Statement of Core Values” published each day on Page A-2 of the Democrat-Gazette and other newspapers owned by Hussman. Hussman discussed the core values statement he wrote in-depth recently at the inaugural meeting of America’s Newspapers in Chicago. He said representatives of several organizations requested he make the statement available after the meeting, and it is posted on the Internet at http://snpa.static2.adqic. com/static/Statement-of-Core-Values.pdf 2

“You are welcome to use this statement in your own newspaper(s), or any of your own variation,” Hussman said. He asked that any newspapers that use the statement notify America’s Newspapers by email at cindy@snpa.org. “I believe adopting a statement like this can help improve our relationship with our readers as a true and professional source on news,” he said. Hussman said the Seaton family, which owns newspapers in Kansas, has adopted the statement for its 10 newspapers. The journalism school at the University of North Carolina has also adopted the statement. America’s Newspapers is the name of the combined Inland Press Association and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. October 24, 2019

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Industry Quote of the Week “We don’t go into journalism to be popular. It is our job to seek the truth and put constant pressure on our leaders until we get answers.”

- Helen Thomas

ASU hosts FOIA symposium in Jonesboro An Arkansas Freedom of Information Act Training Symposium for government officials and others is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 5, at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. The forum is sponsored by the Arkansas Municipal League, Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull PLLC and the ASU School of Media and Journalism.

New overtime rule takes effect next year The federal government has finalized its new rule increasing the salary threshold for workers exempt from overtime. The threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act increases on Jan. 1, 2020, from $23,660 per year to $35,568 per year. Though there are some exceptions, that means workers who make less than $35,568 a year must be paid hourly and may accrue overtime. According to Paul Boyle of the News Media Alliance, this standard will negatively affect many newspapers, though the new rule is much less of an increase than the proposal first considered by the federal government in 2016. Boyle noted that the employers may count bonuses, incentives and commissions toward up to 10 percent of the required standard. It is important to note that federal statute exempts employees of newspapers with a circulation of 4,000 or less from overtime

and minimum wage requirements. Nothing about the new rule affects those smaller newspapers.

While journalists are exempt from overtime requirements if they are “creative professionals,” that term has been defined by the U.S. Department of Labor to mean reporters who “conduct interviews, analyze or interpret public events,” or write commentary. Journalists who “rewrite press releases or write standard recounts of public information by gathering facts on routine community events” would probably not be considered creative professionals, Boyle said.

mark your calendar March 12 & 13, 2020

The symposium is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the First National Bank Arena auditorium on the ASU campus. A panel of speakers will offer an overview of FOIA requirements and will answer questions about fulfilling FOIA requests.

APA Advertising Conference Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Petit Jean Mountain

Speakers are Jenna Adams, litigation counsel, Arkansas Municipal League; Christoph Keller, litigation associate, Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC; William C. Mann III, senior litigation counsel, Arkansas Municipal League; Lanny Richmond II, code and opinions counsel, Arkansas Municipal League; and John Tull III, managing member, Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC. Jeff Hankins, vice president for strategic communications for the ASU System and vice chair of the Arkansas FOIA Task Force, will moderate the discussion. Admission is free. Arkansas Publisher Weekly


October 24, 2019

Guest Column: Right and left brain selling By John Foust Diane was telling me about her early days in selling. “One day stands out in my mind,” she said. “I had back-to-back appointments with two different prospects to talk about a special section. The first person was interested in what his ad would look like and the importance of selecting illustrations to project the right image. The second person jumped right into the numbers and wanted to know the details of rates and tracking systems. “Both people bought ads, but it fascinated me that they arrived at their decisions in such different ways. Both cared about the appearance of their ads, but the first person cared more. Both people cared about numbers, but the second person cared more. “That’s when I realized that there is a lot of truth in the right brain-left brain concept I had heard so much about. The left side is the logical, mathematical side and the right side is the emotional, creative side. Of course, no one is 100 percent on either side, but most people have a natural tendency toward one side. Tendencies usually show up in childhood. Left brain children are better at math and right brain

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

children are better at creative writing.” Diane explained that these traits are clearly evident in adults. “We’ve all been in conversations where the other person seems to be on a completely different wavelength. That could be due to different thinking styles. One of the key principles of selling is to ‘know your audience,’ which goes beyond knowing their company history and marketing motives. We have to get in step with the other person’s thinking style, too. “During a sales presentation, I try to adapt to the other person’s style. When I’m talking to left brainers, I focus on facts and figures – and I use testimonial examples with lots of statistical evidence. When I talk to right brainers, I concentrate on creative strategy, with similar testimonials. When I meet with two or more people, I make sure to include information for both types.” What about the ads themselves? “It’s interesting to study ads that deliberately take thinking styles into consideration,” Diane said. “Look through a technical publication and you’ll see ads that are filled with product specs and statistics. The same advertisers would have to take


a different approach in a publication which appeals primarily to right brain readers. But in a general interest setting – like a newspaper – it’s smart to include ad elements that appeal to both types. “All of this has convinced me that flexibility is one of the most important traits of an advertising professional,” she explained. “Too many people in this business think they can make the same presentation to everybody. That just doesn’t work. We have to make adjustments and do everything possible to connect. We shouldn’t expect them to adapt to us. We have to adapt to them.” Diane makes a good point. It’s not always about right and wrong. Sometimes it’s a matter of right and left. (c) Copyright 2019 by John Foust. All rights reserved.

John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information: john@johnfoust.com

October 24, 2019

ArkLaMiss CIRCULATION & MARKETING CONFERENCE Circulation & Audience Growth

ArkLaMiss Circulation & Marketing Conference

2019 Conference Agenda Nov. 7-8, 2019 | Vicksburg, Mississippi

ArkLaMiss Circulation & Marketing Conference

ArkLaMiss CIRCULATION & MARKETING CONFERENCE Circulation & Audience Growth

2019 Conference Agenda Thursday, November 7 8:30 AM 9:00 AM

Registration opens Publishers Roundtable Discussions Tips on newspaper management, revenue, expense controls, marketing & more

NOON 1:00 PM 1:15 PM

Lunch available in Heritage Buffet Welcome & opening remarks General Session: How to understand reader types and drive each type to subscribe

2:30 PM 3:00 PM

Break with Schermerhorn Bros. Co. General Session cont’d.: How to understand reader types and drive each type to subscribe

4:30 PM 5:30 PM 6:30 PM

Presented by Gwen Vargo, Director of Reader Revenue, American Press Institute The path from a casual reader to a paying subscriber isn’t a short one, but by understanding how audiences get from one place to another, you can begin to devise strategies to get more readers to complete that journey.

Presented by Gwen Vargo, Director of Reader Revenue, American Press Institute

Break for hotel check-ins Hospitality Hour with vendors Dinner on your own

Friday, November 8 8:00 AM 8:30 AM

Buffet breakfast Hot Ideas Exchange

9:30 AM 10:00 AM

Break Panel Discussion

11:00 AM

Moderated by Dennis Dunn, Vice President of Operations, Anniston (AL) Star. Share your best ideas for success on revenue generation, expense controls, promotions marketing & more.

Hear cutting edge advice from marketing circulation & audience development directors from newpapers in Arkansas & Mississippi.

Open Mic & Wrap-up

ArkLaMiss Circulation & Marketing Conference

ArkLaMiss CIRCULATION & MARKETING CONFERENCE Circulation & Audience Growth

Guest Speakers Gwen Vargo Gwen Vargo is Director of Reader Revenue for American Press Institute (API), where she works to support and accelerate the growth of subscriptions and user revenue at U.S. news organizations. She works directly with API’s partner news organizations to understand the path audiences take to subscription; gathers and spreads best practices; leads research efforts; and helps API’s partners develop innovative approaches to generating subscriptions through understanding audience data, marketing, communication, and content. Gwen specializes in helping media companies develop new models for user revenue, drawing on lessons she has learned over more than 25 years in audience development and marketing. Prior to API, she was at The Chronicle of Higher Education where she led cross functional team that included marketing, sales, circulation and market research and worked to develop sustainable revenue models for an array of digital products, including webinars, customized data, and events. While at Atlantic Media Company, Gwen oversaw marketing, sales, and client services for National Journal Group, and played a key leadership role in the strategic relaunch of the National Journal Group’s products and website. Previously, she managed marketing and operations efforts at organizations such as Euromoney Institutional Investor, PRIMEDIA, and American Lawyer Media.

Dennis Dunn Dennis Dunn is vice president of operations at the Anniston (AL) Star. He has been at The Star since 1997. He is responsible for printing, packaging and circulation for the Star, the Talladega Daily Home, the Cleburne News, the St. Clair Times and the the News Journal. He is a past president of the Southern Circulation Managers Association (2005). He began his career in 1979 at the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer before moving to Anniston. Dennis has been involved in the Anniston Lions Clubs, the Anniston Runners Club, The Boys and Girls Clubs and the Opportunity Center. He is a graduate of Auburn University (1978). He is married to Debra and they have two daughters and three grandchildren.




Circulation & Marketing Conference

Circulation & Audience Growth


Newspaper/Company Name: Street Address: City, State, Zip: Phone:


Name: Check all that apply:

Email: [ ] Conference ($109)

[ ] Newspaper Management Roundtable (No Charge)

Name: Check all that apply:

Email: [ ] Conference ($109)

[ ] Newspaper Management Roundtable (No Charge)

Name: Check all that apply:

Email: [ ] Conference ($109)

[ ] Newspaper Management Roundtable (No Charge)

Sponsorship: $____________ Event: ___________________________________________ Total Registrants: __________ X $109 = $____________ Total Amount Due: $____________ Exhibit During the Conference?






Card #__________________________________________ Expiration Date ___________ VCN#___________ Signature ______________________________________

Deadline to Register: November 1, 2019 Return Form and Payment to: ArkLaMiss/APA, 411 S. Victory, Little Rock, AR 72201 or fax to (501) 374-7509 Questions? Call Terri Cobb at (501) 374-1500, 1-800-569-8762 or email to terri@arkansaspress.org

Ameristar Casion & Hotel, Vicksburg MS Call 601-638-1000 and Reference “SPAPER9” | Room Rate $74 Deadline: October 24, 2019

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: October 24, 2019  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late-breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: October 24, 2019  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late-breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...