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Annual Election Ballots readied for Friday mail

Guest Column:

A new look at an old sales technique By John Foust



Ar kansas

Publisher Weekly


Serving Press and State Since 1873

Vol. 13 | No. 19 | Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mike and Karen Brown are sold on the Arkansas newspaper family Mike Brown was the band director and his wife Karen was teaching elementary school in her hometown of Gravette when they decided to make a change. Karen wanted to spend more time with their young son, and Mike thought he might try sales. He got a job selling advertising at the Benton County Daily Democrat in 1983. “It was new territory for me. After a couple of days riding around with someone, I was handed a rate card and told to go find some accounts and sell something,” Mike said. Two years later he was ad manager at the Daily Democrat, the first of the Community Publishers, Inc., papers. Soon Steve Trolinger and Jim Walton of Community Publishers, Inc. (CPI) recruited Mike to become publisher of the Siloam Springs

Herald-Leader. Making the new weekly a success in the competitive Northwest Arkansas newspaper environment was a challenge. “I learned more in that first year at Siloam than I could have learned in 15 years at a daily,” Mike said. “We had an editor, sales manager and circulation manager, but at a start-up weekly everyone does everything. That experience helped me throughout my career.” Karen continued teaching for a few years, then became the family magazine editor for the Herald-Leader. Later she put her background to work for the Arkansas Press Association running the Newspapers in Education program. She traveled around the state holding workshops for teachers on how to use newspapers in their classrooms. Karen

Karen and Mike Brown

loved visiting different newspapers, meeting teachers in their towns, and making it possible for kids use their community newspapers to learn reading, history, math and science. Continued on Page 2

Rex Nelson to identify “News and Fake News” at APA SuperConvention

Rex Nelson’s talk on “News and Fake News” from 4-5 p.m. June 29 at the APA SuperConvention at Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs will have something for everyone. “In addition to my definitions of news and fake news, I’m going to give my thoughts on the future of our industry,” said Nelson, senior editor at the Arkansas DemocratGazette. “I’ll talk about where I see news in America heading and where I think it needs to go.”

Whether they’re a publisher, ad salesperson, editor or all three, APA members will enjoy this discussion of how to meet the immediate challenges of the

industry and come back stronger than ever in the years ahead.

Ever the optimist, Nelson has a reputation for speeches that are both informative and fun. Expect his talk to be peppered with experiences from his early years as a sports writer and editor at the Arkadelphia Siftings Herald and Southern Standard, his tenure at the Democrat In the state and in Washington, D.C., his experiences in politics and government, his almost four decades as the voice of Ouachita Baptist Tiger football, plus his favorite places to eat pie in the Natural State. In his current job at the DemocratGazette, Nelson writes three opinion

columns a week and a couple of Perspectives Section cover stories each month. His mission for the statewide daily, he said, is to seek out good stories to tell and Rex Nelson speak to audiences throughout the state about the history, places and people of Arkansas. Full registration packets for the APA SuperConvention to be held on June 2730 will be mailed in the coming weeks.

-30Virginia McNabb Bland Virginia McNabb Bland, 94, mother of APA Board Member John Bland, died May 1, 2018, at her home in Walnut Ridge. Born June 20, 1923, at Brockett in Randolph County, she was the daughter of Herman and Nell Lehman McNabb. Virginia grew up in Pocahontas and was a 1941 graduate of Pocahontas High School. She was a freshman at Hendrix College when the bombing occurred at Pearl Harbor. As many others of her age, she left college to become involved in the U.S. effort during World War II. She took a clerical job at the Walnut Ridge Army Flying School and would later Virginia Bland transfer to bases in Florida, living in the Coral Gables and Fort Myers areas. After the war, she returned to college for a brief time at the University of Arkansas, where she pledged Pi Beta Phi. On June 14, 1949, she married James (Jim) Lloyd Bland, Jr. of Walnut Ridge. She taught school in Pocahontas and later Walnut Ridge for just a few years. In later years, she worked part-time at The Times Dispatch, of which she was part owner. She faithfully gathered local news for the Walnut Ridge section of People & Events for several decades until her death. Survivors include a daughter, Elizabeth Lehman Bland, and husband, Paul Derrig Girolamo, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a son, John Aaron Bland, and wife, Renee Rainwater Bland, of Walnut Ridge; and three grandchildren, James Paul Girolamo, John Cullen Girolamo and Anna Elizabeth Bland, as well as 18 nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held last Saturday  at the First United Methodist Church in Walnut Ridge. Suggested memorials are to Walnut Ridge First United Methodist Church, The Children’s Shelter or the Lawrence County Library.

Mike and Karen Brown Continued from page 1

Around 1988, the Browns attended their first APA meeting. “We were young when we got into this business, and they took us under their wing,” Karen said. “We were adopted into the newspaper family, and we’re still here. We just saw Cone and Betty Magie’s daughters who grew up with our son Shane. He now works at the Tampa Bay Times.” During the next 30 years, CPI acquired more newspapers and printing operations. Mike became the publisher of newspapers in Siloam Springs, Gentry, Gravette, Decatur and Bella Vista. He held the title of vice president of CPI until Steve Trolinger retired in 2014, and Mike became its president. Early on Mike traveled with Steve and waited outside during the APA board meetings. He joined the APA board in the ‘90s, and in 2004 he became president. He recalled that every year around the turn of the new century whoever was APA president asked executive director Dennis Schick to promise not to retire during their year in office. “Well, the year I was president, he retired,” said Mike. “We did a roast for Dennis and Jan. A lot of good newspaper people were a part of the search committee, spending time on the interview process to hire Schick’s replacement.” The same year Mike was president of the board Karen became the executive director of the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation (ANF), a job she will hold until the end of this year’s SuperConvention. ANF, the nonprofit arm of APA, supports programs like $200 grants for newspaper staffers to attend the ArkLaMiss Conference to learn how to increase circulation, literacy programs around the state and $1,500 in matching funds for summer interns at four APA member papers. “The Arkansas Newspaper Foundation has a wonderful board that holds an endowment at the Arkansas Community Foundation,” Karen said. “We raise funds at the silent auction at the APA SuperConvention, and we are the beneficiary of the annual APA Golf

Tournament. This is the first year we’ve sold all 18 holes!” The Foundation partners with local organizations like the Museum of Discovery, Heifer International and companies like AT&T. Karen particularly likes the AT&T-sponsored “It Can Wait” contest that asks 14-to-19-year-olds to write editorials against combining texting and driving. The contest winner gets a trip to Little Rock with a private tour of the Arkansas State Capitol and the Clinton Presidential Center. Since 2015, when the last of the CPI assets were sold, Mike has worked with Jim Walton at Walton Enterprises. The relationships and friendships he made in his newspaper role continue to be important. Looking back on 33 years in the news business, the most valuable lesson Mike learned was that what goes around, comes around. “You may think that what you do now doesn’t have an impact. There is always a connection, even if you don’t realize it. Like the company where you make a lot of calls and get a lot of no’s oftentimes turns out to be your best customer,” he said. “Don’t burn bridges because you don’t know what is around the next bend in the road.”

Arkansas Publisher Weekly 2 May 10, 2018

Greenbrier 9-year-old establishes newspaper

By Hilary Andrews Log Cabin Democrat, Conway

Is the fall of 2017, Greenbrier Eastside Elementary’s Israel Bollinger approached principal Mandi Dunlap with an idea to start a school newspaper. Bollinger said the idea came to him after reading a book and decided the school needed one. Dunlap told the fourth grader that they had to table the idea for a bit, but during Christmas Break, couldn’t stop thinking about it. After the school returned, Dunlap said she approached school counselor Sherry Hogg, who now oversees the paper, and got everything up and running. “Israel is definitely the brains behind how it all got started,” she said. Dunlap said the group of around 1516 second through fifth grade students meet every morning during the school’s enrichment time to work on the project, which comes out about once a month. Bollinger said it took a bit to get used to working with the Google Docs and coming up with ideas and even longer to decide on the name, “What’s Up Eastside.” The paper has multiple sections including, “Feature Teacher,” where they ask a teacher questions about what made them want to go into education and what they like most about being a teacher, a part that Bollinger said he agreed on when the idea was presented so that the paper wasn’t just restricted to kids but could involve teachers as well.

Other sections include important Eastside dates, track and field tips, tech and testing tips and more.

Bollinger’s section, “Crackups,” is about jokes. The paper also has a section called, “Super Facts.” “It’s a bunch of completely, 100 percent random facts that have absolutely nothing to do with all the other facts,” he said, laughing. When the Log Cabin Democrat asked Bollinger what his favorite area of the paper was, he was taken aback. “Well, I actually haven’t thought about that, but I think all of it,” he said, decidedly. “Pretty much, they’re all even. They each have their own special purpose. You can’t measure them all by the same thing because they all do different things.” When each section is done, Dunlap said, a couple of administrators edit it before they print it off. “When we printed the first one, it was really exciting,” she said. “We were ready to print.”

“It’s really fun working on the newspaper, basically, giving info to all the students in the school about exactly what’s going on,” Bollinger said, excitedly. “That, I really like.” Dunlap said through this project, she’s had an opportunity to talk with the 9-year-old about how this is one of those examples where he had an idea and, instead of keeping it to himself, shared it and it became something.

Dunlap said a copy is printed off for everyone in the school, including more than 400 students, and is also put out on social media, and so far, feedback has been positive.

“He was the catalyst for this project,” she said.

“I am very glad they like it because that means [I’m not] doing this all for nothing,” Bollinger said.

“My parents say I’m a mover and a shaker,” Bollinger said, smiling.

He said it’s a good feeling to know that the one idea he had is now a reality.

Dunlap said it was just a “huge life moment” for Bollinger to be able to realize he had these qualities.

Dunlap agreed, laughing. “You are,” she said. “That’s a good way to describe you.”

Annual Election Ballots readied for Friday mail Ballots for the 2017 APA election will be mailed Friday (tomorrow), May 11, and designated voters at APA member newspapers will have until Friday, May 25, to return them in the envelope provided.

including the three new nominees, Kelly Freudensprung of The Saline Courier in Benton, John Robert Schirmer of the Nashville News-Leader and Crystal Costa of the Times Record in Fort Smith.

Designated voters are reminded to sign the outside of the ASSOCIATION envelope provided for the return of the ballot. A spot for that signature is clearly visible on the outside of the return envelope.

Also on the ballot will be the continuing APA Board members:



Seven candidates will appear on the ballot,

• Ellen Kreth of the Madison County Record in Huntsville • Sue Silliman of the Camden News • Lori Freeze of the Stone County Leader in Mountain View •






Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock

The APA executive board does not appear on the ballot. They include: • President, Tom White of the Advance Monticellonian in Monticello • Vice President, John Bland of The Times Dispatch in Walnut Ridge • Immediate Past President, Byron Tate of The Sheridan Headlight • Second Vice President, Rusty Turner of the Northwest Arkansas DemocratGazette in Fayetteville

Arkansas Publisher Weekly 3 May 10, 2018

Guest Column: A new look at an old sales technique

Save the Date The Arkansas Press Association 2018 SuperConvention is set for June 27-30 at the Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs. Look for registration packets in the coming days. It’s no doubt going to be a great one you won’t want to miss.

By John Foust, Raleigh, NC Carla has been selling advertising for many years. She has researched and tried a variety of techniques to answer objections. “Just about everybody knows the Feel-Felt-Found formula,” she said. “When a prospect makes an objection – about price, for example – the response is, ‘I understand how you feel. Many others have felt the same way. Then they found that our paper offers good value for their investment.’ “In theory, it’s sound,” she said. “But most business people have heard it before. As soon as they hear ‘I understand how you feel,’ they know it’s going to be a canned explanation. The key is to avoid the words ‘feel,’ ‘felt’ and ‘found’ and use other ways to say the same thing.

uying or Selling?

Photo courtesy of Eureka Springs CAPC.

“The phrase that has been the biggest help to me is: ‘No one wants to _____.’ Just fill in the blank after the word ‘to’ and you’ve got a great lead-in statement.” Here’s a closer look:

1. I understand how you feel. The purpose of this phrase is to get in step with others, but it’s an overused statement that can I can help you with either one sound mechanical and insincere “You uding the value of your property shouldn’t say you understand unless the publication you are buying. you really understand,” Carla said. “This I can help you with either one is where ‘no one wants to’ comes into I can help you with eitherproperty one including the value of your play. It’s a safe statement that puts me or the publication are property buying. including the value you of your on the same page with the other person. or the publication you are buying. When there’s a price objection, I say, ‘No (850) 532-9466 one wants to pay more for advertising I can help you with either one I can help you with either one lfloyd@mediamergers.com than they have to.’ It’s as simple as that. including the value of your property (850) 532-9466 includingMediaMergers.com the value of your property In all the times I’ve used it, no one has or the publication you are buying. lfloyd@mediamergers.com or the publication you are buying. disagreed.” MediaMergers.com

Buying Buying or or Selling? Selling?

Buying or Selling? Buying or Selling?

WIS FLOYD nior Associate LEWIS FLOYD Senior Associate

LEWIS FLOYD Senior Associate

(850) 532-9466

Carla explained that this works with any

lfloyd@mediamergers.com objection. “No one wants to schedule (850) 532-9466 more ads than they need. No one wants MediaMergers.com (850) 532-9466

lfloyd@mediamergers.com lfloyd@mediamergers.com MediaMergers.com MediaMergers.com

LEWIS FLOYD LEWIS FLOYD Senior Associate Senior Associate

to plan more meetings than they need. No one wants to sign a longer contract then they need. And so on.” 2. Many others have felt the same way. According to Carla, this phrase is too vague. “It’s good to reassure other people, because we want them to know they’re not the only ones with that opinion. But this step in the process works better with a specific example. I like to say something like, ‘Others have had the same opinion. About a month ago, the XYZ Widget Company was concerned about our rates.’ That creates a bridge to the last step – where I talk about what that advertiser found.” 3. Then they found. “Here’s where you turn that example into a testimonial,” Carla said. “Instead of referring to all the advertisers who had that same objection, talk about one advertiser’s positive experience. That has more impact.” Put it all together to get something like this: “No one wants to pay more for advertising than they have to. Other people have had the same concern. In fact, XYZ initially had questions about our rates. Then they discovered that we offer more coverage than other media choices. As a result, their business is up ten percent over the same time period last year. This comparison chart shows...” It’s hard to object to that strategy, isn’t it? 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

Industry Quote of the Week

“What they were asking was to be quiet. For me to just sit quietly by would be hypocritical. Our obligation is to the reader and the truth. We should not be allowing ourselves to be quiet about something our own people are doing that would be considered dangerous, bad for our communities and bad for democracy.” – Chuck Plunkett, Former Editorial Editor, The Denver Post

Arkansas Publisher Weekly 4 May 10, 2018

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: May 10, 2018 Edition  

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

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: May 10, 2018 Edition  

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