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SAPAToday

Advancing the free paper industry by providing resources for success and venues for sharing ideas. THE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER FOR THE FREE PAPER INDUSTRY Board of Directors The leadership of SAPA is in good hands. The board of directors, director, and assistant are listed with contact information. Page 3

Clarity in Advertising John Foust teaches that clarity in advertising is the easiest and best way to get your advertisers results. Page 3

Conference Schedule To follow up the SAPA Slugger Conference in Louisville SAPA will join with IFPA for a Super Conference in Nashville. Page 8

DECEMBER 2009

Network Your Way To Success In this article Joe talks about how networking is one of the easiest ways to improve your bottom line. Page 5

How To Win the Rat Race without being a RAT Landy Chase of Charlotte, NC gives you the tools to get that promotion. Page 7

Free Paper Publishers Meet with the USPS Donna Hanberry with the Saturation Mailers Coalition continues her crusade helping the postal service pinpoint areas for improvement Page 9

Southeastern Publishers

Attracting Excellent Employees The Secret to Attracting and Retaining Excellent Employees by David Lee It’s no secret that the challenge of finding high quality employees in today’s tight labor market is on every manager and business owner’s mind. What does appear to be a secret - given the typical response to this challenge - is what to do about it. Most employee attraction and retention strategies consist of creating a competitive compensation and benefits package, or instituting an employee appreciation and recognition program. Even worse, many companies - especially

Advertising Association

YOUR COMPANY’S IMAGE Great companies attract great people. If you have a strong brand in the marketplace, you will have a strong brand in the labor marketplace. If your company is synonymous with quality, you will attract quality people; if it isn’t, you won’t.

smaller ones - think attracting the best employees is a lost cause for them, beTHE QUALITY OF YOUR cause they can’t match the perks and programs showcased in Fortune magaINTERNAL OPERATIONS zine’s 100 Best Places to Work. Your image in the marketplace influAlthough most companies don’t “get ences your ability to attract good peoit” when it comes to attracting and ple. The quality of your internal operaretaining employees, some do. These tions influences your ability to retain companies are the Talent Magnets - the these people. Outdated technology, employers of choice for highly talented inadequate resources, inefficient work people. They know the key to attracting processes, and stifling bureaucracy are and retaining quality employees isn’t guaranteed Talent Repellents. Conversecompensation and benefits packages ly, when a company is run intelligently or gimmicky programs. They know the and efficiently, people want to stay and key is how well they address these four be part of such a world-class operation. critical areas: continued on page 2

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Attracting Excellent Employees HOW WELL YOUR MANAGEMENT TEAM TREATS YOUR EMPLOYEES This is where so many companies drop the ball. They promote technically adept people to management positions, even if they have virtually no people skills. They further compound the problem by scrimping on management training and coaching, so these managers never develop the skills to bring out the best in their workers. Worse, many companies turn a blind eye to disrespectful or even abusive behavior by managers. The importance of having a top-notch management team and great supervisors cannot be overstated. Research conducted by the Gallup Organization, involving over a million employees and 80,000 managers, revealed that having good managers was the most influential factor affecting both employee retention and performance.

YOUR ABILITY TO SATISFY THE NEEDS OF YOUR “INTERNAL CUSTOMERS” Your Employees - Just as the key to marketing and customer service success is understanding what the customer wants, and then delivering it; competing in the labor market requires understanding what employees want, and then delivering that. Here are a few

David Lee is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. The founder of HumanNature@Work, he has worked with organizations and presented at conferences throughout North America and overseas. He is the author of Managing Employee continued from page 1 Stress and Safety, as well as dozens of articles on employee and organizational of the things employees want most: performance. Contact David at http://hu• Pride in Where They Work and What mannatureatwork.com/programs.htm They Do • Meaningful Work • Respect - Both Personal and Professional • Sincere Expressions of Appreciation • The Ability to Exercise Autonomy and Control in One’s Job • The Opportunity to Learn and Grow on the Job

When a company or an individual compromises one time, whether it’s on price or principle, the next compromise is right around the corner. Zig Ziglar

Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, • A Sense of Community and Belonging • Flexibility That Allows for Work/Life even if you had no title or position. Brian Tracy Balance • The Opportunity to Make a Difference; To Have Input and Influence

TAKING THE FIRST STEP TOWARD BECOMING A TALENT MAGNET The first step is to find out where you currently are. Find out what your “customers” - your employees - think about your company. Engage your management team in a very frank self-examination process about how well the company is run, and how well employees are managed. Use the four critical areas and the nine key human needs outlined in this article as a launching point for this important discussion. By successfully addressing these, you will become a Talent Magnet.

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SAPA Leadership

President Russell Quattlebaum Southeast Sun Enterprise, AL 334-393-2969

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Vice President Greg Ledford Shelby Shopper & Info Shelby, NC 704-484-1047

Respect is the key determinant of highperformance leadertship. How much people respect you determines how well they perform. Brian Tracy

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Treasurer Tony Onellion Bargains Plus Slidell, LA 985-649-9515

Secretary Alan Lingerfelt The Piedmont Shopper Danville, VA 434-822-1800

Past President Mike Woodard Tuscaloosa Sun & Reporter Northport, AL 205-333-7525

Board Member Caroline Quattlebaum Southeast Sun Enterprise, AL 334-393-2969

Board Member JW Owens Savannah Pennysaver Savannah, GA 912-238-2040

Past President Gary Benton Peddler ADvantage Paris, TN 731-644-9595

Executive Director Douglas Fry SAPA Headquarters Columbia, TN 931-490-0400

Administrative Assistant Vickie Belden SAPA Headquarters Columbia, TN 931-490-0400

Clarity In Advertising By John Foust, Raleigh, NC Some years ago, I heard a speech by John O’Toole, president of the famous Foote, Cone & Belding advertising agency. After his talk, I made my way to the dais and chatted with him for minute or two. During that brief conversation, I asked what he thought was the most important principle of advertising communication. Without hesitation, he said, “Clarity.”

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I remember being impressed by the unwavering certainty of his answer. He knew that there is no substitute for clarity. Big budgets, fancy flow charts and dazzling special effects aren’t worth a nickel unless consumers receive a clearly expressed message. Fast forward to a recent business conference which featured speakers on a variety of topics. Although the “sales and marketing” speaker did a good job of covering the statistical side of lead generation, she had some misconceptions about advertising creativity. When she put two ads on the screen continued on page 4

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and said, “These are outstanding print ads,” I couldn’t help but think of Mr. O’Toole’s succinct statement. Clarity was nowhere to be found. The first ad featured a headline which boldly stated, “The essence of luxury.” It was surrounded by four stock photographs: a smiling man holding a golf club, a smiling woman holding a cup of coffee, a smiling couple walking on the beach, and a smiling kid playing with a smiling puppy. How’s that for generic? The ad could have been promoting golf. Or family vacations. Or coffee. Or cosmetic dentistry. The second ad had a photo of a hot dog, with a headline that read, “Frankly speaking.” The speaker explained, “With a picture of a hot dog and a headline that plays on the word ‘frank,’ most people would think this is an ad for food. But the body copy shows that it is an ad for an open house. They were serving hot dogs.”

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read in their entirely are those which promise “more information about this specific subject in which you are interested.” If a merchant relies too heavily on the body copy to communicate what is being sold, the result may be advertising that is mentioned in speeches, but ignored by consumers.

information about his training videos for ad departments: jfoust@mindspring.com

I’m so optimistic I’d go after Moby Dick in a row boat and (c) Copyright 2009 by John Foust. All take the tartar sauce with me. Zig Ziglar rights reserved. E-mail John Foust for

THERE’S STRENGTH IN OUR NUMBERS

I’m glad she told us the ads were promoting real estate developments, because no one in the audience could tell from looking at the screen. Ironically, we were in the same position as someone turning the pages of a newspaper; we were relying on headlines and visuals to let us know what the ads were promoting. The speaker had good intentions, of course. But unfortunately, she was interpreting clever copy and artsy photography as effective communication. She was confusing style with substance. If clarity had been the guideline for those two ads, the headlines and photographs would have worked together to create messages that communicated with laser-beam accuracy. According to an oft-quoted statistic, only two out of ten people read further than a headline. It is human nature to glance at headlines and pictures, then turn the page. The only ads that are

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Network Your Way

that many of her friends save them and will not throw them away.

To Success by Joe Bonura STRING YOUR OWN NET

There was a PBS documentary about a couple who lived in a remote area of Alaska where they made a living off the fish they caught in their net. In order to survive, they had to make the net, string it out every morning, take it in every afternoon, and retrieve the fish from the net. WARM CALLS ONLY Their efforts reminded me of networking in the sales world. The bigger the net, the longer you keep it out, the more fish you take in will determine your sales success ratio. Networking is the best way I know to never make a cold call again. Unlike the couple in Alaska, you do not have to go out in the cold water to make your catch. Networking is all about warm calling. THE BIGGEST GUN IN YOUR ARSENAL If you have not used networking, realize that it can be one of the most powerful tools in your sales arsenal. It involves more than swapping business cards at business meetings. Effective networking is an ongoing process. Set an appointment with yourself every day to massage and expand your network. A GOOD DEFINITION FOR NETWORKING IS: A group of individuals who interact through various forms of contact for mutually beneficial results. YOUR INITIATIVE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE The key words here are MUTALLY BENEFICIAL RESULTS. Bob Berg, who is a network-

ing guru, says that when you meet a business person, you should ask them what you need to know about their business so that you can recommend them to your business associates. They are so surprised by his request that they ask him how they can recommend him to others. TOOLS OF THE TRADE Here are some simple but powerful ways that you can begin stringing your sales net: Phone a current customer every day. Call a business associate who is not a customer every day. Call a current supplier just to say thank you. Think of someone who has helped you in the past, and renew that contact. I called the president of International Correspondence Schools twenty-five years after I graduated to thank him for the education that enabled me to succeed in the advertising business. He asked me to appear in a commercial for ICS with Sally Struthers. This led to an engagement to teach a graduating class of ICS students the sales skills they needed to get a job. Call family and friends to find out what they are doing and bring them up to date on your activities. Write a “Just Because” note to someone every day. My wife is great at writing notes; she makes her own cards and sends them to friends and acquaintances. Her cards are so professional

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When someone requests your business card, tell them that you don’t have any with you. Get their card and follow-up in a few days with a letter expressing how much you enjoyed meeting them. It is a great way to make your card stand out. Look for opportunities to speak for local clubs and organizations. When you close your presentation, ask them to leave their cards with you, and you will send them an article or a reading list in the mail. Go to your high school or college reunions to renew old acquaintances. Pass out business cards to check-out personnel at hotels, servers in restaurants, taxi drivers, and anyone who supplies a service to you. Ask them to recommend you to anyone who needs your services. A friend of mine always gives one of his cards to flight attendants and pilots whenever he flies. Take the time to sit down and make a list of everyone you know for potential business contacts. Set a thirty-minute time goal and do not stop writing until the thirty minutes are up. Review that stack of business cards that you have been saving for the past twenty years and decide who is worth putting on a networking list. YOU CAN’T CATCH FISH IF YOUR NET IS NOT IN THE WATER If you are going to succeed at networking, you must have the net in the water at all times. Do not be afraid to get wet. Start fishing today. © 2009 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc. Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc. Website: www. bonura.com, 407 Landis Lakes Court, Louisville, KY 40245, (800) 444-3340 toll free. Email: sales@bonura.com

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How To Win the Rat Race Without Being A Rat

place a premium value on take-charge, motivated employees who confront problems in an organization and make a positive impact. Conversely, negativity is simply not tolerated, and for good reason.

In the perfect work environment, whenever a promotion opportunity became available, the most qualified person would always be selected for the available promotion. Unfortunately, as you know, such an environment does not exist; it may seem to you that job promotions regularly go to people who are not always the most deserving. Well, to quote Clint Eastwood from the classic Western, Unforgiven, “deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

Do you demonstrate leadership within the office? Are you looked at as a “go-to” source by the others who work with you? Do peers come to you for advice and counsel? Are you willing to take risks, even when the chance of failure exists? Are you fair and ethical in your dealings with your peers?

The biggest mistake that most employees make with regards to promotion opportunities is to consider them an entitlement. In other words, they assume that if they reasonably meet their employer’s productivity expectations, then they are “entitled” to a promotion. Making such an assumption is probably the worst career mistake you can make, because in most cases it simply doesn’t work that way. Doing a good job does not “entitle” you to advancement. Instead, it qualifies you for consideration for advancement. Once you become qualified for consideration, a nasty little word creeps into the equation that, like it or not, plays a significant role in promotion decisions. That nasty little word is, of course, politics. Collectively, I define ‘politics’ as the other, subjec-

tive factors not directly related to job performance that either work for you or against you – and, like it or not, they can be a significant determining factor in promotion decisions. How does one learn to play – and win – at the game of promotional politics? Listed below are the most important political factors that come into play when evaluating a person for promotion: Are you dependable? Next to loyalty, dependability is the most desirable attribute that an employee can have. For example, when your boss asks you to do something, does it always get done – on time, every time? Or do you have to be repeatedly asked, over and over, to get a task completed? All things being equal, the employee who has demonstrated dependability has a huge advantage over their peers when promotions become available. Do you get along well with others? I once had a sales person on our team whose customers loved her and who was our top producer – and was a walking, talking nightmare to every other department in our office. Guess who, in spite of their sales performance, was always at the bottom of the list for promotions? I rest my case. Are you a problem-solver? Companies today

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Is your workspace well-organized? My rule of thumb for promoting an employee into management is to take whatever is on their desk, multiply it by a factor of 10, and use this new figure to arrive at a reasonable estimate of what their desk will look like with the new responsibilities. How would your work-space measure up? As a final point, never forget that the most important job that you have is to please the person that you work for, because no one has a more direct impact on your career advancement than your supervisor. Too many employees forget this simple but important point. Don’t be one of them. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Landy Chase, MBA, CSP is an expert who specializes in speaking to corporations and associations on advanced professional selling and sales management skills. For more information, visit his website at www. landychase.com or call (800) 370-8026.

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Conference Schedules

Super Conference Sept. 23-25, been there before. You’ll sample some of 2010: Plan now for a great conference the best the South has to offer as well in 2010. IFPA will join with SAPA in Nashville, Tennessee at the beautiful Hilton Downtown. We selected a hotel right in the heart of downtown, located next to the Country Music Hall of Fame. You will experience the energetic, unique nightlife as well as a trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel if you haven’t

as an educational, entertaining, and exciting schedule of events. Now, more than ever, you’ll benefit from attending this upcoming conference. Call Douglas Fry at 1-800-334-0649 for more info.

will join at the memorable Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami, FL. We will

be discussing topics of importance to you chosen by you and your fellow publishers in a roundtable format. What a great opportunity to discuss matters of business opportunities or concerns with other like-minded publishers. SAPA and IFPA have a tradition of sharing ideas. This will further that legacy. For more information call Gary Rudy

Publishers Summit February at 609-408-8000. 27, 2010: IFPA and SAPA Publishers

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U.S. Postal Service Reform Suggestions Under the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the US Government Accountability Office, or GAO, is charged with preparing a report on options for structural and operational reforms of the United States Postal Service to help achieve long term financial stability. In October 2009, the views of SMC were submitted to be considered by the GAO, along with other mailers and postal stakeholders.

total obligation that does not cripple the USPS with a cost burden that is not shared by any other public or private entity.

The GAO will aggregate the responses it receives in a report it is to issue to Congress in the spring of 2010.

USPS Management needs the ability to:

SMC submitted the input of our members, and free paper publishers, on the questions posed by the GAO. Below is a summary of some of the questions asked and SMC’s recommendations.

Recognize the USPS business model is broken. It is in the business of delivering less, lower margin mail, to more geographic locations, with 80% of its revenues still committed to labor costs. The USPS needs both flexibility to manage and right size its network and labor costs.

• Restructure agreements with employees to provide flexibility to align labor and plant resources to work loads. • Eliminate no-layoff clauses. Make employee rewards and success align with business success.

1. WHAT ARE IMPORTANT ACTIONS FOR REDUCING U.S. POSTAL SERVICE COSTS?

• Restructure pay and benefits to reflect what is provided to other federal employees and USPS competitors.

Immediately relieve the Postal Service from the unjustified, unnecessary, and excessive requirement to prefund retiree health costs. Recalculate the total retiree health costs based upon more recent, accurate, actuarial data. The Postal Service needs an amortization schedule for that

• Give the Postal Service greater flexibility when outsourcing or contracting out postal activities. • Get politics out of postal management and decisions regarding its network and work force.

• Condition employee advancement and promotions on training and ability to master new position. Too often USPS promotes on seniority and employees learn their new responsibilities “on the job” to the disadvantage of mailers and customers. Once employees know their job, they should be empowered to “do their job.” Too often customers are told “we need to check” before employees can answer questions or do their jobs. 2. WHAT ARE IMPORTANT ACTIONS FOR INCREASING U.S. POSTAL SERVICE REVENUES? Reduce or eliminate restrictions on pricing, contracting out, and Management compensation to allow the Postal Service to build upon its strength and stimulate more business and volume from its customers. Congress should take bold action, such as passing federal legislation that would preempt efforts to restrict or control the mail with local or state “donot-mail” restrictions to allow revenue growth. Currently, the Postal Service has been motivated to do more to reduce its platform and relevance (i.e., the move to go from 6-day to 5-day delivery) than build a business with revenue to support its ever-expanding delivery platform. The Postal Service should pursue and, with the private sector, develop internetbased web platforms to stimulate more mail and to take advantage of the private sector’s ability to provide electronic delivery. continued on page 10

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The Postal Service should partner with its largest and most relevant existing and potential customers, such as SMC’s members that do shared mail programs, free papers and community papers to develop a base load of regular and predictable business. For this base load business, the USPS should align rates with a simplified addressing option to make it easier, and less costly for the mailer and the USPS to do business and build business with the USPS. The Postal Service needs to provide lower rates (not come-and-go, highly regulated “sales”) that keep existing and potential customers in the mail and allow mailers to have an ROI to grow their business and mail volume. 3. If mail volumes continue to decline significantly, what changes, if any, do you think should be made to the Postal Service’s business model to help it achieve long-term financial sustainability? The Postal Service needs its finances and contract burdens restructured, such as would occur during a bankruptcy/ reorganization of any private or other major business, so that it can be a long term, and viable business. The “legacy” obligations of retiree health, many of which go back to government obligations that precede postal reorganization, need to be restructured.

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service. This will require greater partnering with the private sector, more flexibility and relevancy in today’s communications and commercial environment.

needs to redefine what it will be and its relevance to the American public.

We believe existing and potential customers and consumers want to retain the Postal 4. Please provide any other comments you Service’s vast delivery network without have regarding reducing costs, increasing taxpayer support. This needs a bold, revenues, or changing the Postal Service’s visionary plan, with attendant freedoms business model. from political and regulatory oversight, to build a communication platform Here is an example we can provide how the that works for today’s communication Postal Service’s current business model, environment, with a more efficient and and fear of regulatory or political backlash, leaner network of people and places. has kept the Postal Service from taking a modest step to significantly increase It is generally acknowledged throughout revenue. SMC has been asking the Postal Washington that the 2006 reform law Service to allow saturation mailers a was not the final word in operational simplified addressing option to make it and structural reforms needed for the easier for free papers, community papers, Postal Service in today’s communication and shared mailers to do business with environment. On November 5, 2009, the Postal Service. This existing business the House panel with oversight for is very profitable for the Postal Service the Postal Service will be conducting (with a 200% cost mark-up). It is regular hearings on the Postal Service that in frequency and is predictable. (In most include USPS President of Shipping & cases, it is brought to local post offices on a Mailing Services, Bob Bernstock, PRC monthly or weekly basis.) Current postal Chairman, Ruth Goldway, and other regulations allow these products to be witnesses. It is expected that there will delivered with the simplified “residential be much discussion about reform but, in customer” address format in rural areas light of election year politics, probably (approximately 30% of the U.S.) but little legislative action or real change require a household-specific street address concerning the future of the USPS until on city routes. The USPS, politicians and after the 2010 elections. The GAO report government entities are permitted to use and SMC submission is one piece of this this format for mailings on all addresses. complex regulatory panorama. SMC will For free papers and community papers continue to keep the interests of free paper that already go to many homes in America publishers that use the mail on the radar by private delivery carrier, this address scope of postal leaders and Washington requirement keeps these businesses out of officials. the mail. SMC has been asking the USPS to adopt a simplified option for mailers Opportunity is missed by most wanting to reach all residential addresses people because it is dressed in with a mailing program that is done at least overalls and looks like work. 12 times a year. USPS’ fears of regulatory Thomas Edison or political backlash to this idea has kept the Postal Service, from even testing the idea to see if it would help the Postal Failure is the opportunity to Service attract more base load business. begin again more intelligently.

The Postal Service and Congress need to realize that traditional mail volumes, the kind that used to support the Postal Service’s ever-expanding network, will continue to decline significantly. Major structural changes in the Postal Service’s organization, and how Management approaches customers, are necessary to stem the tide of this eroding business. If the Postal Service wants to survive, or expand, in this changing communication environment, it needs to expand its service The Postal Service and Congress need abilities and platform rather than cut to realize that it is at a crossroad where it Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association (931) 490-0400

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ®

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ INDEPENDENT FREE PAPERS OF AMERICA

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Plan now for another great conference in 2010. IFPA will join with SAPA in Nashville, Tennessee at the beautiful Hilton Downtown. We selected a hotel right in the heart of downtown, located next to the Country Music Hall of Fame. You will experience the energetic, unique nightlife as well as a trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. You’ll sample some of the best the South has to offer as well as an educational, entertaining, and exciting schedule of events. Now, more than ever, you’ll benefit from attending this upcoming conference. See you there! Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association (931) 490-0400

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