Home' Local Media Today : October 2012 Contents 12 | LOCAL MEDIA TODAY | October 2012
What are you doing to keep
I wish I had the magic pill or
answers to know what is going
to work on any give day or week or
even month but I don’t. I know that it
take’s hard work, I know that my team
and I are working harder than ever to
make things happen. WE WORK HARD
and WE PLAY HARD. We celebrate our
successes, we constantly challenge
one another, and we get frustrated
and blow off a little steam when we
seem to be struggling with things but
in the end WE HAVE FUN and enjoy
I’ll put out a little wager now and
then and I when I lose, I make sure to
pay up! I even had to ride a mechani-
cal bull (or attempted to ride) after
I challenged them to exceed a spe-
cific goal...they did and the following
month the publisher agreed to ride
as well if they made the next goal...
Your publisher Don Bricker
praises your leadership skills
and the tangible results they yield.
Could you please comment on ini-
tiatives that have worked especially
well? Plus any planned programs that
are in the foreseeable future?
The success has been with the
“Team”. For me to be an effec-
tive leader I must surround myself
with the people that understand the
vision of our department and that of
the company. People that are willing
to embrace the challenges we face
to constantly fill the needs of our
customers while making sure we are
meeting our revenue obligations and
people that are willing to put the good
of the group ahead of themselves.
The dynamic team here in DeKalb
embodies all of that. They understand
what everyone brings to the table
and know that I put equal value on
each and every one of them. They
know without reservation that I will
be there for them and I feel the same
from them. I have high expectations
of them and continue to challenge
them even when they have made
We are very competitive with the other
properties in our group, but the team is
also competitive with one another. To be
honest, they’re brutal with one another
(in a fun way). If they feel someone has
not contributed to a goal or section they
do not let them forget it.
Our goal for 2013 – GROW
REVENUE! We will continue to seek
out new customers and find solutions
for them regardless of whether they
can spend $50 or $500. We will aggres-
sively bundle digital with every offer-
ing and expand our non-news revenue
with more niche categories. We have
a brainstorming session planned for
late September to put together our
programs for next year.
Can you share what you look
for when you recruit new
reps? Minimize turnover? Keep reps
motivated? Types of training tools
As a manager who prides herself
on staff-development and build-
ing a strong team environment, I cringe
at the thought of having to interview and
hire someone new. A strong dynamic
with the right mix of personalities is
crucial to a successful team.
The one thing I know for sure is that
no matter how badly I need someone,
I will not in haste hire someone to
fill the seat. The need to carefully
examine the strength of each current
team member and try to determine
how a new hire will enhance and not
detract from the environment is key to
a successful hire. In my opinion this is
the most difficult part of the job.
Our training really starts and con-
tinues with “the basics”. I believe if we
are using those steps, we will succeed.
If we are not, we go back to the basics.
Also, I am proud to say that all but one
(he is scheduled to start the training
this month) of my entire sales team
in DeKalb including myself is now
You mention the LMA Sales
Certification training program
– can you comment on the value it
brought to your team?
The LMA Print & Online certi-
fication program provided my
team of multi-media sales profession-
als and myself a valuable refresher
course. The sessions reinforced how
vital it is that we are continuously
conducting needs analysis for our
customers and offering solutions to
fit those needs.
I would highly recommend this to
other Ad Directors looking to reinforce
basics with veteran staff and definitely
as a training tool for newcomers to
Finally, what do you for fun?
How does the Ad Director stay
motivated and recharge batteries?
Well, let’s just say I keep very
busy. I am fortunate to have
a very supportive husband who is
retired, he pretty much does everything
at home so that when I get home I can
relax and enjoy my two lively Boston
Terriers who demand my attention the
moment I walk in the door.
I stay motivated by a great, sup-
portive boss, a team that gets the job
done and an innovative company
that invests in its people. Oh, and
it’s FOOTBALL SEASON and I can
be found in front of the screen every
Saturday & Sunday as I LOVE foot-
ball...Go Badgers, Go NIU and GO
Pletsch cont’d from pg 2
The annual awards luncheon was held during the LMA Fall Conference in Atlanta,
Georgia last month and several recipients were on hand to receive their honors.
Congratulations to these outstanding newspaper men and women.
September is Awards Month!
Ad Director of the Year
Editor of the Year/Daily
Journalist of the Year/Daily
Journalist of the Year/Non-Daily
The Dean Lesher Award
Ad Director of the Year Karen Pletsch,
Shaw Media Group, saluted her staff when
she accepted her award. Among other
accomplishments, she and her team are
generating overall revenue increases for the
second year running. Check out the Q&A
with Karen on page 2 and a feature article
on page 8.
Editor of the Year Carol Stark, The Joplin
Globe, received a standing ovation after her
moving comments about the catastrophic
tornado that hit her region in 2011. It was
her outstanding coverage of this tragic
event, including cohesive community
rebuilding elements, which earned her this
Journalist of the Year/daily Keith Eddings,
The Eagle Tribune, receiving his award
from LMA’s Al Cupo. Eddings reminded the
audience that the depth and breadth of a
reporter’s experience is valuable in vetting
important information that can often
take many months to fully develop into
Meg Boyer of Steamboat Pilot & Today
accepted the award for Best Innovation on
behalf of her team. Using the report from
the Local Media Association Innovation
Mission 2011, they were inspired to
replicate the key takeaways. See related
story on page 4.
Brian McMillan, Observer Media Group.
In his remarks upon receiving the award,
McMillan recommended that every reporter
read at least one book a week and cited
‘ The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the
Supreme Court’ as coincidental inspiration
for an interview he conducted with a
retiring judge in Florida.
Betty Carr, recently retired Group Publisher
for Metroland Media, is congratulated by
Matt Walsh, The Observer Media Group,
moments after receiving The Dean Lesher
Award, LMA’s highest individual honor.
Looking on is Peter Haggert, Editor in Chief,
Toronto Community News.
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