Home' Local Media Today : March 2010 Contents Sitting in my office a few days ago
I heard raucous laughter coming
from our retail sales department.
On checking, I discovered that
our newest sales representative
had just been ‘raffed’. This long-
standing office prank consists of
a message left on his desk asking
him to call Mr. G. Raffe at a local
number – of course the number
is that of the Toronto Zoo!
I remember receiving the same
initiation when I was a rookie sales
representative working for a com-
munity daily in Sydney, Australia.
A message slip was left on my desk
to call a Mr. Lyon.
This harmless and simple bit of
fun reminded me of the important
ingredient we might be missing
when motivating and inspiring
staff – laughter.
In these tough times, we may
have forgotten to lighten
the moment now and
then, and to encourage
a little silliness to creep
into our workplaces. So,
we are trying to think of
ways to surprise and
cheer up the staff, or
at least ways to foster
it. Do you hear less
laughter around the
office than you used
to? As always, I’d love to
hear your ideas.
Speaking of inspiring and
motivating, many of us here have
been glued to the Olympic Winter
Games coverage from Vancouver.
Every single competitor at these
games is an inspiration for all of us.
When we look past the hype and
national fervor we find young men
and women who have sacrificed
so much, along with their families,
to compete in their event.
What can we learn from these
athletes? First, that winning
medals isn’t everything. In many
cases these athletes have already
won by being chosen to repre-
sent their countries in Olympic
competition. Second, for me, we
learn never to settle for anything
less than 100 per cent effort and
commitment. When we recruit
new staff or managers, we look for
attitude first and skill set second.
Obviously, certain criteria in a
sales candidate are desirable, and
we do use some testing tools for
that, but identifying a good atti-
tude is vital in hiring winners.
Even in economic downturns,
it is still a challenge to find good
candidates for certain positions
especially sales. It’s not always
just about the money; we are
discovering more and more that
the right tools for the job (technol-
ogy), training and development
opportunities are important in
hiring good candidates.
Metroland, over the years,
has worked hard at developing
strong training programs for all
disciplines with a strong emphasis
on developing our talent. We, as
business leaders, need to sup-
port and encourage a continuing
investment in this area.
Lest we take ourselves too seri-
ously, however, I will leave
you with a quote from
the late Peter Drucker,
author of Managing
in Turbulent Times:
“Most of what we call
for people to
get their work
March 2010 | SUBURBAN PUBLISHER | 3
Paging Mr. G. Raffe
SNA Board of Directors
Use laughter to motivate
and inspire your staff
In concert with America East trade show in Hershey, PA
SNA has again facilitated an opportunity for members to come together for a one-day advertising
symposium and workshop set against the backdrop of America East, the regional trade show and
operations oriented conference in easily-accessible Hershey, PA.
The SNA Advertising Symposium and Workshop provides advertising execs with the latest results
in a community newspaper market study, direct access to a select group of media buyers, in-depth
review of two new revenue opportunities, and the opportunity to network and exchange ideas
with community media peers.
The one day of SNA programming will take place on Wednesday, March 17 and the low cost
registration fee of $199 also includes joint bonus sessions on Tuesday, March 16 as well as access
to the America East exhibit hall.
The SNA sessions on March 17 include:
Keynote: 2009 Community Newspaper Market Study:
Key Findings to Share with
Agency Roundtable Speed Dating Sessions with Brian Hitchings, President,
Philadelphia Area Newspapers, Hitchings & Company and others: Get to know
your agency! You’ve got questions – they have answers. This free-form session will allow
small groups to ask the agencies specific questions.
New Online Revenue Opportunity presented by Al Cupo, VP of Operations
and Tanya Henderson, Advertising & Membership Relations Director, SNA.
Great Ideas Session:
Be prepared to bring great ideas to this always-popular session and
you could win big prizes – $100 for first place!
The Power of Positive Press with examples of recent submissions
of SNA’s Positive Press Contest.
Free Joint Bonus Sessions with America East on March 16 include:
Newspaper Web sites & the Public - A Study About the Benefits & Risks of User-
Agency Panel Discussion:
What’s in Store for 2010 with Brian Hitchings, President,
Philadelphia Area Newspapers, Hitchings & Company and others TBA.
America East Trade Show:
A great opportunity to visit with vendors on the trade show
America East Newsprint Suppliers Reception.
Who Should Attend
Advertising directors, major account managers, sales representatives and new media sales
Dates & Location
March 16-17, 2010 (America East is March 15-17).
Hershey Lodge and Convention Center
SNA Advertising Symposium: $199 per registration.
Register at www.suburban-news.org or call SNA hq at 888-486-2466.
Attendees are responsible for hotel reservations. There are many affordable options.
Wednesday, March 17
“This is an excellent and very affordable tool
to fire up your advertising leadership. I strongly
encourage members to attend this one day
session that is absolutely worth the modest
investment of time and resources.”
– SNA President Nancy Lane.
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