Home' Local Media Today : January 2006 Contents 10
Robert McGrew opens a holding
pen containing hundreds of goats
he owns. More than 1,000 goats
were unleashed in the Hidden
Valley (CA) housing develop-
ment common areas to eat dense
brush and foliage, a potential fire
hazard for area homes.
Photo was taken by
Granite Bay Press Tribune
part of Gold Country Media
Nature To The Rescue
Circulation Director Wanted
The Antelope Valley Press, published in
the fast-growing Palmdale/Lancaster area
of Southern California is seeking a
Circulation Director. This highly successful
award-winning community paper has
approximately 27,000 daily and 32,000
Sunday circulation. The right candidate is
an experienced circulator with a dedication
to subscriber retention through superlative
customer service, and the know-how to
acquire and hold the new subscriber.
This is the place that you can make a dif-
ference. This family owned newspaper
offers a competitive compensation pack-
age including a strong base salary plus a
generous monthly performance bonus.
They also offer an excellent benefits pack-
age. If you are interested, please send
resume and cover letter to
Cherie Bryant, General Manager,
Antelope Valley Press,P.O . Box 4050,
Palmdale, California 93590
By Alan Jacobson, Brass Tacks Design
We recently delivered classified redesigns for two Tribune
newspapers – the Hartford Courant and the Daily Press in
Newport News, Va. – and the Omaha World-Herald. All three
redesigns were complete makeovers, including banners, classi-
fication headings, liners, advertorial products and house ads.
All three projects tested overwhelmingly positive with focus
groups and respondents said the new designs made the classi-
fied sections easier to read and easier to use.
Here are the top ten things we did that you should consider
1. Make your classifieds easier to read. If you’re using a gener-
ic sans serif font like Helvetica for your liners, consider switch-
ing to a font designed specifically to make small type more leg-
2. Make your classifieds easier to use. Design your main ban-
ner, classification headings and subheadings to help readers
find what they’re looking for.
3. Eliminate the numerical classification system. That’s right,
you can dump it. We found that almost no one uses it.
4. Eliminate the index. Yep, you can drop this fixture too.
Readers use in-column classification headings to find what
they’re looking for. Surprisingly, most readers weren’t aware
that classified sections had indexes.
5. Reduce the amount of marketing information in the banner.
Like the numerical classification system and the index, most
readers ignore pricing and deadline information in the main
banner. They prefer to get this information from a sales rep on
the telephone. Reducing or eliminating this information will
allow for a cleaner, more attractive banner that can emphasize
the information most important to your customers.
6. Emphasize the phone number to call to place an ad. This one
piece of information was most important to customers. You
should also include the number for Circulation to avoid misdi-
rected calls to your sales force from readers who had delivery
7. Use your print product to boost awareness of online product.
We believe the newspaper classified franchise is at risk from
other providers so we’ve been encouraging our clients to pro-
mote their online classifieds.
8. Promote the advantages of the online. It isn't enough to say
that your classifieds are available online. Begin by emphasizing
these advantages of your online classifieds:
• Timeliness: Ads can be posted and delivered sooner than the
• Keyword searching: No need to rifle through pages.
• Broader searches: Most newspaper sites provide access to
national listings of cars, jobs and homes.
• Value-added content: Mortgage calculators, neighborhood
profiles and auto reviews help users make buying decisions.
• Legibility: Users can enlarge text on their screens to suit their
• No ruboff: Online classifieds are clean and green.
9. Use Classified to boost readership. Editorial content isn’t the
only reason people buy newspapers. In some markets, advertis-
ing is cited as the top reason for buying the paper – particularly
on Sunday. Classified is also a draw for single-copy purchasers.
Take advantage of these opportunities by giving Classified a
well designed, visually engaging cover. Anchor the section
every day with a full color front. Build a library of banners,
rotating through the selections every day to give readers an
ever-changing visual experience.
10. Redesign everything. Don’t stop with the main banner.
Redesign your liner typography, category headers and house
ads. Every part of Classified should receive as much design
attention as the rest of the paper. And don’t forget your adverto-
rial products. These sections shouldn’t look like poor cousins of
the editorial product. Make sure they possess the same level of
design sophistication as every section in the paper.
Alan Jacobson leads Brass Tacks Design, which provides marketing, editorial, design
and technical support to newspapers worldwide. and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or via Brass Tacks
Web site http://www.brasstacksdesign.com.
Top 10 redesign tips for
Director of Integrated Advertising.
Herald Newspapers (Cape May County,
NJ) seeks successful leader with proven
ability to apply innovative marketing strate-
gies and exploit leading-edge technologies
to achieve explosive growth in both print
and web media. Enjoy working on a team
committed to excellence while living at the
Jersey Shore! Competitive compensa-
Send resume to email@example.com.
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