Bulletin photos by Julia Aparicio

‘Why not reward those clients who are (paying for) larger ads?’

-- Ed Henninger,
Henninger Consulting,
Rock Hill, S.C.

How design can generate
revenue for news outfits

By Jerome Chong
Bulletin Staff

Some publishers might be losing money based on how they market and design their advertisements, according to Ed Henninger, a design consultant and director of Henninger Consulting, based in Rock Hill, S.C.

Henninger gave a presentation Saturday, Feb. 20, at the New England Newspaper and Press Association winter convention on advertising design techniques that can help a newspaper generate revenue.

During the workshop, titled “License to print money – 10 tips to generate revenue now,” Henninger said: “If you are in the newspaper business to make money, then you are in the wrong business, because you can make a lot more money someplace else.”

In the beginning of his presentation, Henninger talked about how newspapers should charge more for premium ad placement; Ads placed at the top of the page should cost more than ads at the bottom.

Larger ads should always be placed high, not buried under smaller ads, Henninger said.

“Why not reward those clients who are (paying for) larger ads?” he said.

Newspapers should also take advantage of the “ear,” or corner of the front page, to place ads, Henninger said. Ads placed there should be small – 25 words or less – and use only one image, he said. The newspaper can charge more for the ad because it’s on the front page.

Henninger also suggested charging a service fee for editing classified ads. For example, he said, newspapers could charge a fee for classified ads that are accompanied by photos, such as a photo of a boat for sale, that need to be cropped or sized or otherwise adjusted.

How color is used can make a difference for newspapers too, Henninger said.

“Color says things about your paper,” Henninger said. “Red at the top says, we are an aggressive newspaper, we know everything that moves in this town, and we will tell you about it ... Colors matter; make sure you get the right color for the job.”

Henninger recommends that newspapers sell their photos on their websites.

“Put a line that says you can buy a copy of this photo,” Henninger said.

By developing a QR code for the photo, people who want to download the photo could be directed via their smartphones to a site to purchase the photo. Or a line could be added at the bottom of the photo saying how it can be purchased, Henninger said. That line would usually be a Web link to a site where the photo can be bought.

In accepting photos taken by readers, the newspaper should strike an agreement with the civilian photographer that gives the newspaper ownership of the photo, in exchange for the photographer getting a photo credit in the newspaper, Henninger said.

By doing that, newspaper companies can reuse those photos, he said.

“(T)he terms and condition of this are, it’s our picture,” Henninger said. “We now own it, so we can do what we want with it; we can make a calendar, we can make a book …”

About 15 people attended the workshop.

POSTED 3/17/16


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