NEWS OPEN HOUSE SPECIAL SECTION
Without salespeople, there would be no ads. A newspaper may have a sophisticated advertising department with dozens of artists, the finest computerized technology for layout and artwork, and all the supporting departments. But without people “on the hoof,” ringing phones and knocking on doors, there would be no advertising.
This is how one advertising representative at the NEWS begins his day.
At 8:45 a.m. on a sunny, but wintry March day, Dana Leeman, a 31-year-old advertising representative for the Bangor Daily News, slips behind the wheel of his ’86 Honda and joins fellow sales representative Andy Constantine for a quick cup of coffee at West Side Cafe on outer Hammond Street.
Since 8 a.m., like all salespeople, both men have been setting up the day’s roster of account calls. They’re on the phone for almost an hour calling regular accounts and potential accounts.
“I average 18 sales calls a day,” Leeman said. “It sounds like a lot, and it is.” But because of the time consumed in special sales, he was making only three calls this date, but all three would be profitable. In all, he handles 122 accounts under contract and another 75 on his active list. Some of these include Bangor Mall accounts, where all advertising is handled from corporate offices out of state. Between his 8 o’clock starting time and 4 p.m., Leeman took a lunch break at Miller’s Restaurant. This slashed an hour and a half off his valuable road and telephone time. “I do a lot of telephone calling,” he said. “It’s very important.”
But even more important to the affable, boyish-looking 6-footer, whose countenance reflects a broad grin each day, is his sincerity to provide his customers with service. It’s not just lip service. He means it, as was evidenced in his very first call of the day, which paid off handsomely with sure prospects of a $10,000 contract.
Selling today is more than a knock on the door, a smile and a shine. Selling the Bangor area for Maine’s largest daily also means answering advertisers’ questions about the paper’s editorial content, over which they have no control. The advertising-news ratio on the NEWS is a 45-55 percent split. Needless to say, the rights surrounding that 55 percent “news hole” are jealously guarded by the Editorial Department.
Advertising salespeople also face commission losses from advertisers who select the zoned advertising, rather than R.O.P. (Run of Paper) ads. They are also in competition with at least five in-house tabloids a year, as well as TV and radio. The NEWS has no monopoly on advertising. The quest is to stay alert, sell, and service.
Since Holiday Inn on the Odlin Road has phased out E.H. Jack’s, Gail Wilmot, food and beverage manager, is attempting to start a new restaurant. Her goal is to draw back some of the lost clientele and lure a newer crowd too. She greets Leeman in her office on the sec-ond floor of the largest hotel in Bangor and goes over plans for advertising.
Leeman sets his briefcase out of sight in front of her desk. Wilmot is anxious for a logo for the new restaurant, which she is calling Fiddle Heads. Leeman immediately registers his pleasure with the name, and proposes that for $20 the Art Department of the NEWS design a few samples. “Twenty dollars sounds like a lot, but we can create two or three samples for your selection. We’ll only charge you when you decide which one you want. Once you have it, it’s yours.” Wilmot seems pleased.
She moves on. There’s the scaling. “We’re scaling…actually it’s going to be one of the nicer restaurants in Bangor.” Then there’s a matter of locating the restaurant in the public’s mind. “Everyone knows where Pete and Larry’s is…we need to locate this restaurant in the minds of the public.” They agree that everyone knows where Pete and Larry’s is, so they’ll tie in the ads to the restaurant.
Leeman also suggests a map, a series of teaser ads. Wilmot suggests the same ad on three pages with slight changes…”every time you turn the page, there’s an ad for the restaurant.” Leeman agrees, encourages. “We need to build a new reputation.” She shows some artwork that could be used. He advocates personalizing the ads with photos of waiters and waitresses. They now have a two-way exchange of ideas – teasers, logos, length of campaign, artwork….
“I need your help. I really need your help,” Wilmot says. “I want a good campaign.” Although she has been a chef, and she’s excited about how the restaurant is running, she says she doesn’t know how to advertise. Leeman catches the play. “Next week, we’ll put down on paper the whole plan and discuss the budget. You’ve done all the work!”
“Ideas – yes, but implementation — that’s something else,” Wilmot adds.
“Let’s get our ideas on paper so you can see them in black and white…these are good ideas. I like them!” Leeman adds.
The smooth interchange, without any pushing, provided both with an opportunity to build a joint plan for the campaign. Later, they will go over the fine points. Leeman lays out the whole plan and the problems they face. The ideas presented by Wilmot are echoed by Leeman. He describes how they will be presented, the best days for advertising, and he issues a reminder to personalize the restaurant’s staff. Waiters and waitresses, and even the chef could provide the impetus for a series of ads inviting the public to the restaurant.
“Maine people want everything for their dollar,” says Leeman…. “Did they change the name because of the reputation? Or, because of you, the public…?”
“That’s a good rap…I like that!” says Wilmot.
The action picks up. “Let’s do something new each week,” suggests Leeman. He recalls a favorite restaurant in Florida…the friendliness of an accordion player who not only played music, but also showed an interest in his family. “He wasn’t overbearing…. It’s a gimmick…yes, but it works.”
After a few more exchanges Leeman says “I like the approach. I think it’s excellent. You know a lot about advertising.” Wilmot smiles. “Thanks. But getting people here…well?”
“The personal touch,” he replies.
“I like that,” she said.
He re-emphasizes the importance of the personal touch. He picks up the artwork. “I can copy all that for you.” They discuss the whereabouts of the potential clientele. The Fiddle Heads name….
She:”Like the way it’s going….It’s fun!”
He:”I like the way it’s going too. The real enjoyment is seeing it all go together. And, remember, I’m not just an ad salesman. I want to watch it grow. I need something down the line…not just for today.”
The discussion trails off into anticipated expenditures on the advertising campaign, and it’s a happy sales representative who goes on to his next call.
Dana B. Leeman, 31, resides in Hampden with his wife, Joni, and his two daughters, Allyson and the newest arrival, Jillyan, now 3 weeks old. A Bangor native, he graduated from Bangor High School and attended Husson College. In January, he was awarded the Advertising Department’s Achiever of the Year Award. During 1989, he received Achiever of the Month awards for March and August, and for four consecutive months from September through December.
Advertising can be considered news of a different color. There are certain resemblances to reporting. For instance, all five W’s have to be answered in an ad, just as they do in a news story. WHO or WHAT contains the name of the business; WHAT explains the items being sold; WHEN gives the time element; WHY gives the reason for selling the product.
Some advertisers will prefer a conservative approach to selling their products. Others will drown their ads in superlatives. But it’s the advertiser’s choice. By purchasing a small piece of the newspaper, an advertiser is able to send a message into more than 83,000 homes and offices and almost 98,000 on weekends.
An advertisement is created out of the need of an advertiser to sell a product. At the outset of any advertising campaign an ad is nothing more than a few ideas and expressions between a client and a salesman. But gradually, using all of the services and assistance of the Bangor Daily News Advertising Department, the advertisement matures into a full-fledged promotion.
If you were to follow an advertisement, it would go like this:
1. An advertising idea is conceived and a salesman signs up a client.
2. A rough layout is drawn up by the Art Department.
3. The client approves or disapproves of the idea, or makes suggestions.
4. The artist completes the ad to the client’s specifications.
5. The salesman orders space in the newspaper and logs in the ad, which is sent to the Composing Room with artwork.
6. The Composing Room follows the artist’s and the salesman’s instructions in laying out the ad. Artwork is either enlarged or reduced to fit the ad’s specifications.
7. The photo type is pasted up, a proof is made, and the ad is returned to the salesman, who then shows it to the customer for approval.
8. Last-minute changes are made and the ad is printed.
This is a simplified breakdown of the routine. A closer look at the people who help run the many-faceted department follows:
Director of Advertising
One of the first office boys hired by the NEWS was Wayne Lawton. Today, as director of advertising, he oversees this major revenue-producing department at the NEWS, with 58-plus personnel under his command. A Bangor native who recently turned 50, he is married to the former Anne Southard and has four children and three grandchildren. Lawton has spent 30 years with the NEWS after attending the University of Maine. An education student, he had planned on a coaching career, but opted for advertising instead. He has coached a lot of YMCA and Little League games, however, in his spare time.
He recalls being perpetually on the run from dawn to dusk. For one dollar an hour he emptied every wastepaper basket in the building, cutting copy paper for the news room and fetching and delivering department mail. “I ran everywhere delivering and picking up proofs,” until one day he keeled over from the heat and the pace and woke up in the hospital with a split jaw. Not long after that, the NEWS hired another office boy and divided the duties.
His big break came when one salesman left, and he was told to grab a briefcase and cover his predecessor’s territory. By 1979, he was assistant retail advertising manager.
Lawton now has seven department managers. The sales force includes 18 outside and inside display salespeople. There are 17 support people, including artists, secretaries, dispatch-order entry, writers and salespeople. There are also 11 classified telemarketing salespeople and five telemarketing salespeople. Classified Advertising, although allied, is a separate department.
Of all annual revenue, advertising accounts for 70 percent overall, with circulation producing the other 30 percent. The revenue is derived from more than 1,000 accounts under regular contract, exclusive of classified and national accounts.
As overseer of a complex department , Lawton says the prime mission of the Advertising Department is to offer the “best possible service to advertisers, and, ensure that their advertising investment brings results.”
John Nygren is 42 years old and serves as manager of display advertising, supervising 22 employees “with diverse personalities” and reporting directly to Lawton. This does not include support people.
Nygren began selling ads in 1976 after gaining sales experience at Grant’s downtown Bangor store. A graduate of Husson College with a degree in business administration, he handles retail automotive and real estate display advertising. He was handling special advertising sections in 1980 when he was promoted to assistant retail manager.
Major national accounts with outlets in the Bangor Mall and elsewhere are one of his chief concerns today. The local outlets don’t handle their own advertising, he says. It all comes from their home office. Consequently, “local managers don’t have the clout they used to have.” And for Nygren it means traveling, as he will in April, to Dallas, Texas, where many of the larger corporations – Radio Shack, Color Tile, Popeye’s, 7-Eleven and Diamond, to mention a few, are located.
National advertising representatives Sawyers-Ferguson “usually line the accounts up.” In two days, he admits “a problem doing P.R. work and chasing sales too.” He has influenced some major accounts to put their inserts into more than just one of the seven editions at the newspaper. But he hopes to convince even more that the Bangor-Brewer region is the regional shopping center for central and northern Maine. “Shoppers travel long distances to buy in the Bangor-Brewer region…this is the regional shopping center. How many cities or towns with a 32,000 population have an 80-plus store mall and strip malls?”
Nancy J. Golding, assistant manager of display advertising, is a former saleswoman herself. Her duties are widely diversified from assisting in staff training to monitoring and coordinating sales staff work on a multitude of special sections and inserts published each year by the NEWS. The NEWS publishes something like 100 special sections annually, averaging anywhere from four to 24 pages or more.
She will help develop advertising prospects for such promotions as the camper and boating sections. She works on the Wednesday city edition of Mid-Week, an extremely popular tabloid, and at the time of the interview was involved in completing a special agricultural promotion. “Maine Producers is being published by the NEWS for our newspaper and the Portland newspaper. A copy will be on each legislator’s desk March 22,” she said.
Working directly with Ernest Golder, manager of classified advertising, and John Nygren, manager of display advertising, she says, “I bounce between both,” watching over display and classified advertising progress, and assisting in staff training programs.
At 57, Ron Porter doesn’t like to publicize the fact he is the oldest member of the advertising staff. A sign over the advertising production manager’s desk reads: “Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.”
He supervises the dispatch section and order-entry personnel, and serves as a liaison between the department and the Composing Room. He also makes sure all preprints (inserts) are received on time and inserted correctly.
A Houlton native who married Vesta Nichols after graduating from Ricker College, Porter sees his duties much akin to those of a fireman. Such training is never gleaned from textbooks, but possibly from his experiences as a U.S. Naval Hospital Corpsman who served with the lst Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, during the Korean War from September 1951 to December 1952.
“I’m a fireman for the department,” he admits. “I was assistant retail advertising manager until they promoted me to this.” Seldom seated behind his desk, he’s usually on a track run between departments searching for lost ads, answering and correcting problems, and coordinating insert activity with salespeople.
With a diversified military career behind him, Averill “Coach” Black, teacher-coach at Bangor High School for 22 years, is one of two dispatchers who process all ads at the NEWS. Black believes he and Dana Scott log in more than 200 advertisements each day.
Ad numbers, name of ad, size of ad, color or black and white, dates to be run, number of proofs, number of tear sheets — this information is taken from each order slip on an ad and punched into the computer. Ads are then given to the Composing Room which sets each ad in type. Once the ads are set in type, proofs are made and returned to the Dispatch Department. Black and Scott then deliver the proofs to salespeople, or run them out to advertisers. They also answer the call for tear sheets of an ad that might have been overlooked by an advertiser.
Scott and Black, or Debbie Lord, usually spend the first few hours of their day cutting up all seven editions of the previous day’s NEWS. A large computer spread sheet calls for dozens of tear sheets for salespeople, advertisers and the files. Copies of special sections also are set aside for NEWS files.
As the day progresses, Scott and Black will spend a great deal of time keeping a smooth flow of ads running to the Composing Room. Both men also will pick up ads from businesses around town. “We pick up a good many ads from around town. One of us usually stays and keeps logging while the other is out,” says Black.
Since the NEWS covers a vast region of central, eastern and northern Maine, many businesses avail themselves of the lower advertising rates on the town, or seven local-edition pages.
One of the unique services provided large and small advertisers throughout the circulation of the NEWS is the availability of zoned advertising. In each of its seven editions, the NEWS offers businesses an opportunity to sell their merchandise at advertising rates based on the circulation of each edition.
Sandy Christiansen, who heads this section as zoned advertising coordinator, is not only responsible for the advertising on the town pages in the seven editions, but also for Washington County and Atlantic Canada advertising too. “Response is amazing,” from Canada. “They have nothing but praise for the Bangor area and its stores,” she says. This summer she will coordinate sales for three special Canadian tourism sections.
Except for the Washington County and Canadian trips to sell advertising, Christiansen handles sales for the town pages from her desk. The sales staff is also largely responsible for selling ads to merchants in the seven-county region.
The job entails a considerable amount of detailed work. Three days in advance of publication, she lays out each of the town pages in the seven editions. She processes contracts and proofs, in between calling salespeople’s contacts for ads.
Special Promotions and Research
Special Promotions is a smaller editorial department set up in the Advertising Department under Michael J. Kearney, advertising promotions manager. Kearney, 39, majored in English at Holy Cross. Besides editing copy for special publications and overseeing research, he is charged with training advertising and service personnel. He utilizes programs from the Newspaper Satellite Network, films, slides, and guest speakers. Married, he and his wife and two sons reside in Dedham. He serves as a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, flying out of Brunswick aboard the Orion P-3.
Brian Swartz and Jennie Stack are two writers who interview dozens and dozens of businesspeople during the year for the many tabloids and full-sheet promotional newspapers. Elizabeth Hansen, department researcher, also assists. While Kearney’s writers provide the editorial copy for the sections, the special sections sales crew is supervised by Ernest D. Golder, who is also manager of the Classified Advertising Department. His crew consists of Jay O’Brien, Jack Gifford and Paul Howard. Special Publications is a department within a department, and a far cry from earlier days when an erstwhile reporter, perhaps puffing a cigarette with his shoes on his desk, would be collared by the city editor or managing editor for a temporary-duty assignment in advertising. Tales abound about how reporters on Exchange Street filled in to do this much-dreaded task of writing about business, a task that they considered “puffery” or “prostitution” of their talents.
Besides special sections, averaging about 100 a year, the department creates an immensely popular Corporate Profiles page. Kearney decides what editorial content should be in the publications and assigns his writing staff to cover the stories. Layout chores are shared by Kearney, Hansen, Swartz, Stack and Phil Ward, who serves as an advertising sales coordinator.
Research figures, surveys, pie charts and demographics, constitute another major facet of the department, with Hansen coordinating marketing research for advertisers. As a result, any advertiser has instant access to everything from who buys furniture in the RTZ (Retail Trading Zone) to who is most likely to visit the supermarket, which supermarket, who they are, where they came from, what they do, their ages, marital status, and the like. Prospective advertisers, in-state or out-of-state, can readily avail themselves of this information from the Special Promotions Department. Elizabeth Hansen, as advertising research coordinator, is primarily responsible for taking the facts and figures from surveys, such as the Belden Survey, and presenting them to advertisers and customers. All advertisers ask for information to effectively map their strategies in selling merchandise.
Working two-days in advance of publication, Barbara Mower has the grand job of laying out all retail advertising in the newspaper. She also lays out the Classified advertising just one day prior to publication, as well as advertising that goes into the special sections.
It’s a hands-full operation, which changes every day. Laying out the pages means taking all of the ad’ orders from the computers and arranging them pyramid style from the bottom left hand corner of the page, up through the middle and right hand side of the page.
But it’s not just a matter of making the pages look pretty. Mower works to the strict edict of a 60-40 percent advertising to news content on each page. She also has to do layouts so that editors can wrap the news around the ads’. Advertisers also request special space considerations too. The blueprints for the pages are completed on the computer with copies going to Press Foreman Jim Samways, who will arrange the press set-up. Other copies goe to the editors of each desk showing how much space is allocated for the news hole.
The 27-year-old Mower, a graduate of Plymouth State College with a degree in marketing, is married and resides in Corinna. ” Patience. Trying to keep your patience is most difficult.” Everything she handles can change on a minute’s notice. An ad’ can be pulled, or a new one inserted, resulting in changes to a page, or a complete layout for the entire newspaper.
She depends on quick reflexes to master such changes within a limited time span. A request from the editorial department could increase the size of the newspaper by two pages. “You do get requests at the last minute from editorial to go up. But it doesn’t happen so much as it does with ad’s.” More recently she had to contend with the New England Telephone Company strike where ads were placed at odd times, but still accommodated.
Cindy Crain and Debbie Lord assist Mower as order entry clerks and in page layout. “We do all the billing and contracts,” says Crain, currently entering her 18th year at the NEWS. ” We also handle the salespeoples’ commission program, accounts receivable and adjustments.” Both she and Lord are responsible for blue printing the ad layout for Mid-Week, the city edition Wednesday tabloid, and Maine Style pages in Maine Weekend, which usually go to press on Thursday. Crain resides in Winterport with a son,18, and daughter who is 20.
Debbie Lord of Bangor is a Calais native and has worked for the NEWS for four years. A graduate of Husson College as a legal secretary, she was employed by Rudman and Winchell in Bangor the five years preceding her job at the NEWS. Like Crain, order entries and layout are her prime concerns, but she also assists the Dispatch Department and serves as Advertising’s representative for the 9th Edition in-house newsletter.
In 1951, Don Hanscom, former circulation manager at the NEWS, suggested to Ernest D. Golder that he “look into” a job at the newspaper as a distributor in Washington County.
Thirty-nine years later, Golder is classified advertising manager and manager of special promotions. His section’s staff of three salespeople is responsible for more than 100 special sections each year. From grand openings of businesses and dealerships to sports and other events, the size of each section is determined by the sales efforts of the special section’s crew of Jay O’ Brien, Jack Gifford and Paul Howard. Sometimes, the entire sales force assists.
Usually his three special section co-ordinaters will generate ideas for sections. Besides selling, all three keep an eye open for new business by scouting out ideas while selling. “If it’s reasonably acceptable, we’ll run with it,” says Golder. A chain reaction usually occurs when a business section is published, said Golder, with other businesses wanting to follow suit.
Thousands of Classified advertisements flood the NEWS each year. Linda Quimby’s job is to supervise 10 telephone salespeople who are equally divided into full and part time shifts, and who take these ads over the phone, or counter. She reports to Ernest D. Golder, manager of the Classified department.
Ad Coordinators Advertising salespeople used to gripe that too much valuable sales time was spent in office work, laying out ads, filling out forms, running proofs. Two years ago, Paul Russell, John Eaton and Hayden Dennis cut the shackles of four salespeople when Design and Layout was created. Now, “instead of spending half of their time on the road, and the other half in the office, they spend all of their time selling,” says Russell. He and Eaton still sell major accounts – department stores, chains and grocery stores. But all three, including Dennis, the department design and layout specialist, now take a salesperson’s ad order and transcribe all information into an advertisement. It’s camera-ready if they use the Macintosh and laser printer. “They just fill out the blue form and hand it in, and that’s the last they see it,” adds Russell. They also assist in pre-print handling and trouble shooting with the production department.
Since 1965, Roger Choquet has been the national advertising representative for the Bangor Daily News. It’s a job that at one time entailed travel to every major city in the United States. Choquet would meet with advertising representatives, conduct sales presentations with food processing business clients, automotive producers, liquor distillers, travel advertisers and airlines. Besides contracting for national advertising which he figures makes between five to 10 per cent of the today advertising budget, he also works on special advertising promotions and seeks new business.
Teri Bryant is the co-op telemarketing manager, who, along with Cindy Beach, her coordinator, explain to advertisers the extra benefits they can accrue by utilizing co-op funds from the manufacturers of certain goods. Advertisers can then cut their advertising costs by using special funds appropriated to advertising these goods – food, motor vehicle accessories etc.Considerable time is spent instructing salespeople on the availability of co-op dollars for their accounts.
Bryant also manages the relatively new tele-marketing division. This consists of six operators who work for Circulators Inc., and are paid a straight commission. “Telemarketing is very important to newspapers,” said Bryant. “There’s no risk. We pay straight commission on all sales.”
Today, tele-marketing accounts for about 3 per cent of total advertising department revenue. “Co-op advertising’s contribution to the total budget is hard to figure,” says Bryant. “You can’t break it down.”
She has worked seven years ain retail sales, and seven years as assistant classified manager. In January 1989, she became co-op coordinator, and in October 1989, she was promoted to her present position.
With a few deft and nimble twists of their wrists the NEWS’ Art Department can create eye-catching illustrations and layouts for advertisements or promotion pieces. David Young, Sue Heinonen and Walter Beck are the stalwarts of the advertising department, each having the knack to create great advertisements from simple ideas. Next to salespeople, they are undoubtedly a major key to the success of the advertising department.
The first person a salesperson will see after a sales call will be one of the three artists. The salesperson will jot down ideas, make rough sketches and attempt to verbally explain what is needed for the ad’. The artist then either finds or draws art for the ad’. With some layouts usually looking as good as the finished product, the composing room usually has few problems laying out ads direct from the artists.
Special section covers, office ads and banner headings, are just a few of the tasks that they handle daily.
Heinonen graduated from the University of Maine in 1983, majoring in art and journalism.
Beck majored in fine arts at Coopers Union Art Technical College, N.Y., and can design and produce anything from a business card to a 30-foot banner – or, even a portrait, or cartoon. He has been with the NEWS for 17 years.
Since moving to Maine, Beck worked as an artist at WABI-TV, and for St. Regis Paper Co. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he holds two bronze stars.
One advertisement might take 15-minutes to produce, another might take 60 minutes, says David Young. It seems that he, Beck and Heinonen have a dozen or more projects going at the same time.
A native of Bangor who graduated from Bangor High School, he is self-taught artist. He is called on from time to time to produce editorial art, but is deeply entrenched in producing volumes of artwork each week, specializing more today in automotive ads.
Macintosh computers have been installed in the art department to facilitate production of ad’s. Such is the work load, especially with Heinonen presently doing promotion work, that Beck and Young are working two shifts.