July 26, 2013

• Postal Reform bill gets committee approval

• Minnesota to judge KPA Ad Contest; Alabama to judge KPA News Contest

• Kentucky was 61 years ahead of most states on enacting Shield Law

• KPA Intern produces Audio Slideshow as part of her internship at Anderson News

• Above the fold ads get more readership in the printed version but not so on websites

• And check out ‘News from Hither and Yon’

USPS, NNA and Congressional Action

After last Friday’s Member Update/On Second Thought, I emailed to publishers and circulation directors a release from NNA about some developments on Capitol Hill on postal reform. One of the parts of what’s proposed for the legislation might come as a surprise. But it was done at NNA’s suggestion.

First, remember this: The definition of Lobbying is the art of compromise. You’re not going to win battles all the time, maybe just a few times. But whatever the issue is, it’s going to keep coming back until one side wins. So compromise becomes the art — we’ll accept part of your language if you’ll agree to some amendments from our side. And thus head-to-head battles then become something you work to avoid and then work together on.

Five-day delivery looks inevitable for USPS from the viewpoint of many on Congress, but the final word has not yet been spoken. Like NNA, the labor unions have opposed the 5-day scheme, but the unions favor higher rates and of course we do not. The decision will be made this year or next year, but it’s coming. And it’s better to have something in the language you can accept, in fact that you initiate, so that you salvage what you can before a new law takes effect.

For then it’s too late.

So if you read that release and noticed the objectives, one was for leeway for USPS to go to five-day delivery but to open its rural mailboxes to newspaper publishers on Saturdays. Those mailboxes are already open for Sunday use by newspapers. This language, offered by NNA, would make the mailboxes open one additional day. This option may not be much help to weeklies for now, but it sends a signal to the Postal Service that if it chooses not to deliver, we should have the chance to do it ourselves. The days of 4-day mail may not be that much further ahead.

Now whether that goes through or not is still months away from knowing. But I believe some Congress members and many in the public, see five-day delivery on the horizon. NNA is just getting ready for that day, now, by offering language that helps in the battle and keeps newspapers from giving up Saturday publications.

You gotta get what you can when you have the chance. Otherwise, the potential is there to fight the battle one-sided and lose everything.

Rep. Darrell Issa’s bill passed the House committee Wednesday night by a party-line vote, 22-17.

Some key points:

Here are the key points of the initial proposal, a piece of legislation that our own Max Heath calls a “welcomed” catalyst to postal reform:

The bill would prompt numerous changes in the way USPS operates, including:

· Gradually end “to the door” mail delivery and replace it with cluster or curbside boxes;

· End Saturday delivery of newspapers, First-Class mail and advertising but continue package delivery and would require opening rural mailboxes for publishers’ use on Saturdays;

· Prohibit no-layoff clauses in new workforce agreements and reform workers compensation rules;

· Ban Negotiated Service Agreements that would cause “unreasonable disruption of the marketplace; and,

· Mandate 2% annual increases above inflation for mail currently not covering at least 90 percent of costs, such as Periodicals, but only after adjustments have been made for costs created solely by excess postal capacity.

Audio/Slideshow Produced by Anderson News Intern

Bria Granville, an intern at the Anderson News through the KPA program, has produced a story with an audio slideshow. She did this product during her 10-week internship and had assistance from News editor Meaghan Downs.

You can read the story, see the pictures and advance through all 12 and toward the bottom are the photos with the voice over of the foster parent.

Good job, Bria!!


Associates Intern’s Experience Mirrors Day-to-Day in the Newspaper Business

Becky Monarch worked the past 10 weeks for the Bluegrass State Games, as one of the KPA Associates Division interns. Reading through her “What I Did This Summer” story on the internship, a paragraph caught my eye. While she was in public relations, her description made me think as much about the typical newspaper day. Well, actually, that there is NO typical newspaper day.

“I learned many things throughout my internship. One very important learning point was that there is no set schedule in the public relations field. There could be a set in stone schedule, but things happen throughout the day that change that schedule. What I came to learn was to never fully depend on a schedule and to be flexible.”

BGSG Executive Director Terry Johnson put Becky to work on day one, taking advantage of her interest in public relations. She says Terry “recognized my interest in public relations and entrusted all of the public relations work for the Games to me. Immediately I was granted the opportunity to manage all of the social media including the official Bluegrass State Games website, as well as writing opportunities and campaign creations.”

Our Condolences

Our condolences to the families of Margaret Metz and of John Hager who died recently.

Margaret was the widow of nationally-known columnist Russ Metz and mother of former KPA Board member Ken Metz. Russ, Margaret and Ken owned the Bath County News Outlook and Ken and Margaret continued publishing the newspaper after Russ’ death. Together, she and Russ owned the Owingsville weekly for more than 50 years and won more than 500 awards.

Margaret Metz

John and his brother Larry were third generation publishers of the Owensboro Messenger Inquirer, for several years the largest family-owned newspaper in Kentucky. He was co-editor or editor of the Messenger-Inqurier from 1973 to 1996 when the newspaper was sold. John was a journalist, philanthropist and life-long advocate of public reform.

John Hager

Those Dreaded DNRs

It’s the acronym we don’t like to hear or use around KPS. And I’m certain publishers and ad directors don’t like it either. DNR — Did Not Run.

It means a scheduled ad didn’t get printed in the edition for which it was placed/ordered.

Buffy ran a report Thursday that shows through yesterday, we’ve had $37,495.59 in non-runs so far this year. Granted we place some ads in other states so that total isn’t 100 percent Kentucky. And I didn’t feel too bad about the total for 2013 until I asked Buffy to run a full calendar year for 2012.


Sorry folks but that’s inexcusable. That’s nearly $100,000 in advertising placed by KPS that didn’t get printed as ordered. What about other sources that place ads in your newspaper? KPS is just one of those and we’ve had to tell ad agencies over and over again, “Well the Sleepy Hollow News forgot to run your ad.” Or didn’t run the correct ad. Or forgot to run it in color. Or ran it in red instead of blue.

DNRs not only mean the newspaper is missing revenue, it also gives a blackeye to the newspaper by the agency. And yes, we’ve had some saying, “That newspaper often doesn’t run an ad. So if it happens again, we’re just going to take them off the schedule.” I’m sure some will shrug it off and think missing an ad here and there is okay. But it really does not speak well of our industry when we can’t get an order on a page, or the right color, or even the right ad.

We’ve heard all the reasons and the top five would be:

1. Joe was on vacation/off/out of the office/sick last week and we forgot to check his inbox for ads from you all.

2. There were placement issues. We ran it a week early, or, Oh we thought the ad was supposed to run next week.

3. We ran the ad on the right day but we picked up the wrong ad copy.

4. We didn’t get the insertion order (that doesn’t happen as often as it did because now it’s electronic and the system lets us know when a newspaper hasn’t downloaded an ad. And that protects us, too, because we can check the system and let the newspaper know when they received the insertion order and when the ad was downloaded.)

5. Mistakes happen. It was human error.

Not one of the reasons above are out of your control. Yes, they’re out of KPS’ control for the most part, unless we call just before you go to press to make sure every ad we’ve ordered in every newspaper is in fact on the page. But at the newspaper, there is a control mechanism.

It’s a frustration for advertisers. They’re counting on that ad on that date because of a sale or special or notice. And when it’s not in the paper on the specified date, it does cause problems.

It’s really frustrating to us on public notices. Many we place have to run three consecutive weeks. The operative word being consecutive. That’s often what state law requires on utility rate increases and if the chain is broken — the ad is published only two consecutive weeks then a week is missed — it could mean the process has to start over.

Put yourself in the advertiser’s shoes. They bring/send you an ad, and your sales person says the paper will get it in. Then it’s not there.

The number of ads for most newspapers are only 1 or 2. But I found one that has had SEVEN DNRs this year. And the amounts for some are negligible but for others there’s a total of $2000 to $4593.

Years ago, I’d send a letter to each publisher late in the year, showing how much KPS has placed in that newspaper and then showing the total of the DNRs for the year. While the publisher appreciated the information, boy did I hear from some ad departments. “Why did you tell (the publisher) we didn’t run some ads? That makes us look bad because he/she didn’t know we had missed any placements.” Happy campers they were not.

But it put the newspapers on notice that there is a problem and that we’re watching and concerned.

I have a printout of the DNRs for 2013. Most of you have nothing to worry about. Some of you have missed a few (more than two ads). And no, I’m not going to take that information and send a letter. But just know we’re aware of it and want to work with each newspaper to get as close to 100 percent publication as possible. Then again, why can’t it be 100 percent all the time?

Advertising Totals

Guess this is where I can put in 2013 ad totals for KPS. Looks like we’ll close July with the largest month this year, $541.000. That brings the 2013 total to $1,904,573.07. Help us make sure that total stays true by running the ads as scheduled and if there are any questions about any insertion order or ad, just give us a call. Remember it’s a free call — 800-264-KPA1. Now if we could have just added that $37,495.59 to the total.

Minnesota to Judge 2013 Advertising Excellence Contest – Take Two

I wrote last week about the KPA Board’s decision to move the Advertising Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers awards banquet to the Winter Convention. And that the contest information would be available later in August and that this year’s second round of the ad contest will have run dates of January 1 through September 30.

It had slipped my mind that we better find a state to judge this second ad contest this year and we had interest from press associations in California, Utah, Minnesota and Colorado. Since Minnesota’s folks have not had a contest to judge this year what better way to keep their minds sharp than judging the KPA Ad Contest. So the Minnesota Newspaper Association will be judging this part of the contest starting in early November.

And for the other side of the building, Alabama Press will be judging the KPA news contest — Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers.

‘I Want My Ad on Page 3, Above The Fold’

How many times have your ad folks heard that? I used to at Georgetown and it continues today, the idea, the myth that the prime advertising spot is above the fold. Used to have an advertiser tell me that if the paper’s folded on a table, her ad will always be shown if we put it above the fold.

Now comes a study that online ads “above the fold” (near the top) are not as prime as one might think.

(From ADWEEK, July 21, 2013)

There’s evidence to that effect coming from an unlikely source. The Washington Post is going public with research showing that visitors scroll quickly on certain types of pages, and when they do, they’re more likely to see ads low down on the page than at the top.

“[Marketers] say, I want above-the-fold impressions,” said Jeff Burkett, senior director of ad innovations and client services at the Post. “I know enough now that above-the-fold doesn’t mean viewable. There may be some ads that are below the fold that perform better.”

Based on the research, the Post created an ad unit to combat quick scrolling by following the viewer for the first seven seconds of scrolling. After seven seconds, the “Superview” unit floats back to the top of the page. Tests with four vendors resulted in viewability increases of 9 percent to 19 percent. When one vendor, Moat, tested engagement, it found the unit scored 31 percent higher than the control unit.

It was important that the unit didn’t interfere with the reading experience. The Post believes it’s addressed those concerns in a couple ways. While Superview does cover up the popular top-read stories box, the unit floats away after seven seconds, and if the viewer closes it completely, the unit will disappear for a 24-hour period.

Other publishers have introduced new units and redesigned their sites to maximize ad viewability. Forbes has its “conversation” unit that stays with viewers as they move down the page. Earlier this year, it lowered the position of its leaderboard unit to improve its chance of being seen by quick scrollers. Mark Howard, chief revenue officer, said both units have seen improved views and interaction.

Buyers whose clients have bought the Post’s unit say they like that the unit stays in the viewer’s field of vision without being intrusive. “You don’t want to annoy your audience, especially when it’s a very niche audience,” said Robert Kovalcik, a media planner at mcgarrybowen, whose client is Northrop Grumman.

“We’ve always insisted on wanting to see our ads above the fold, but it was interesting to see this data because I think it’s proving us wrong,” said Antoine Abeille, associate at Carat, with client Johnnie Walker.

Revelations like these are bound to lead to reevaluation of what should be premium ad space and what shouldn’t. Some, like Howard, believe that when ads are bought and sold on viewability, the premiums will shift from one placement to another rather than go away. “It’ll balance out,” he said.

WKU’s Imagewest Completes Work in England

Imagewest, a student-run, revenue-generating, full-service advertising and public relations agency at Western Kentucky University, has returned from a four-week stay in England. They worked for Harlaxton Manor to help brand them as a premier venue in the East Midlands.

Harlaxton Manor is situated in the English countryside about an hour north of London by train. The manor serves as a venue for luxury weddings, concerts and conferences. Built in the 1830s, they host over 30 various events a year. Harlaxton Manor is considered to be one of the top wedding venues in Europe.

“The Imagewest team did a fantastic job branding Harlaxton Manor and I can’t believe my eyes,” said Simon Hawkes, programs and events manager at Harlaxton Manor. “I am so excited to start using the new material and I think it will produce grand results.”

Imagewest was given the responsibility of building a brand identity for Harlaxton Manor.

The team accomplished this by creating a new logo and slogan to represent Harlaxton Manor, as well as a social media plan to organize and define an online presence. The team developed a sleek website to set Harlaxton Manor apart from competitors by emphasizing stunning visual elements. Additional items were designed such as a booklet, stationery, email and PowerPoint templates, social media skins and custom water labels.

“This experience has not only challenged us as students to deal with the many aspects of working for an advertising agency, but it has also challenged us to consider and accept different social structures and customs,” said Davide Fellini, senior interactive and graphic designer at Imagewest. “It has allowed us to embrace new cultures and widen our perspectives about the world as a whole.”

The primary focus of the trip consisted of working and living at Harlaxton Manor.

While abroad, Imagewest explored London, Ireland, Scotland and Italy. Each city provided a special moment such as seeing the Queen and the Royal Family in London and attending a medieval horse race known as the Palio in Siena, Italy.

“We were all welcomed to Italy with open arms, and the Palio was definitely a highlight of the trip,” said Martha Holmes, senior designer at Imagewest. “I have never seen anything remotely close to what I saw that day. The energy and spirit of Siena was amazing.”

Imagewest has previously made five trips abroad. The first trip was to Malaysia in the summer of 2008. They visited Spain twice—once to Barcelona and once to Madrid. Then the agency traveled to Paris to work with Global Editors Network (GEN).

Imagewest developed goals, strategies and tactics to grow GEN’s membership and increase registration for the NEWS! World Summit 2011 held in Hong Kong. Last summer Imagewest traveled to Florence, Italy to work with Lorenzo de’ Medici for five weeks where they provided LdM with a digital marketing plan and a promotional video.

“The team worked extremely hard in a short amount of time and produced exceptional work. This experience demonstrates what great things can happen when everyone works together,” said Heather Garcia, Imagewest’s director. “During each of our work trips abroad, it’s exciting to see the students grow and have life changing experiences that will benefit them on the job and throughout their life.”

The internship has been an eight-week program, which began May 28 and will conclude July 25. Revenues generated from Imagewest during the semester were used to award scholarships to aid the Imagewest International students.

Students who have participated in the internship are: Nicole Coomer (Bowling Green), Davide Fellini (Siena, Italy), Rachael Fusting (Alexandria), Martha Holmes (Hendersonville, Tenn.), Matt Love (Madisonville) and Alan Schneller (Bowling Green). Group leaders are Imagewest Agency Director Heather Garcia (Franklin) and Faculty Advisor and School of Journalism & Broadcasting Associate Professor in Advertising, Mark Simpson (LeSage, W.Va.).

Students who have participated in the internship are: Nicole Coomer (Bowling Green), Davide Fellini (Siena, Italy), Rachael Fusting (Alexandria), Martha Holmes (Hendersonville, Tenn.), Matt Love (Madisonville) and Alan Schneller (Bowling Green). Group leaders are Imagewest Agency Director Heather Garcia (Franklin) and Faculty Advisor and School of Journalism & Broadcasting Associate Professor in Advertising, Mark Simpson (LeSage, W.Va.).

Teaming with Inland and That Means More Webinars

During the Strategic Planning process four years ago, one thing we heard from members is to offer more seminars but have them in two or three locations. That can get quite expensive on this end because of speaker costs. But we also heard from many that we should offer webinars because that makes it more convenient and cheaper on all parties.

For the last two years, we’ve been offering members two or three each month as a co-partner with the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and Online Media Campus. It’s not like most of you are watching these as we might get up to five from Kentucky in the accounting report. So we’re expanding the reach and topics and are joining with Inland to have more options, more topics and still priced very low.

We will promote these as we get information and will try to specify the department — news, circulation, advertising, what have you — by selecting the list serve we send it to. (We have each department under separate list serves.)

Shield Law? Kentucky (Again) Way Ahead of the Rest

The year was 1952 — 61 years, one month and one week ago today to be exact — that the Kentucky legislature enacted a Shield Law for reporters. Now that may not seem like news but realize that Kentucky was one of the first, maybe even the first, to have a State Shield Law for reporters.

In an new addition to Friday Member Update/On Second Thought, I’m giving you links to some stories about and affecting newspapers. Along the way, many will be for news, some will be for advertising and there will be a few for circulation as well. Those are available at the end of this week’s update.

But one of them this week is about the continued effort to enact a Federal Shield Law and another story that now 40 states have enacted their own. So it’s gained momentum in the last few years and I marvel that long before many of you were born (I don’t remember passage of 421.100 because I was just four years old) Kentucky’s legislature and the news industry had this legislation in place.

Here’s Kentucky’s version, one that’s been used as a model by some states. It’s short and to the point. And while having a federal version might be good, it really won’t have an effect on Kentucky reporters since we will rely on the state statute:

421.100 Newspaper, radio or television broadcasting station personnel

need not disclose source of information

No person shall be compelled to disclose in any legal proceeding or trial before any court, or before any grand or petit jury, or before the presiding officer of any tribunal, or his agent or agents, or before the General Assembly, or any committee thereof, or before any city or county legislative body, or any committee thereof, or elsewhere, the source of any information procured or obtained by him, and published in a newspaper or by a radio or television broadcasting station by which he is engaged or employed, or with which he is connected.

Interested in Online Classes? Might Be Some Possibilities Here

I’m reaching out to colleges and universities to see what online classes might be available for working journalists interested in furthering their education, or trying to learn another part of the business. (Can you say “keeping up with technology for instance?) I hope more of them will supply some online course information before the Fall semester begins. For now:

From Beth Barnes, UK:

We do have one online course that might be of interest — JOU 541, The First Amendment, Internet and Society. Richard Labunski is teaching it.

Unfortunately, UK doesn’t make it easy — anyone interested would have to apply through the Graduate School. That info is here: http://www.uky.edu/DistanceLearning/future/resources/admission.html. I’m not sure how detailed a process it is, but they’d be applying as a post-graduate, non-degree-seeking student.

Fall classes don’t start until Aug. 28, so there is still some time.

– – – – – – – –

From Bob Lochte, Murray State:

We have our basic advertising (JMC 394) and public relations (JMC 391) classes available online every semester and in the summer. Occasionally we offer others.

For information about either of these courses, contact Dr. Bob Lochte, at rlochte@murraystate.edu

Distribution Boxes Available for Free Circulation Papers

If you have a free circulation publication and you’re looking for some distribution boxes, here you go. But you’ll have to make contact with Tom Barr by Monday, July 29.

Free-distribution boxes. Can handle both tab and broadsheet publications. Plastic. Gray. Front Display Window, $25 plus shipping arrangements to be worked out later. In good shape but you will need to remove a sticker from each box. First come, First served. Call Tom Barr at 502-543-2288. (No coin mechanism)

Question(s) of the Week

I think one Kentucky retailer has started selling tobacco and alcohol and that led a number of questions this week about the legalities and requirements of publishing those ads.

First, the tobacco advertising law will be changing in another couple of months as new federal guidelines begin. For now, any cigarette ad MUST include one of the several Surgeon General’s warnings in the ad. And it must be legible. That’s the only requirement for tobacco advertising that you need to worry about, so make sure one of those is in the ad.

For alcohol, it is legal to advertise alcohol including by brand. But remember this — the state Alcohol Beverage Control Commission is going to be looking for the retailers to comply with the law, not the messenger (the news media). Oh if something’s incorrect, you might get a letter from the ABC folks that the ad was not in full compliance but ABC will hold the retailer’s feet to the fire. For instance, they cannot advertise anything at less than 50 percent off. You’re not going to know what those prices, at 100 and at 50 percent might be, so that’s why ABC would be questioning the retailer.

There is one part of advertising you should be aware of and if you see an ad not in this compliance, then let the advertiser know. Under that not less than one-half off situation, an establishment that serves liquor by the drink can offer two drinks for the price of one. That’s 50 percent off. But some have tried to advertise three for the price of one and that would be illegal. For Happy Hours with two-for-one drink specials are in compliance.

And there is no law that states a newspaper in a dry county cannot carry liquor advertising. That’s come up before. It’s legal to have liquor ads in your paper even if you’re in a dry county.

But Paying the Sales Tax for the Consumer is Illegal

This has nothing to do with liquor or tobacco advertising. But thinking about advertising laws reminded me that I continue seeing some furniture stores advertising, “We’ll pay your state sales tax.” That’s against the law. A retailer cannot offer to pay the state sales tax, offer lower states sales tax, or anything along that line. State law is specific. So if you get a store wanting to not charge state sales tax or wanting to pay the sales tax for the customer, let them know that cannot be done.

I think I gave you this state law just a few weeks ago but since it’s still happening, here it is again:

KRS 421.220 – Prohibited Advertising

It is unlawful for any retailer to advertise or hold out or state to the public or to any customer, directly or indirectly, that the tax levied by KRS 139.200 or required to be collected under KRS 139.340 or any part thereof will be assumed or absorbed by the retailer or that the tax will not be added to the selling price of the tangible personal property or digital property sold or that if added the tax or any part thereof will be refunded.

Coming Up: Reinventing Your News Brand and Latest Apps for News Reporting

Two webinars, co-sponsored by KPA, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and Online Media Campus, are on the horizon for August.

“How to Reinvent Your News Brand” is slated for August 16 and then on August 28, it’s “The Latest Apps for News Reporting.”

For more detailed information and to register go to http://www.onlinemediacampus.com/

More than 13,000 newspaper folks from around the country have participated in these press association sponsored webinars.

News from hither and yon:

Senators modify federal shield bill to include Attorney General’s changes to Justice policy

Number of states with shield law climbs to 40

Ohio judge cited for contempt after barring newspaper from courtroom

S.C. Supreme Court rules public bodies subject to FOIA

Panel offers advice to reporters on how to cover sexual assault

Newspaper, students team up to discover valuable info on its digital customers

Mobile survey: Usage of smartphones together with tablets for news has more than doubled

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