We publish a dozen targeted special interest sections (some have multiple editions) a year. Given a multiple choice of all of them, I'm pretty sure you could pick out which of the twelve is the best read and looked forward to the most. You guessed it, the State Fair Guide. As I'm writing this, we are approaching the official start of Summer and I'm looking out my office window at another down pour of rain. By the time you're reading this it may be past the 4th of July so you can't get mad at me for writing about the Great Minnesota Get Together and the Great Guide we produce covering everything at it on Sunday, August 17th.
Everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the 12-day event, will be covered in our Guide. Any new food items that can stay on a stick until it gets into your mouth will be covered as well as a day-by-day calendar of music, special events, exhibits and new innovations. The guide also includes a comprehensive map of the grounds. You'll never be lost at the Fair if you've got our map in hand.
We also have a special State Fair edition of Vita.mn running on Thursday, August 21st and our digital section includes video and daily updates. My question to you: Why wouldn't you want to be part of the State Fair Guide? Commitment date is July 30th with ad materials due on July 31st; final changes due August 6th with distribution in the Sunday Star Tribune August 17th.
If your account exec hasn't gotten hold of you yet, give me a shout. We'll make sure you're taken care of. See you in the State Fair Guide and see you at the Fair.
Pearls of Wisdom: Mario Andretti said... "If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough."
I know you've all heard the saying 'hope springs eternal'. This time of year I like to twist it a little to 'spring's eternally hopeful'. After the winter we had, spring better be hopeful. No one loves spring better than the millennials. Those 18 to 34 year olds that I would rather call the young and the restless because I think it describes them better than millennials. This cluster of fun lovers is always on the go, but once the snow and ice are gone, they really get going. If this is a group you've been trying to reach and have been having trouble, let me solve that problem.
We publish the ultimate weekly Going-Out guide both in a print tabloid and online. The publication is Vita.mn and it comes out every Thursday and is online all the time. More than 55,000 fun seeking readers pick up Vita.mn weekly at convenient racks around town and 73% keep it as a guide for activities during the week. In addition to the popular weekly publication, readers continue to make the Vita.mn website their go-to source for local entertainment news. These young people are well educated with 79% having attended college.
Vita.mn also sponsors some of the hottest local events, notably Rock the Garden (June), the Basilica Block Party (July) and Music+Movies at the Lake Harriet Bandshell (August) to name a few. Some special interest issues you may want to get into are the Patio Guide (May 15th - the most complete guide to the greatest patios to enjoy some liquid refreshments, eats, scenery and good conversation), the Summer Guide (May 29th - virtually every summer event listed with the when, where, etc.) and the "All-Star" Best-of-issue (July 10th - this comes out the week before the MLB "All-Star" game at Target Field and will include every 'best of' you could ever think of in the twin towns.
I'll say it again. If you want to reach the young and restless, Vita.mn is where they will be. If interested, give Mike Albo, a Vita.mn sales manager, a call. He can be reached at 612.673.7188 or e-mail him at Mike.Albo@StarTribune.com. Enjoy spring and summer. We've earned it!
Pearls of Wisdom: Wayne Gretzky, maybe hockey's greatest player to date said... "You'll always miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."
When Digital Sales Director, Gigi Carlson, spotted Star Tribune legends Sid Hartman and Charlie Hoag conversing in the advertising department she couldn't resist the opportunity to take this photo. After all, there are about 120 years of Star Tribune experience between the two men.
Charlie shared the image with some of his newspaper colleagues around the country and was urged to forward the photo to Editor & Publisher. He sent it along and was quickly contacted by the magazine. The story can be found in this month's issue of the magazine. Sid and Charlie reminisce on their years at the Star Tribune and look forward to more in the article Still Going Strong.
I was digging through an old file and came across a Top 100 advertiser list from 1978. Thirty six years ago. These were our Top 100 advertisers in descending order by revenue they spent with the Star Tribune. I thought it would be fun to see how many of those top 100 were still advertising with us. How many do you think? I was shocked. We only have 16 of those top 100 still with us. That’s right, 84 good customers are long gone. It’s a cautionary tale for those businesses that think they are here to stay. It points out to me what competition (the better mousetrap), mergers and acquisitions can do to the business landscape in a short period of time. It also puts an exclamation point on Ted Turner’s old motto: “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.”
You may think you have the hottest brand going in whatever business category you are in, but stop exposing that brand to your target market and you see how long you last. Our industry is a classic example of thinking our brand was forever. It probably was, until the internet dropped onto the scene and we had to wake up and reinvent our brand. Fortunately, Star Tribune woke up faster than most other major market newspapers and has been steadily improving our print products and distribution channels and has become what I would say is the best digital option for any advertiser in the Twin Cities and five state area. If you want to optimize your digital campaigns, we have the expertise to handle just about anything you are trying to do with search, social connections, better site presence, reputation management, email and text messaging, mobile access, you name it. So remember Ted’s motto and don’t let your brand lose any of its sparkle and effectiveness. We’re here to help you keep your brand polished and fresh.
Pearls of Wisdom: A Chinese proverb…”He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.”
Over the years I've encouraged our sales people to think of our customers as patients and themselves as doctors. I tell them, you have to find where your customer's pain is before you can prescribe a solution to cure it. In other words, listen and apply a discovery process to find out what each customer is trying to accomplish with his or her sales promotion budget. Our most effective advertisers have learned the value of sitting down with us, because they know Star Tribune is continually updating and enhancing our print and digital advertising solutions. And, despite their busy schedules, these savvy business owners, marketing managers and media buyers understand that a discussion with a Star Tribune rep results in targeted ways to achieve their sales goals.
We've all experienced account execs with pre-canned sales decks squawking through 25 of their favorite slides without engaging the customer in a meaningful discussion. I've heard them referred to as crocodile sales people - small ears and a big mouth. Thankfully, we're crocodile-free at the Star Tribune. We know the best sales meetings are discussions, and our successful advertisers feel the same way. We hope you will, too. So, the next time a Star Tribune sales manager or account executive asks for a few minutes to discuss your business, take them up on it. I can assure you it will be worth your time.
Pearls of Wisdom: Zig Ziglar, one of the great sales gurus, said: "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."