AAN Hires Marketing Firm

Planning meeting scheduled Wednesday, Nov. 21

AAN has hired Abrials & Partners, an Alexandria, Va.-based marketing, advertising and public relations firm, to help develop a marketing program for its members.

At its October meeting, the AAN Board of Directors voted to spend $70,000 of last year’s surplus on marketing, which includes helping papers with recruitment and automotive advertising and participation in trade shows hosted by recruitment professionals and auto dealers.

AAN staff, Marketing Chair Don Farley, other members of the Marketing Committee and a few display and classified salespeople (to add knowledge from the trenches) meets with Abrials Wednesday to begin the process of developing a strategic marketing plan and materials.

“We all know that AAN papers should be getting more automotive and recruitment advertising,” Farley says. “Our goal is to help our members make that happen. We don’t have a lot of money to spend, so to be effective, we’re going to have to be creative.”

The committee agreed that one of AAN papers’ problems is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the sales staffs about the “product.” Abrials will help AAN create a PowerPoint presentation that “tells the story” of alternative weeklies, which can be used by members both as part of a sales pitch and to train sales staff.

AAN also plans a program to focus on the “big box retailers,” like Target and Staples, starting with research on how these powerful retailers operate. AAN News will report next week in greater detail on the “Big Box Project.”

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