Three white papers that managers can use as staff training tools in weekly classified and display advertising meetings are available to members on the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ Web site.
Titled “Follow-up Lesson Plans for Managers,” the papers are written by Bob Treadway of Treadway & Associates, and provide sales instruction and tips about how to prospect for clients, assemble presentations and address advertisers’ objections, among other sales-related issues.
Roxanne Cooper, AAN’s director of sales and marketing, distributed the papers with an email to classified managers and advertising directors on Feb. 3.
Cooper unearthed the papers in a recent dig through her hard drive. “I was mining some ancient AAN Convention feedback data, and I guess I hit pay dirt when I found Treadway’s handouts,” she says. “I passed them along to [AAN Marketing Committee Chair] Jim Rizzi and we both agreed the material would be valuable for members.”
Austin Chronicle Classifed Director Cassidy Frazier says she plans to use the papers not only in meetings, but also as “cheat sheets” for her staff — particularly a segment that counters oft-encountered statements from reluctant clients with potential responses. “To have something there in front of you, something direct,” is helpful for salespeople, she says. “[Sales staff] know, ‘If they say this, here’s a specific question to keep them talking.'”
AAN released the papers as part of its ongoing program to provide alt-weekly managers with cost-free materials to help them lead effectively. In January 2005, the association purchased a report titled “Competing with Craig” — which detailed strategies for battling Craigslist and similar classified ad Web sites — and released it to all AAN publishers at no charge.
The association plans to release several more white papers and reports over the course of 2005.