The advertising department is one of the most attractive for sales-minded persons. A good newspaper space salesperson must be much more than a glib talker. The advertising representative must be able to supply the potential advertiser with abundant and accurate figures about the paper’s ireulation pattern and totals, the advertising rates, and the kind of merchandising support the advertiser will receive. Knowledge of at least the rudiments of layout and artwork is important. In addition, the representative should be enthusiastic and able to give the merchant ideas about how best to use an advertising budget. Selling newspaper advertising requires the art of persuasion, a briefcase well loaded with facts and ideas (about competing media as well), and a strong personal belief that
newspaper space will move. merchandise’ .off the merchant’s shelves
Advertising work for weeklies and small dailies is an excellent training ground. Some recent college graduates become advertising managers of weeklies, handling all types of business for their papers from classified ads to major local accounts. The same sort of opportunities for diversified experience come on small dailies, although as they increase in circulation the dailies tend to specialize their advertising staff functions. On smaller papers the advertising representative is likely to be copywriter 88 well; on larger dailies there are positions for copy witting specialists and artists.
Many advertising careers begin in the classified department of larger newspapers, where the newcomer deals with . many small accounts in a variety of fields. A certain amount of classified advertising comes in voluntarily, but most of it must be solicited. Classified is sold on a day-to-day basis with deadlines only a few hours before publication. As on a reporter’s beat, sales representatives have territories and detailed lists of accounts to cover
Classified advertising is closer to the people than any other type. A well-written three-line ad offering a desirable item for sale at a reduced price may cause the private advertiser’s phone to ring dozens of times Within a few hours after the paper appears. A good classified cOPy’writet seeks to learn the tricks of concise, alluring wording. Readership tests show that classified sections are among the best-read in a newspaper
The young sales representative may advance into thelocal display department, and later perhaps into the smaller and more select national (or general) department. National advertising department members work with manufacturers and distributors of brand-name products, often weeks in advance of publication. Schedules are sold in multiple insertions, sometimes in colour. A newspaper’s national slaes staff works in conjunction with its national newspaper representative organization. which solicits advertising for it in other cities
The circulation department offers “some opportunities for college-trained individuals with organizing ability, promotional ideas, and a liking for detail. A supervisor who has a knack for working with carriers, much, like a high school coach, is in demand. Although the top circulation jobs on large newspapers carry high salaries, the number of, jobs available in this department for college-trained persons is somewhat less than in editorial and advertising.
In the production department, which puts the words into type and prints the newspaper, the work is mechanical in nature, requiring technical skill. Most employees in the department work their way up through apprenticeship programmers to journeyman status, and perhaps into ‘supervisory positions. Graduate engineers and those with advanced training in electronics are ,becoming more frequent in production work
Cost .control is’ ‘extremely important in newspaper production, just as in any manufacturing process. Elaborate accounting sheets are kept showing the cost of setting a column of type, making up a page, printing 1000 papers, increasing the size of an edition by two pages, working a press crew overtime because of a missed deadline, and other expenses. All these costs are weighed carefully’ in setting the newspaper’s advertising rates. The publisher who pegs space rates too low will attract additional advertising but will lose money by doing so
On larger newspapers several supplementary departments support the work of those directly involved in producing the paper. Chief among them are promotion and public relations, personnel, research, and data processing. Some newspapers put out ~heir own institutional publications for employees
Many editorial people on large newspaper staffs, it might be added, know little and care less about such production and cost problems. They regard the business aspects of publishing as something remote and of scant concern to them. This is unfortunate, especially if they have thoughts of striking off on their own some day on the small weekly they dream about