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More Commentary on Selling Advertising in Today’s Market - 9/16/2008 -

AS A FOLLOW UP TO OUR LAST ISSUE'S ARTICLE on "Selling Advertising in Today's Tightening Market” (SNAP Lunch & Learn coverage by Diane Rusignola, Scott D. Oser, president of Scott Oser Associates, Inc., takes a moment to respond to reader questions about potential revenue in print advertising.

"Developing advertising in your print publication can be much more critical to an association than growing online advertising,” Oser says. "Often, when the times turn tough, associations really scrutinize the costs of doing a print publication. Depending on how associations budget for and view their publications (critical member benefit that should never be touched, or something that costs a lot of money and can easily be altered), it may be more important for them to raise print publication revenues than worry about website ad sales.”

Without the ad revenue from print, some association publishers may be forced to look at reducing the size or editorial quality of their publications, Oser continues. However, websites are different. "Once a website is done there are many more sunk costs,” he explains. "You can't save money by cutting out the next issue of a website.”

The most important factor in selling advertising in this market, he says, is to make sure your publication is positioned and viewed as the leading authority in your industry. "If you are the expert in the industry, advertisers will come to you. Some advertisers may be interested in online and some may be interested in print. But if you are truly in a position of strength and advertisers want to reach your audience, you should be able to convince them to do both, and maybe even more,” he says.

As advertisers look for new ways to position and market their products, Oser confirmed that many of his clients are looking into advertorial opportunities. Taking that a step further is the consideration of paid product placements in editorial (as practiced in movies and television). "It is an interesting concept and may play a role in association publications some time in the future, but it is not something that I think will happen right away,” he says.

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