Awareness - Using Print Ads and Promotion


Awareness – Using Print Ads and Promotion



Advertising and Promotion


Advertising is paid space; promotion is unpaid space. The distinction may seem unimportant as long as the message appears in print, but it’s very important in having discussions with publishers or their representatives.


Daily newspapers rarely give free space to worthy causes because it places them in the position of having to decide how much they can afford to give. They might give unpaid space to the United Way or the Red Cross in the event of a disaster, but they are unlikely to give any free space to local groups. Unlike broadcast media who use the public airways to reach a consumer, newspapers are not licensed by the government. They are entirely private enterprises in which they pay for all of the materials used to produce the product. They are intended to be profit-making, and most are accountable to shareholders. Space costs money. However, they do offer lower rates to nonprofit and charitable groups.


If a newspaper is to be used, an advertising contract should be negotiated because contract rates are lower than “open rate” for one-time. Newspaper advertising is sold on the basis of annual contracts. The more space the organization plans to buy in a year, the lower the rate. A commitment is made based on the amount of space the organization plans to use, and it is billed as it is used – not all at once.


Very small ads – even a 1x1 – can be very effective because smaller ads are more likely to end up nearer the top of the page, and thereby have good visibility.


Weekly newspapers may be more generous with lower rates, or sometimes even with free space for promotion ads for the organization.


How to Get Your Event Listed Free


Check a week of local newspapers to see when and where they list calendars of local events. In larger papers, these usually appear in the “features” sections (which have names like Living, Arts, Entertainment, etc.) Make a list of the paper, location and day of the week. Instructions for listings or contact information will probably appear with the calendar of events. If it doesn’t, call the newspaper and ask to speak to the editor in charge of that listing. Find out what kinds of listings they accept, the deadline, and whether it must be submitted electronically or in print. Some papers require electronic (form on the newspaper web site or e-mailed Word document) copy.


When a calendar item is submitted, provide the name of the event, the name of the organization, and the purpose of the event. Be sure to include day, date and time, and cost or if it is free. Include a contact telephone number or e-mail address for people who have questions. Keep it brief. Free space is precious.


If the organization is sponsoring a big event, send a press release that provides additional details. Build a rapport with the editor who assigns reports to such events and encourage the newspaper to write about the event.


Suggestions from Carolyn Phillips, Director, Pass It on Center on the use of advertising and promotions


Newspapers. One of the more unusual placements noted for an ad was the obituary section of the newspaper. It noted the need for reusable equipment and provided a drop-off location and contact number.


Newsletters. Hospital newsletters are a good target for publicity. Offer the editor of the newsletter a success story about reutilized equipment. Durable medical equipment (DME) supplier newsletters may be another potential source of promotion, especially if the organization has developed a mutually beneficial relationship with the DME provider.



Please note that by selecting an Internet link you will be directed to an external site, and the Pass It on Center does not control the content of the site.



This work is supported under a five-year cooperative agreement # H235V060016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is administered by the Pass It On Center of the Georgia Department of Labor – Tools for Life.  However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the Department of Education, or the Georgia Department of Labor, and you should not assume endorsements of this document by the Federal government or the Georgia Department of Labor.





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Other Information

Title: Awareness - Using Print Ads and Promotion
Module: Marketing/PR
Audience: Implementer
Sub Title:
Procedure: Free event listing in the newspaper
Organization Source: Pass It On Center
Last Reviewed: 10-25-2009 6:46 PM