Beyond the Horizon


Ho Ho Ho:

Here’s a holiday gift ~ my delayed notes, observations or takeaways from the mostly UPBEAT Senior Leadership Conference held in New Orleans this past October.  [Kudos to America’s Newspapers for a job well done!]

Bits and pieces of this will fall in the “duh” category, while others will warrant a tweak or two before they apply if they ever do?

  • Focus (audit) on the advertisers who are in other printed media (direct mail, alts, luxury?)  in your community.  Go get ‘em!  This process should be perpetual.
  • It’s more than you think – Local businesses also advertise to BUILD awareness and community, not just retain, and grow!  Do you sell those?
  • Had not heard this before – one Publisher is levying “production” and “delivery” charges for subscribers who have a paper delivered.  Another is charging a tiny fee to mail invoices, just like your local bank!
  • This was an “aha” for me – after years of consolidation and declining revenue, some press associations are seeing growth thanks to the modest trend towards local ownership.  Gotta like that!

Biggest Opportunity!

In several sessions (plus, multiple subsequent conversations) many expressed anguish at how much time sales executives are spending “in the office” and how frequently they only present a single solution.  IF that applies to your world DO NOT let it continue! 

This is NOT a sales rep issue, but a leadership opportunity.  Great leaders guide organizations in directions they didn’t know were needed, so LEAD DAMNIT.  I can guarantee this - there’s not a single FTE in your company who wants to be “managed”! 

One, some, all (?) of the following might apply:

  • Recapture the digital advantage!  Package your traditional offerings (print, radio, tv, whatever) with all things digital.  Become THE trusted digital marketing agency who, coincidentally, also offers traditional solutions!  Promote this aggressively and always!
  • Unabashedly sell/promote/talk about your unique value proposition and unique community role.  Said differently, DIFFERENTIATE OR DIE!
  • [If you don’t know what or how you differ from all others, hit reply and I’ll schedule an intervention!]

The “time” issue has existed for decades yet is exponentially more damaging today.  Given this reality, the following are MUSTS...

  1.  No “one-offs” PERIOD.  You decide “how” to lead – with an iron fist or kid gloves; however, when a sales rep turns in that 10” ad for the Holiday Gift Guide, Reject It!  At least until that ad is an element of a larger, more comprehensive, advertiser-helping package!  Send them back to the customer like that old-style used car lot manager!


  1.  Of course, the corollary is that everyone should/must/has to present LONGER campaigns and solutions.  Create a half dozen (ish) compelling offerings everyone is comfortable selling that combines legacy offerings, digital and, of course, multiple relevant special initiatives.  Six months or more in length!

[There are tried and true ways to accomplish this!  The easiest is to quantify How Many shoppers will buy relevant goods and services during that time frame.  Again, hit “reply” if you need help!]

  1.  THANK CUSTOMERS RELENTLESSLY!  “Thank you” for 20- years of loyalty – here’s free color on your NEXT campaign; “Thank you” for exceeding your commitment – let me buy you a drink or discount your table at the BEST OF celebration; or “Thank You” for being YOU – is there anything you’ve always wanted to try, but been reluctant to ask about?  I say now is the time!

Now, let me Thank You for reading Beyond the Horizon!  It’s been fun to share my thoughts with many of the best and brightest in the media world.  I appreciate you keeping me honest, pointing out my endless errors and typos and regularly questioning my sanity.  The jury continues to deliberate that final point, but NOT my sincere hope you have a glorious year-end and a delightful holiday.

All my best,

  © Copyright 2023 Wormhole. | All Rights Reserved.