PRINT MEDIA ADVERTISING

Although it seems that when it comes to advertising and marketing, most of the focus is on online marketing (and social media), print-based advertising remains a very important aspect of the never-ending task of delivering the proper message about your company to customers and prospective customers.  This is especially true for small businesses interested in attracting local customers (in their neighborhoods).  As a former newspaper advertising account executive, magazine publisher, and account manager working on large, complex projects, I have developed the skills necessary to help your business implement the right print advertising strategy.

Following are some of the main considerations when it comes to placing print media advertisements:

  • AD SIZE: Print publications typically sell advertisement space by column inches, but the actual size of the ad will vary depending on the publication's size.  For example, the size of The San Francisco Chronicle is 10 3/4 inches wide by 20 3/4 inches long.  A full-page ad is approximately 9 1/2 inches wide by 20 1/2 inches long. Oakland Magazine's size  is 9" by 10 3/4".  Therefore, column size for different publications vary.  Most ad sizes are sold in the following page-based increments: 1/8 page; 1/4 page; 1/2 page; 3/4 page; full page.  Most magazines have three columns, and newspapers, five.  A typical half-page magazine ad dimensions could be 3 columns (approximately 7 3/4") x 5 inches.
  • COLOR: Most magazine ads tend to be in color, while most newspaper ads are in black and white.  When it comes to newspaper ads, I think that the most important thing is frequency rather than whether the ad is in color or black and white.  Placing a color ad increases its cost significantly, which is the reason you'll see most newspaper ads in grayscale.
  • FREQUENCY: When it comes to print advertising, I think this is one of the most important considerations (after the ad messaging, design, and the publication's distribution points).  I typically discourage customers from placing a print ad that is only going to run one or two times.  For a weekly publication, I suggest a minimum of a 12-week run, depending on the objectives of the ad campaign.  Publications also offer significant discounts the longer you run the ads.  For example, an ad that runs only one time is typically charged at a full (or open) rate; a 4- to 7-week ad may get a frequency discount of 5%; an 8- to 11-week ad, 10%; a 12- to 23-week ad, 15%; and a 24- to 35-week ad, 20%.
  • DISTRIBUTION: This is of course one of the top considerations when deciding to place a print ad: Readership and distribution.  First you have to make sure that the publication's readership is the right target for your advertising campaign.  Secondly, you need to ascertain that the publication is reaching enough readers (potential customers) in order to justify your ad cost.  Is the publication published daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly?  What is the total number of distribution points?  How many copies are printed and distributed?  Is the publication's circulation (distribution, number of copies) audited?

How Can I help? In addition to helping your company deploy the best print advertisement design and messaging for your ad campaign, I can also negotiate the best terms.  As a former magazine publisher and newspaper ad sales account executive, I have the experience and knowledge necessary to build rapport with print advertisement professionals at different publications in order to negotiate the best possible rates on behalf of your company.  To learn more about how I can help you save time and money in order to deploy a successful print ad campaign, contact me via email or call me at 510.586.3215.


From 2007 to 2008 I was the Oakland (East Bay) Community Director and Publisher of Palacio, a bilingual magazine with a distribution of 10,000 copies at 150 San Francisco East Bay locations.  In addition to being the publisher in the East Bay, I also wrote content (in both English and Spanish), sold advertising space, and designed many of the ads.


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From 2005 through 2008 I worked at El Mensajero newspaper, first as the webmaster (which included updating all the news content), and later as an advertising sales executive.  I also designed many of the ads for my El Mensajero customers.

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