Hi everyone, I am starting a publication for a university in Willimantic Ct, the town Willimantic that the University is in has quite a bad reputation. The goal of the publication is to enhance the perception of the town as well as try to get the students to shop more often at the local businesses. There will be a lot of resources the students will utilize throughout the semester. I am funding the publication by selling advertisements.
My question is, How can I go about finding a sponsor. The cost of the publication is roughly 7000 dollars and we are no where near that. I have been getting a great response from local business owners but I think they are a little skeptical because this is our first publication. We have a great package for our sponsor so I think, with savings of 2100 dollars.
Any advice anyone could give me would be deeply appreciative, I truly believe this publication will benefit both the students and the business owners.
#1. "RE: Looking for advice" In response to Reply # 0
I am a little unclear about your question.
You are looking for sponsors - does that mean selling ads to local businesses, getting contributions or looking for business partners? What is: "We have a great package for our sponsor so I think, with savings of 2100 dollars."?
What is the exact nature of your publication? Is it a community paper or a college/campus paper? What are the reasons for the bad reputation and how do you plan to address that?
Have you started yet? Just thinking about it?
I have quite a few years in specialty magazines, newspapers and direct mail marketing. www.byconnie.com
#2. "RE: Looking for advice" In response to Reply # 1
I mean selling ads to local businesses, I am offering savings for three types of sponsors, What I mean is they will receive the whole package for one low price such as full page ad, 1/16 page ad banner on our homepage, banner on our listing page, logo on our cover of the publication, full article writte on them etc.
It is a paper for college students. Our town has a bad reputation from yellow journalism so we are trying to enhance the perception of the town as well as try to get the students to patronize the local businesses. We are going to offer history of the town, recreational activities, local yellow page directory, services to utilize while being in college. It is basically a bridge to connect the Universit and the town.
The bad rep came from a news story calling the town Heroin town. It was far fetched and distorted quite a bit, and the town has made plenty of moves to clean the city up. We want to show the students of all the good things about the town, for example there are lots of Arts and Theater buildings that are not being utilized, primarily because the students do not know about them.
We have started it and are almost completed, but now we are looking to at least cover the cost of the publication for the first introductory one.
Thanks for the clarification. Targeting college students works well if the demographics are right. What I mean is if the students have and will spend money in the businesses that are prospective advertisers and if they are consumers of an extensive nature. What I mean by that is if the only thing they will spend money on is movies, beer, T-shirts and pizza you have a limited advertiser base. I am sure that you have considered this.
First of all, try to make a great product out of the most economical materials you can find. Typically, printing with small newspaper companies is the most economical. There are limitations with the product, but you can "splurge" on brighter, heavier paper and still come out better than typical magazine choices. Basically, control your costs on every level possible because (statistically, anyway) you are targeting an audience that is unpredictable and whose capital resources are questionable. At the same time, make sure that the graphic design & layout of your publication draws their attention. If they don't read it, all is for naught.
Next, set realistic expectations with your advertisers. You need to focus them on new marketing opportunities with an untapped income base. College students come and go so they are not developing a loyal customer base. Try to get facts, demographics, on the student base for your prospects so that they can see profit potential.
Finally, getting started in any new business is very hard without making any investment. The best way I know to overcome the "new kid on the block" anxieties that your prospects may have is to offer an introductory "start-up" promotion - a special, short-term discount price, or offer, to show good faith - that you are legitimate and trustworthy. For example, have advertisers sign an advertising agreement with a "satisfaction guaranteed" policy. If they are not satisfied that you printed, distributed and reached the stated audience then they don't have to pay. (You are collecting after publication on this issue) You will have to pay the upfront costs, but I have never seen an advertiser that did not pay after the product was delivered as agreed upon. This eliminates the objection of uncertainty on delivery.
Also thanks for clarifying the reputation issue. I am in NW Louisiana. A few years ago there was a riot in a very small area of town. National celebrities got involved and it became syndicated news. It was completely blown out of proportion, but only the locals and the celebrities that took advantage of it know that.
Seems like you have two issues... initial cost to publish a full package and lack of faith in potential advertisers...
So, hit 'em both at the same time.
Reduce the size of the first run and make it a "preview" type... and then try to cut some prices for the pilot advertisers by promising a locked in low rate by being in the first issue.
If the publication gets a good response... then those first faithful advertisers get a great return with the locked in low rate... and the popularity builds trust for the stragglers.
You might even be able to get a little more interest from the advertisers on the front end when you take this approach since it appeals to a competitive nature... no one wants to miss out on a potential opportunity... just make it easy for them to commit.
As far as how the preview edition works... I've seen most magazines take this approach. Limited scope, distributed to targeted audience. If they like it, they'll ask for more and tell others. Maybe you could run the introduction edition at just the "student center" and expand from there.
Final thought... try to encourage the reader to reference where they heard of the advertiser when the visit. Otherwise the advertiser will never know for sure where the "blip" in patrons came from.