Are we being a roadblock to our customers by being “yes men” (and women)?

We’ve all had that situation where an advertiser comes to us stating what they want and we just do it. Maybe because we are happy to get the revenue or we don’t know what else to offer or they keep turning us down to have a deeper conversation. They act as if they know exactly what will work. Then in Borrell’s 2017 Local Advertiser Survey, they found that two-thirds of business owners considering themselves generally inexperienced regarding media. This data and how our advertisers work with us seems conflicting but have we given them a reason to work with us any other way? At the end of the day, being the “Yes Man” or “Yes Woman” could be the last person these SMB owners need.


Two-thirds of business owners consider themselves generally inexperienced regarding media.

-2017 Local Advertiser Survey-Borrell Assoc.


American Express’s open forum article notes that “Yes people don’t see changes in the market… They have no idea what’s coming next, which is necessary to keep your business relevant.” When we reiterate this characteristic and knowledge level we are not only doing a disservice to our customers but to ourselves. With training, resources, and a variety of products, we should know where the advertising industry is headed and advise our customers with that knowledge. We know we can do more for our businesses and that characteristic is not us, so let’s stop putting ourselves into that stereotype “Yes People”.

So how can we change the perspective of our customers without pushing them away or losing revenue? A balance between being considerate of their perspective but also pushing the limit a little bit by challenging that perspective. A few simple things to remind ourselves as we work with customers…

  1. Be knowledgeable – Take the time to read a short article once a week or stay up to date with your Google Partner training. Schedule some time each week for keeping yourself up to date on all products, trends, industry averages, etc. Subscribing to Think with Google is a great way to get quick info throughout the week. Keeping a little extra knowledge on the back burners of your brain for when an opportunity to knowledge drop comes up.
  2. Challenge what your customers say they want – If they want to reach millennials, is the paper really the right choice even though they have done it for years? Give them a chance to learn as well. You know your customers and their personalities, work with them to give them that extra value of showing them you know more than just how to place an ad for them. Let them know that you want the best outcome for them, that is why you are challenging them.
  3. Grow your professional relationship – Give more to your customers than just “yes”. If they aren’t on board yet with a new marketing campaign, send them helpful articles to show relevancy. Or get a meeting with them to just tell them a great idea on bring in more business for a holiday – no selling and no strings attached. Grow their professional trust in you as an expert in the advertising industry.

Overall, let’s not put ourselves in the “Yes People” box. Let’s be conscious to really push what is best for our customers – even if it takes them a little bit to come around. They will begin to see our value and believe it too. And don’t forget to believe it yourself. We have the value and knowledge to make a difference, let’s not forget that.

-Contributed by Alissa Bowditch-Garfinkel

Quote(s) of the week

“When two men in a business always agree, one of them is unnecessary”

-William Wrigley Jr.
(Wm. J. Wrigley Co., i.e. Wrigley’s chewing gum, etc.) 


“Have you found the library yet?”

-Herbert Grant Prizer
(First words my father said to me upon my graduation from college.)

Getting To Know Your MOM

  • You can be notified of the updates, when they happen.
  • The menu in the upper right includes tabs that will maintain static pages. We will keep updating the information on these pages as we go, but you should be able to find links, names, and phone numbers that you need on a regular basis. You can use this kind of like your own in-house directory.
  • Because this is a blog, you can comment. You can discuss things, you have the right to offer your feedback and ask for more information on anything you see, or don’t see. MOM will continue to give you basically, what you are going to need for the whole week to succeed. But now you can give back. Let MOM know what is going on. We can start a regular discussion. If you want to see something more about a part of our business, just ask. We have several individuals now contributing to MOM, so responses will have several perspectives.
  • MOM is available on ALL devices…desktop, mobile (Android & iOS), and tablet.
This is your MOM, at least at work that is.


Test your knowledge with MOM’s 5 Minute Quiz. Taking this test is mandatory for all members of the MOM audience. This week’s quiz is limited to information contained in ThriveHive’s very first training lesson, “Solutions Along The Customer Journey.” Go ahead, the first 5 entries with correct answers will earn my admiration, a hearty hand clasp, and your name will be proudly displayed in next week’s MOM as a learned digital scholar.

Here’s this week’s 5MQ

GateHouse Media made some news last week with it’s purchase of the newspaper division of Morris Communications. This coneintues GateHouse’s growth and vision for community news operations. Morris Communications, a very progressive, privately owned company was one of the earliest and strongest driving forces in digital innovation for local newspapers. Their vision mirrors that of GateHouse. They have a number of locations in the Southeast, as well as several other areas. Check out their locations here.

 Q3 Revenue Race

All digital revenue counts towards our overall performance, but we’ve added a few packages to help open up even more conversations. We have intermediate and short term campaign specials that fit many budgets and offer digital campaigns with print support. And in addition, those that participate are able to add additional ENC Media Group components value priced for easy adoption.

For details on the Revenue Race packages check them out here on the Drive.

Business Boost Summer Giveaway-Ends Aug. 28

“The leads are coming” -John Williamson (Kevin Spacey) in Glen Garry Glen Ross.

ThriveHive is driving leads already with the Business Boost Summer Giveaway. We are qualifying these leads at this time and will start to distribute to appropriate territories.

As a reminder, take a look at the great prizes GateHouse and ThriveHive are offering…

  • Grand prize: One lucky winner will receive $10,000 in FREE custom digital marketing, run by our experts
  • Runner-up prizes: Two lucky winners will receive $5,000 in FREE custom digital marketing for their business
  • Additional prizes: Each week during the length of the contest, 15 lucky participants will receive a $50 Amex gift card
  • Everyone who enters will win a free digital marketing consulting session with one of our experts

This contest is driving leads back to the markets, so each week, markets will be provided with a list of the leads who entered from their specific location.

IMPORTANT-Early Order Deadlines for GateHouse

ThriveHive is installing a new order entry, workflow management and finance system.  The project is extensive and will rollout in phases over the coming months. Phase 1 of this project goes live on Monday August 28th. This phase includes minimal impact to our GateHouse partners. However, there will be one major change impacting the close of fiscal period 8. All orders for fiscal August must be in ThriveHive by 5pm eastern on Thursday August 24th. This applies to orders from all sales channels and no exceptions can be allowed. Additionally, we cannot accept any new orders after 5pm eastern on Thursday August 24th to 9am eastern on Wednesday August 30th at ThriveHive. Sales reps can submit orders via their usual processes starting at 9am on Wednesday August 30th. All orders after 5pm on Thursday August 24th are fiscal September and begin billing and fulfillment on Wednesday August 30th. Read more about this on the ThriveHive training website.

Updated ThriveHive Deadlines for Labor Day

Please check the ThriveHive training website for special Labor Day deadlines, sorry there will be no exceptions.

ThriveHive Contacting Our Customers?

Yes, because they are “our” customers.

Don’t be surprised if a local business mentions that ThriveHive has contacted them directly. This is a level of support that our competitors cannot offer. ThriveHive is reaching out to a number of local businesses across the country to insure our service is right on.


 Readers Choice-Extension Packages

3 & 6 month specials in presentation format, using the preferred GateHouse presentation

  • Special pricing on Readers Choice packages now available for ALL BUSINESSES THAT RECEIVED A VOTE.
  • Please review the presentations available. They will require your customization based on good customer understanding and some needs evaluation.

Identify the business.

  1. Plan and prep: do your research
  2. Call opening: make the right intro based on your research and questions to get the right to perform your needs analysis (remember, you can use the Readers Choice voting as a basis for questions.)
  3. Needs Analysis: start your needs assessment
  4. Develop Solutions:choose the package that fits the needs, just modify the presentation provided
  5. Gain Agreement in Principal: make the convincing presentation, gain agreement in principal to help the business build their brand for a chance at winning next year.
  6. Gain Agreement in Price: close the sale

Note: proposals are on the drive. DO NOT MODIFY THE PROPOSALS ON THE DRIVE. Download and modify on your hard drive.


Upcoming Deadlines

MY Mag/Reader’s Choice  Magazine and Booth space reservation(new Bern & Kinston)

  • New Bern-August 7; creative final and approved by Friday, August 25th
  • Jacksonville-August 14; creative final and approved by Friday, Sept.1st
  • Kinston-August 21; creative final and approved by Friday Sept 8th


  • Salute to Hometown Heroes Saturday, August 16th  Jacksonville Mall  Noon-4pm
  • Reader’s Choice Events New Bern will be on Tuesday, September 26th ( New Bern Convention Center) and Kinston will be on Tuesday, October 10th CCS Neuse Center   5pm-7pm (both events)

Community paper deadlines for the month of August

  • Ad’s must be final and approved by 4pm by the dates below please and thank you!

    Trent Woods – Aug 9

    Fairfield Harbour Beacon – Aug 16

    Taberna Tribune – Aug 16

    Riverbender – Aug 23

Digital Notes-IMPORTANT

Just a reminder for Reader’s Choice O&O you need to order an audience package so we have options to fulfill our obligations, also make sure to contact Jennifer or Tina to reserve SBB’s on the Rich Media Calendar.  

Latest Ad Inventory and Rich Media Calendars Available

  • See the latest campaign reports here.
  • See the latest ad inventory for all Gatehouse properties here.

Ad Op’s Meeting

  • Jacksonville-Tuesday, August 22nd, 8:45am-10:00am




Advertisers get the chance to pick the winners each week for the entire season.

Great exposure for any participating business.

Value pricing to fit most budgets

Reader Prizes

  • Trip to Hawaii
  • NFL Fatheads
  • 2-3 Day Getaway Vacations

Advertiser Prizes

  • 2 Tickets to the Superbowl
  • A chance to win a $5,000 marketing campaign

Check out the sales deck, here.



College Football Pickoff

Jacksonville – Available  –  New Bern – SOLD  –  Kinston – Available  –  Keep thinking of prospects

Alissa will follow up with prospects you’ve all loaded on the drive. If the prospect is not there, we will be calling on them for you.

Upcoming Promotions – soon to be available!

ENC Show Promotions

  • Veteran’s Day
  • Halloween Sponsorship
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Promotions (Pink Sponsorship is SOLD)

Have A Prospect?

Tickets for Promotions

  • Tickets need to be written a certain way if an advertiser is participating in a promotion
  • Reach out to Alissa if you do not get a breakout of how tickets should be written for your promotion – it is VERY IMPORTANT we track these correctly so everyone gets the correct recognition of revenue! Including Sales Reps!

Marketing Campaigns in Promotions

  • These are adjustable to fit the advertiser’s needs – to a certain extent.
  • If you would like to change what is created in a promotion, discuss with Alissa.

Contact Alissa Garfinkel with ALL QUESTIONS regarding upcoming promotions. 


Pie Chart of the Week

Health Care Ad Spending 2016-2018

Includes: Home health care services, hospitals, medical doctors, dentisits, mental health services and other medical facilities and professionals.

Health care services are a very important category in our Readers Choice voting and final results. Readers in our markets are intimately involved, and motivated to know more about the best and most reliable providers. So it’s logical that we would pay close attention to how these businesses are focusing on marketing. Our Extension Packages offer anyone receiving votes in our Readers Choice promotions tha topprottunity to jump into 2018 with a strong and promintent presence.

Let’s take a look at how businesses in this category are going to market themselves in 2018.  

  • Health care professionals and institutions will be utlizing online, far and away, more than any other medium. In fact, their use is approaching the 50% mark, making digital discussions the primary focus, and sometimes the only focus.
  • Radio ranks #2 as far as the medium to add to ad campagins. This makes sense as this category includes businesses that reach a wide sector of the population, making targeting less important at times.
  • Newspapers come in, tied for 3rd place with Local TV and Directories. Yes Directories still play a role in some categories, this is one.



The pie chart above reflects the 2018 forecast from the 2016 survey, this year’s results is still being compiled. But it should reflect these trends. When we view how Health Care providers “expected” to be spending in 2018, compared to their real-world 2016 budgets at the time of the survey, their intentions were to increase online spending, and nothing else at that time.

What were the expectations for 2018 spending?

  • Online spending was expected to increase by 29%!
  • Out of Home, Cinema, Cable TV and Telemarketing were the only other channels showing a foretasted increase.
  • Newspapers were expected to loose ground, dropping as much as 17% compared to 2016.

How can we use this information?

Every health care provider, big and small, in our markets expects to devote almost half of their overall ad budget to online channels. Our extension packages feature online exposure as the primary channel of distribution. And if you feel a custom proposal is needed, this type of research provides benchmarks for your to follow in making a strong recommendation. And you can lean back on this research any time with confidence as well as authority.

Do your campaign recommendations look anything like this data? They can, just ask. And remember, the 2017 SMB Survey results should be compiled later in Q3. This will provide even more insight for your customer discussions.



…the new norm



I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

Have you completed the GOOGLE ANALYTICS FOR BEGINNERS training yet? If so, please send me a copy of your certificate.

All MMSE’s are to complete this training by September 1. 

Hint: While working/studying in a group is sometimes helpful, every MMSE will need to complete their own view of the testing. If you have any questions or concerns please drop me a note for assistance. Completing the course and tests will take more than just a couple of hours. You should easily be able to carve out 3-4 90 minute periods in order to complete the training and take the test.

Prospecting w/Tom Ellis

Tom Ellis will be in ENC land on September 25-28 to visit with each one of us with a very specific agenda…prospecting.

Tom will focus on the following

  • Research and planning leading to a phone call or in-person cold call
  • Cold opening and transition to customer needs analysis
  • Field calls, either via appointment or walk in

His request is for a 3-4 session with every member of the sales team. We have time to set our schedules accordingly, so please grab your available time on the sign up sheet here. Please do this as soon as possible so you may arrange your schedules. Thanks.

ThriveHive New Rollouts-August 2017

  • Please log on to the ThriveHive training website and check out what’s new. There are new rollouts being introduced in the August webinar and registration is required. There are two days to select from. Please check your calendar, register for the webinar that fits your schedule, and place it on your CRM calendar for good measure to insure that it’s on your schedule.

NEW GateHouse Media Learning Management System

Note: if you have yet to do so, please log into the new GateHouse Media Learning Management System.

  • The GateHouse Training Team has invested in a new Learning Management System (LMS). This robust platform will be replacing our current training platform (ProProfs/ACE) that many of you have been using to date. The new platform called SmarterU, will provide many new benefits to you and our organization as we evolve and build our training curriculum.
  • The new learning system is based on Learning Plans and courses and they can be assigned to a user with a simple click, making training opportunities more accessible everyone!  You will also notice that we have implemented quizzes, games and/or tasks associated with some of our courses for improved retention!
  • Important, please read the information in this folder: Save this folder to your My Drive. 

ENC People


August Birthday’s:

  • Josh Walton-Aug 13th
  • Gwen Landry-Aug 24th


  • Angie Nottonson-Aug 7 thru Aug 11
  • Chris Brown-Aug 7 thru Aug 11

Author: David Prizer

Digital media executive and thought leader, emphasizing local and small business strategies. 20 years of experience in metro and community markets. Still watching Seinfeld reruns and holding out for a Cubs-White Sox subway series in my lifetime.

One thought on “Are we being a roadblock to our customers by being “yes men” (and women)?”

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