Christmas In July Really Happened Last February

This is not the last time you will hear someone talk about thinking ahead. And frankly every tool we now have at our disposal points us in that direction. Why? Well local businesses…OUR CUSTOMERS… are already doing the same.

In a recent study conducted by Campaigner, an email marketing company with signification penetration in the retail sector, one-third of businesses surveyed have already started preparing their marketing plans for the 2017 holidays. More businesses than ever are going to be commencing holiday campaign preparations before September in 2017.

Sixty-two percent of retailers said early preparation of holiday marketing content was “most helpful in last year’s holiday season…”


Every sales opportunity we have now is designed to take our cusotmers well into, and through the end of the year. Our Q3 bundles offer extended campaigns into the end of October. And the Readers Choice extension bundles enable 3 and 6 month versions. All of our focus is helping our local businesse do EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE TELLING US to do…help them into and thru the holiday season and through year-end. And it won’t stop there. Our Front Page Note sales initaive will start up abain in December, which means we will have a number of businesses we will want to approach to discuss full 2018 campaigns with, very soon.

In the end, this is not “adding” to anybody’s work load. In fact, it is helping to organize and focus what we can and should be doing for local businesses…helping them sustain themselves through the year, and through prime selling seasons for them.

It’s only summer now, schools are just ready to start up again but local businesses are already looking at the Fall, holidays, and a new year. That’s also where we are headed. It may be too early to wish y’all a Happy Holidays, but it’s not too early to start planning on how we can make them that way.


Quote(s) of the week

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”

-Winston Churchill
(Prime Minister of Great Britain, ’40 – ’45, ’51 – ’55.)

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

-Dwight D. Eisenhower
(Five star general, US Army, responsible for planning and supervising the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45, aka D-Day.)

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. This week’s quiz tests our assignment from last week covering the Total Website Plus. Please spend 5 minutes with this quiz.

Deadline for completing this week’s 5MQ is Tuesday @ 3:00 PM

Here’s this week’s 5MQ


 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

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

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.



 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.

Q3 Revenue Race Multimedia Packages

Here’s the deck describing the packages already created. If you want to modify them, just make the proposal internally, we can make these work for local businesses.


  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


  • Reader’s Choice Events
    • New Bern will be on Tuesday, September 26th ( New Bern Convention Center)
    • 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(s) of the Week

Not All Local Businesses Spend The Same Way

Health Care Ad Spending 2016-2018

There is a difference in how locall businesses expect to spend their ad dollars, depending on the business category

All local businesses ARE NOT the same. And the SMB Advertising survey bears that out.

Take a look at the four pie charts below.

  • Miscellaneous Retail
  • HVAC Installation and Repair
  • Business Services
  • Legal Services

All four of these pie charts show how these particular local business categories “expect” to spend their 2018 advertising dollars.


And all four of these charts looks different. While online channels dominate all of these categories, the percentage range of that channel swings significantly, from an anticipated 40% of the ad budget for Legal Services, to more than 60% for Business Services. Miscellaneous Retail and HVAC Repair and Services show online holding 50% or better of the spend for those categories. Newspapers show up “relatively” strong in one of these categories, holding at just 15% of the ad budget for legal services. But the expected spending allocation for newspapers in the other categories is falling below 10%.

What’s the message?

The message here is simply that not all businesses expect to spend similarly. And that is because their messages are different, the reasons that consumers respond is different, and the way in which consumers find these types of businesses might be different.

These charts show 2018 expected spending, not total dollar amounts but the channel breakdown. It’s time we ask ourselves the following queswtions:

  1. Are we really looking hard at HOW shoppers find these businesses and tailoring our proposals accoringly?
  2. Are we taking into consideration how shoppers respond to advertising messages, and what the advertising message actually is? 
  3. And finally, are we actually making use of the Borrell Compass data enough to actually know there is a significant difference in how local businesses spend? 
  • If the answer to #1 or #2 is no, then it’s time we take a closer look at our customers.
  • If the answer to #3 is no, please reach out and contact me. I’ll be happy to help.



…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.


ENC People


Betty Beaudreau joins the New Bern team today, August 21, as Sr. MMSE. Betty comes to us from the Bulletin in Norwich, CT., a GateHouse New England property. She will be getting familiar with the surroundings at our offices while also moving with her family to New Bern.


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

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 “Christmas In July Really Happened Last February”

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