Local Commentary

Editorial: ‘Work Like Hell, & Advertise!’




“Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and advertise!” This little ditty was quoted by Ted Turner in a recent interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” touted as a remedy for the small business person or entrepreneur struggling to make it during economic hard times.

Nobody can argue with Ted Turner’s success, attainted through a lot of hard work, maybe a little luck and, oh yes, advertising.

There is little doubt that 2009 is going to be a much tougher year than 2008. No matter how much the new Obama administration pulls out all the stops to stimulate an economic recovery, there will be a significant time lag between new initiatives and the point they will actually kick in to stop the loss of jobs and the meltdown of middle America’s buying power. It can only be hoped that, at least sometime soon, there will begin to be a relaxing of the credit seizure rampant in the banking system, but there are no assurances.

For small business persons, including restaurateurs, realtors, home, personal improvement and other service providers, locally-owned retailers and others, the premium will be on creative new ways to get customers through the door. The winners will be those who are pro-active, who fight for every new customer with a relentless marketing commitment to the effort. The losers, no matter how good their product or services might be, will be the passive ones who think it is enough to stick a sign on the door and hope that customers show up.

Ironically, economic downturns can represent unique opportunities for those willing to separate themselves from their competition. In hard times, consumers become far more cautious and discriminating. Therefore, if someone has something unique and special to offer, in these times they have better access to the potential consumer’s attention, far more than in times when the cash and credit are free flowing, when making the right choices doesn’t matter so much.

We at the News-Press have taken these precepts to heart. The newspaper industry, as has been widely reported, is in a state of free-fall under pressures from the Internet, the loss of readership and huge drops in advertising revenue. It has become a self-feeding spiral downward, as layoffs, especially in newsrooms where personnel are often erroneously viewed as representing non-revenue-generating overhead costs, cause the quality of newspapers to further deteriorate.

At the News-Press, our commitment is to our advertisers as well as our reading public. We best serve our advertisers, those being most creative by fighting for a bigger share of their market through advertising, by maintaining the strength of our newsroom, by providing content that can’t be found on the Internet and that maintains a fiercely loyal and growing readership. We’re here to help all our advertising customers beat the recession with the quality of what we produce.

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