Ideas

Flag in the paper

Cathi Utley | General manager, Hermann Advertiser Courier and New Haven Leader, Hermann, Missouri | Circulation size: 5,200 weekly

What’s the idea, and how is it useful to other newspapers?

US flagPrior to the Fourth of July, we placed a heavy paper American flag in the newspaper. One side has the flag; the other side is filled with sponsor ads. Citizens pull out the flags and hang them in their windows.

What's the measure of your success?

We make double the column inch price off the flag by charging 50 cents more per column inch. We pitch advertisers on the full page and go down as necessary. (Ads were a half page, quarter page, and two 1/8th page ads. That covers the cost of the paper and printing. The net is $2,000.

What impact did your success have on your organization?

While people enjoy seeing the flag, and they also see the advertisers on the inside of the window. We use this as a selling point. As mentioned above, we net about $2,000 on this simple project).

What impact did your success have on your community?

The hospital, retail stores and private citizens leave the flag up all year. The town feels a sense of patriotism. The local Veterans of Foreign War has one on the front door. That touches my heart.

What resources were required to achieve your success?

A salesman sold the ads, and a designer laid out the page.

How long did it take you from idea to implementation?

No time.

How long did it take you from implementation to break even or success?

The flag was a success in its first year.

Any tweaks or adjustments you've made along the way?

I would continue to do this the exact same way. It's an incredibly simple project that performs well.


Supplementary materials

Presentation

Cathi Utley's presentation from the event.

Flag page 2

The reverse of the flag included in the paper.


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Cathi Utley's photo
Cathi Utley has been the general manager of the Hermann Advertiser Courier and New Haven Leader newspapers in Missouri for seven years. Part of her background includes training sales people. She has won numerous sales awards and also writes a column each week for the newspapers. It has been said that she has a reputation of thinking “outside the box.”