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Do you allow your print advertisers to place paid events in your calendar?

Edith Klein 5 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Mike Stickler 5 years ago 8

A few print advertisers pulled back, becouse they could post their event for free in out calendar. I allowed it. How do you deal with this, or do you even come across this isse much?

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Hi Edith!


Mike gives some great advice regarding how to deal with the "relationship" between online and print. I'll give you a few set up ideas.


Firstly, you are currently on our new Flex templates which have really fine-tuned support for how to accept calendar submissions from the website. You're also using Upsell Manager, so that users can self-service "buy" a featured listing for a price determined by the paper. You've got a bunch of self-service upsells already, which is great! All of those people with featured listings paid for them. So you have a lot of options:


1. You can turn off online calendar submissions completely (I wouldn't recommend this, but it is possible).


2. You can turn off paid calendar upsells, or change the pricing. (Instead of $10, you can have $100 upsells, or whatever you want). You can offer multiple calendar upsell packages - such as a $10 which gives you a listing, but nothing on the front page. Then a $75 listing that gets you the featured flag on the front page. These prices are determined by the site, so they can be whatever you want.


Also remember that calendar events can be exported for print. We have a lot of sites that encourage businesses to post their events online (and encourage self-service upsells online!), and then export those listings out for print using our calendar export tools. This provides self-service upsell opportunities, and improves efficiency of getting events for print and online.


GOOD, I'M SATISFIED

Thanks Christine


I understand all my options here, they are great. I'm really really happy with our calendar and we are getting so many submissions!.


It's just hard battling with the print-oriented sales reps. They think online is stealing from them.

I was just wondering how to explain to them that we need to gave a good calendar online, so that people will come and visit our site.


I guess this dilemma will never get solved.


Edith


Satisfaction mark by Edith Klein 5 years ago

Edith, I'd be happy to get people posting items to our calendar. Luckily the library, visitors bureau, and convention center all have calendars I can import.


That said I there is a lot you can do on the admin side to really make an event pop in addition to flagging it as featured. Descriptions can be html and include tables and images. You can add logo's and other images as related assets that make the event stand out if your blocks are designed to display them. Find an event, and go to town with it to see what you can do and then put together an "Advertised event package... I list of enhancements you will do to an event if the event is also advertised with you."

Hi,


I have no problem getting events posted. And people are actually up-selling themselves into Featured.

The problem I'm having is that some advertisers like the online calendar better than their print ad, and stopped the print ad. Ad department is angry with me, and want me to ban the advertiser. What to do?

I just checked my site and "Featured" is not a flag that the "reader" can choose when posting an event... I'm on flex and not zen. If the zen templates allow a user flag their event as "featured" then I would be asking TN to remove that checkbox. Featured should be purely an admin decision.


So advertising wants you to ban former advertisers from posting on the calendar unless they keep advertising. I assume they want you to ban people who have never advertised as well. My question would be, if the editorial staff was writing an article about an event in town would they pull the article if advertising came to them and said don't run it because they aren't advertising the event. I doubt it.


I have sympathy with your situation, I hear all the time about how we want our site to be successful but am constantly reminded we can't do anything "that might hurt print."


I would look at what you can do to enhance the listings of events by advertisers and stand your ground on allowing (but not enhancing) events by non advertisers. I know in my area my calendar is competing with the community calendar of the local public radio station (which has been around longer, is free, and is heavily promoted by the station and associated college), the convention center, several other radio stations, the chamber of commerce, etc. I can tell you which ones are free for anyone to post to and which ones only include events at a certain venue or for member companies.


If that doesn't fly you're going to have to come up with some kind of policy where you only allow events that are free and open to the public or accompany paid advertising. Doing so will likely cut the number of events on your calendar and lessen the value of your calendar as a resource and in turn hurt pageviews. Point out if people are not coming to your site to find out about these events they will be going to (name the competing station, publisher, etc that has a free calendar.)


Lastly it appears your advertisers are more interested in advertising online than they are in advertising in print... Either talk the the advertisers yourself or get on the sales staff to do so.

Answer
Answered

Hi Edith!


Mike gives some great advice regarding how to deal with the "relationship" between online and print. I'll give you a few set up ideas.


Firstly, you are currently on our new Flex templates which have really fine-tuned support for how to accept calendar submissions from the website. You're also using Upsell Manager, so that users can self-service "buy" a featured listing for a price determined by the paper. You've got a bunch of self-service upsells already, which is great! All of those people with featured listings paid for them. So you have a lot of options:


1. You can turn off online calendar submissions completely (I wouldn't recommend this, but it is possible).


2. You can turn off paid calendar upsells, or change the pricing. (Instead of $10, you can have $100 upsells, or whatever you want). You can offer multiple calendar upsell packages - such as a $10 which gives you a listing, but nothing on the front page. Then a $75 listing that gets you the featured flag on the front page. These prices are determined by the site, so they can be whatever you want.


Also remember that calendar events can be exported for print. We have a lot of sites that encourage businesses to post their events online (and encourage self-service upsells online!), and then export those listings out for print using our calendar export tools. This provides self-service upsell opportunities, and improves efficiency of getting events for print and online.


Hi Edith!


We're very impressed with the presentation and real estate you're currently offering your calendar advertisers, so much so that we believe that particular upsell & presentation should probably come at a higher price point.


Similar to what Christine suggested, you may want to consider creating another, lower tier of upsell opportunity for calendar events. Perhaps another Calendar: Event list with a bolder color scheme appearing above your Upcoming Events and beneath your higher tier calendar upsell block.


I would also reconsider the length of time you're currently offering for your packages. We've seen sites charging just as much for 1 or 2 days worth for frontpage visibility. That price point and run-length align more with competing calendar vendors as well.

Edith, I'd love to see what you're currently doing. Can you link to your site.

Here is our calendar:

http://www.centraljersey.com/calendar/

and featured events are also posted on the right rail on the entire site: http://www.centraljersey.com/


Creating another tier for Featured Items sounds like a good idea.


I have actually contacted some of the people posting (when they had errors or issues) and asked if they were interested in print. They all said no. That is why they are posting it online, because they do not want print.




Nice, I like the over all design. Very Clean. I do like the way you're handling the calendar. I agree with Christine and Phil, for the exposure (time and screen real estate) the $10 price point is a steal.