“We’re all in sales” is what advertising managers at The News & Observer used to tell those of us in the Advertising Department who, actually, weren’t in sales. But, the paper has since drafted employees companywide to sell subscriptions to The N&O, and at least one reporter has responded by cutting his price and advertising in the newspaper, as well as on Craigslist and Facebook.
Matt Ehlers is kicking back half of his commission to offer a one-year subscription to the daily and Sunday newspaper for $75 — $25 less than the price specified in the memo announcing the contest. Employees get $50 for every new subscription they sell (renewals aren’t part of the contest).
Ehlers’ Sunday newspaper ad of about a dozen words (which cost him $18.27 to run once) points out the savings of $120 off the regular price for a full subscription. His Craigslist ad explains that he’s a reporter with the paper and includes a sales pitch: “Think about it: more ACC football and basketball news than you can handle, with state government coverage and crime news mixed in with features, comics and culture stories you won’t find anywhere else. The News & Observer broke open the Easley scandal, and we’re not letting up. Don’t you want to know what happens next?”
“I thought a $50 commission on a $100 sale was pretty generous, and figured splitting it with the customer might entice more people to sign up,” Ehlers said in a e-mail. “A $75 subscription comes out to about 20 cents per day. We all work really hard around here, and I think the paper is a tremendous value. I want more people to read us.”
Click here for the rest of the story.
And click here to see the reporter's ad on Craiglist.