“People spend money when and where they feel good”
That Louisiana is moving to Phase-2 in lessening restrictions related to Covid-19 is good news for LPA members – their business, them personally and their families.
With the continued reopening of our state, more citizens will feel safe enough to return to work but also to venture out more to shop or eat out or take a vacation or do other things that will help our economy (and our newspapers) get going again.
With the reopening of our economy hopefully comes more advertising from local businesses announcing that they are open and ready to serve their customers.
Many should want to tell shoppers about safeguards they have put into place to keep their employees and customers safe, and especially to allay customers’ fears and encourage their return sooner, not later.
Reopened businesses should tell locals about any special services they are offering related to keeping customers safe and healthy, such as how they can order something by phone or online and have it delivered or otherwise have minimal contact with others.
Delivery is not just about food, and it and other things a business can offer to minimize a customer’s exposure to the virus are benefits businesses need to promote...especially services not previously associated with that business.
Car dealers are promoting how you can buy a car and have it delivered to your home and not have to enter the dealership.
Some insurance companies are promoting how you can communicate your insurance needs on the phone, or perhaps by email, or perhaps in an online chat, and take care of the paperwork and payment with minimal contact with others, with next to no time in their office.
There are auto body shops advertising how people can take pictures of their vehicle’s damage, and submit them by email or through some online portal, and get an estimate on the repair, all without having to bring the vehicle to their shop, with next to no contact with their employees.
I read about a company offering white water rafting trips that outlined various steps for providing social distancing in their river rafts, and listing a number of other safety measures in place to make their rafters feel safe as they float down the river and enjoy the great outdoors.
Sure, some businesses will see a surge simply because they open again.
I have heard stories about mature women booking up all the appointments at their hairdressers’ shops when the shops first reopened, eager to get some color back in their hair after being weeks late for a refresh.
But I have also heard from many who have gone into local stores who did not have a positive experience, who were put off because they didn’t think the business was taking enough precautions related to potentially exposing them to the virus.
Those people are ripe for a well-designed ad in their local newspaper, or on that newspaper’s website, promoting a business that provides quality service and products, at a good price, while also promoting steps it is taking to help customers and their employees, stay safe while the threat of Covid-19 remains.
There is always a reason to advertise, though for some business owners, it seems as if they always have an excuse for why now is not a good time.
It has long been a strength of good local papers to not have salespeople who just go out asking, “Got anything you want to advertise this week?”
Good ad reps go out and talk to local business owners, giving them encouragement for why they need to advertise now.
The good reps suggest creative and solid ideas for how to make the advertising effective – and for sure, outline solid reasons why the local newspaper and news website are the place to invest precious ad dollars.
Walt Disney said, “People spend money when and where they feel good.”
Newspaper ad reps should be working with local business owners to help each business’ customers and prospects feel good, now more than ever before, about spending their money with that business.
If they do that well, then those business owners should feel good about spending their money with your newspaper.
Will Chapman is the executive director of LPA. He worked in the newspaper industry, at various times in most every aspect of the business. He’s a past president of LPA following his father and grandfather who also held that office. Email him at email@example.com, or call him at 225-344-9309 (ext 108).