Promotions Summit Journal: Day 2

by Liz Huff Second Street

10:00 AM: Sales Strategies for Success

The second day of the summit kicked off with a panel discussion featuring Kent Oglesby from KY3-TV, Marty Carry from the State Journal-Register, and Brandy Carter from Entercom New Orleans. The conversation covered all aspects of the sales process, and you can see a few of the highlights below.

    • Sell solutions, not products. Before pitching anything specific, have a conversation with your advertiser about their needs, and then craft a promotion that will help them address those needs. This doesn’t need to be a complex conversation – come up with 2 or 3 questions that will help you identify what is most important to your advertiser and what their pain points are.

    • Know what success looks like before you start. After you have had your needs conversation with the advertiser and crafted a promotion to meet those needs, have another conversation to identify specific, measurable goals. This will help contextualize the results of the promotion, and will give you something to sell future promotions against.

  • Build integrated campaigns. If you focus entirely on traditional media, entirely online, or entirely on social media, you are missing out on the power that a campaign combining all of these elements can have. When you are creating promotions, use all of the assets you have available to you.

11:30 AM: Promotional Opportunities That Drive Results


Joe Mullen from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shared how the paper’s Golf Card has brought in more than $85,000 in revenue, and then Second Street’s Affiliate Success Manager Liz Crider went through a few more card case studies – WISE & WPTA-TV generated $112,000 in revenue with a golf card, and’s spa card made $16,000 for the station – in just 11 hours!

Metro Ballots

In this section, Vince Johnson, formerly of The Signal, shared how the small-market newspaper’s Best of Santa Clarita Valley ballot generated $75,000 in print and digital revenue. He was followed by Marty Carry from the State Journal-Register, who revealed how the paper’s Readers’ Choice exceeded $120,000 in revenue.

Niche Ballots

Vince Johnson returned again to share how The Signal‘s Prep Football Fans’ Choice Awards generated $4,000 in all digital revenue for the paper. Marty Carry also stepped up again, this time to share how the State Journal-Register‘s State Fair Top Ten ballot helped build the paper’s relationship with the fair and led to new partnership opportunities (get all the details in this case study). The last speaker in this section was Jamie Kinnaird from BH Media, who shared how The Roanoke Times‘ Best of Holiday Shopping niche ballot drove more than $70,000 in revenue.

Facebook Advertiser Contests

Katie Wilson from the Quad-City Times detailed how the paper’s Ultimate Man Cave giveaway brought in $8,000 from 8 SMB advertisers. Then Max Media shared how they made $12,000 with a Facebook promotion for a local mall.

Group Sweepstakes

Matt Nystrom from Saga Communications explained how the group put together a group-wide sweepstakes – Keyword for Cash – that not only increased tune-in, but also generated more than $60,000 in revenue.

Ecommerce Promotions

Alex Fuentes shared how the Miami Herald dealsaver program has generated more than $580,000 in revenue with deals stores since 2012. These included a university-themed deals store that drove more than $50,000 and a a Best of Deals Store that brought in $116,000.

Sports Contests

Marty Carry returned again, this time to go through The Marty Carry Pro Football Contest Model, which has allowed Marty to consistently bring in six-figure revenue with football contests in a variety of markets. Jamie Kinnaird from BH Media also returned, to explain how The Roanoke Times‘ Fearless Forecasters college football contest went from a small newsroom initiative to a promotion that brought in $68,000 in largely incremental revenue.

Promotions + Events

Sandy Hurley from Civitas Media detailed how The Daily Advocate integrated a contest with the paper’s Fair Magazine special section – and made $100,000 in revenue as a result. These are incredible results for a small market! Conan Gallaty from WEHCO Media shared how the group successfully integrates promotions with a number of live events (learn more about how promotions can power your live events here), and Terri Overby from WRAZ-TV rounded out the session, explaining how the station drove over $200,000 in revenue with a high school lip dub contest.

12:30 PM: Promotions Roundtables

The next session of the summit featured a variety of roundtables where attendees could meet to brainstorm strategies and ask questions about a topic of their choice. These were the options:

  1. Deal Cards
  2. Ecommerce Promotion Models
  3. Reinventing Ballots
  4. Facebook Agency-Model Contests
  5. Engaging Your Sales Force Around Promotions
  6. Monetizing Football
  7. Driving Revenue & Engagement with Promotions + Events
  8. Using Promotions for Lead Generation for Advertisers

2:45 PM: Group Activity Presentations

For the second group activity, summit attendees divided into 10 teams of 10 to craft a 3-month promotions campaign for a specific advertiser, either a football team, a pizza restaurant, or a credit union.

The pitches included a variety of promotions designed to address the advertisers’ specific needs, including targeted niche ballots, live events, photo contests, sweepstakes, trivia contests, coupons and bounceback offers, Facebook advertiser contests, deals, and more.

Everyone voted on the proposals, and the winning team received a fun prize.

3:00 PM: Go Big & Go Home

The summit wrapped up with a few final words from the Second Street Presidents and Co-Founders, Matt Coen and Doug Villhard. They challenged not only the summit attendees, but also all of you reading along from home, to continue to build ever bigger, better, and bolder promotions.