A Family Affair
Advertisers remind me of my dear Aunt Betty. In many respects, she was kind to me, taking me to FAO Schwartz for each birthday, allowing me to pick out anything my heart desired—no matter how expensive. At other times, she was demanding and exasperating, but who could blame her? If you knew what it was like to live with my Uncle Bill, you'd understand.
As I grew older, I came to appreciate her idiosyncrasies, and I learned to treat her with the respect she deserved.
An extended family
Publishers should think of their advertisers as part of an extended family. Just think of what they help you accomplish: They provide revenues for your titles, and they add value for your readers, as well.
Without advertisers, most publications wouldn't exist, and publishers should recognize the importance of fostering long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with the advertisers, their agencies and their production suppliers. They should all be treated with the respect and understanding they deserve—just like Aunt Betty.
Changing the relationship
When publishers make radical changes—like implementing new workflows or digital technologies—I recommend proceeding with care.
When converting to a digital ad workflow, asking your advertisers for files rather than film also requires a cautious and patient approach. Here are some suggestions to consider:
-When determining your digital ad specifications, select file formats that are accessible to your advertising base.
-Explicitly define your digital ad specifications, and make sure that all elements in your workflow are carefully tested by your production department, your prepress providers and your printers. Develop a step-by-step guide that includes file requirements, processing procedures and necessary contact information for those taking part in the workflow.
-Send a letter to each of the advertisers and agencies with whom you work, advising them of your intention to go digital. This notice should be sent several months in advance, to give them time to digest the information and ramp up accordingly.