These Ads Don’t Sell Themselves

By Dan Canny, Advertising Manager

For those of us who sold college newspaper ads in the pre-smart phone era, the process was a simple one. Businesses wanted to reach students and we were the only game in town. I’m sure we all remember ourselves as amazing closers but let’s be honest – the ads pretty much sold themselves.

These days our students battle powers like Google and Instagram for a portion of a client’s student-aimed marketing budget. No, sales aren’t quite what they once were but in a strange way, they’re better.

Students now must truly learn to listen to clients, to ask strategic questions and to articulate how our platforms deliver a level of engagement that even Google can’t match. Our student leaders have also worked very hard to identify and grow our non-student
audiences. No longer does a student ad rep surrender to a marketer’s objection of, “We don’t target students.”

Our reps are now armed with strategies for reaching faculty and staff, alumni, sports fans and a variety of other coveted audiences that we once ignored. In fact, nearly 40% of this year’s ad revenue will be sold on platforms with primary audiences other than students.
From a business perspective, this diversification of platforms has helped us survive in an incredibly competitive industry. From an educational perspective, we’ve done much more than survive. We are producing a generation of sales reps who can ACTUALLY SELL! Because I’m here to tell you – ads these days, don’t sell themselves.


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