Advertising’s slippery slope

Advertising’s slippery slope By John Foust, Advertising Trainer I remember taking a day-long ski trip to Virginia. The charter bus was filled with skiers who had different levels of experience: a few were pretty good, most were average, and some were novices like me.After a morning on the beginners’ slope,...

Lessons from a failed advertiser

Lessons from a failed advertiser By John Foust, Advertising Trainer I remember talking to Clark about his early days in advertising. When he started his then-small marketing business, one of his first clients was a fast-food establishment that needed help with an introductory campaign. Although the store manager knew almost...

Attack of the morale-killing bosses

Attack of the morale-killing bosses By John Foust, Advertising Trainer In my advertising and training career, I’ve observed – and heard about – a lot of boss-employee encounters. Some have been good, some have been bad.All have been instructive. In many cases, we can learn as much from the negative...

What makes a good headline?

What makes a good headline? Published Feb. 8, 2021 By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Imagine the editors of a prestigious news organization sitting around a conference table discussing a breaking story. The story is written and all they need is a headline to convey its importance to readers. Someone says,...

12 ad copy tips

12 ad copy tips By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Once an ad’s graphic design attracts readers’ eyes, it has to say something of value. Otherwise, readers will skip the ad and miss the message completely. Here are a dozen copywriting tips to gain and hold attention:Don’t try to appeal to...

12 ad design tips

12 ad design tips By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Want to get more eyes on your ads? Let’s take a quick look at some ad design tips:Keep things simple and uncluttered. The four basic elements of a print ad are (1) headline, (2) illustrative element, (3) body copy and (4)...

Lessons from other advertising sources

Lessons from other advertising sources By John Foust, Advertising Trainer As a co-founder of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher was focused on innovation and efficiency. According to legend, he once took his executive team to the Indianapolis 500 to study the pit crews. He wanted to see if some of their...

How to handle superlatives

How to handle superlatives By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Newscaster Edward R. Murrow once said, “To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable, we must be credible. To be credible, we must be truthful.” Although he was referring to the reporting of news, the same can be said...

Ten ways to mess up an online presentation

Ten ways to mess up an online presentation By John Foust, Advertising Trainer These days, ad professionals are conducting more digital presentations than ever before. While there are some similarities with in-person meetings, there are some significant differences. Let’s take a quick look at ten of the biggest mistakes in...

Read any good catalogs lately?

Read any good catalogs lately? By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Over the years, I’ve heard ad professionals talk about the outstanding copywriting that can be found in catalogs. Of course, there are other approaches to advertising creativity, but catalogs excel when it comes to descriptions of product features and benefits.Some...

In search of the perfect headline

In search of the perfect headline By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Years ago, a keynote speaker at a local Ad Club meeting asked us to put ourselves in a consumer’s shoes. “Let’s say your name is John Doe,” he said. “One day you’re turning the pages of the newspaper and...

Advertising is a problem-solving business

Advertising is a problem-solving business By John Foust, Advertising Trainer When I heard the doorbell ring that Saturday afternoon, I did something I had never done before. I bought something from a door-to-door salesperson.It was a pest control representative who was canvassing the neighborhood for new business. The logo on...

Prepare a go-bag for presentations

By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Richard is an advertiser who has seen years of sales presentations. His pet peeve is any salesperson who shows up unprepared. “It’s a waste of valuable time to be in a meeting where someone is not ready for the topic at hand,” he said. “I...

It’s all about the benefits

It’s all about the benefits By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Rob is the marketing director for an outdoor apparel company. I remember a conversation with him about his philosophy of promoting their products. “It’s all about benefits,” he said. “Every time a new product is developed – or an existing...

It pays to pay attention

It pays to pay attention By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Abby, who owns a retail store, told me about an appointment with a salesperson from her local newspaper. “I did plenty of research before I contacted him and decided to run a campaign in his paper. When I called him,...

Get prospects involved in your presentations

Get prospects involved in your presentations By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Back in my ad agency days, I remember hearing and reading about the importance of getting prospects involved in sales presentations. At that point in my young career, I had experienced the difficulty of getting – and holding –...

Summerville Communications, Georgetown Communications name Kelly-Gilbert publisher

Summerville Communications, Georgetown Communications name Kelly-Gilbert publisher Susan Kelly-Gilbert has joined Summerville Communications as its new publisher and advertising manager.She is also publisher of Georgetown Communications, which publishes the Georgetown Times and South Strand News.Kelly-Gilbert began with the community news organization in October, working out of the company’s Summerville office...

Meet them where they are

Meet them where they are By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Tim manages an ad sales team. “When I started my career in the newspaper business, I quickly learned that advertisers can be worlds apart in their knowledge of marketing,” he said. “That’s why one of my favorite sales principles is...

Garnet Media Group national wins

USC's Garnet Media Group wins multiple first-place honors in prestigious national student media contests Efforts by creative services team and student-run organizations recognized with 17 awardsGarnet Media Group, also known as the Office of Student Media at the University of South Carolina, recently earned national honors in four awards contests...

The value of simplicity

The value of simplicity By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Statisticians disagree on the number of commercial messages we are exposed to each day. Some say 1,000. Some say as many as 3,000. And others claim the number is closer to 20,000. With estimates all over the map, all I can...

Right and left brain selling

Right and left brain selling By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Diane was telling me about her early days in selling. “One day stands out in my mind,” she said. “I had back-to-back appointments with two different prospects to talk about a special section. The first person was interested in what...

The power of restraint

The power of restraint By John Foust, Advertising Trainer On an out-of-state trip, I saw a billboard that compelled me to pull off the road to take a closer look. What was so unusual? It had more words than I had ever seen on a billboard – 45 words. “What...

Don’t accept “I don’t like it”

Don’t accept “I don’t like it” By Ed Henninger, Newspaper Design Consultant I’ve been consulting since June, 1989. Thirty years is a long time and it’s time for me to retire and shift my attention to Julia, family, grandkids and guitar. Over for the next few months, I’m offering some of...

Creating believable advertising

Creating believable advertising By John Foust, Advertising Trainer “Willing suspension of disbelief” is a cornerstone of entertainment. The term was coined in 1817 by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, author of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” It refers to the fact that an audience must temporarily suspend rational judgment in...

The stock market for ad ideas

By John Foust, Advertising Trainer | Daniel told me about an ad he created for a commercial real estate firm. “They prided themselves on the hard work they did for their customers. Their marketing manager said ‘shoe leather’ was their secret of success. When I heard that, I knew it...

Legal Q&A: Selling photo goods

Legal Q&A: Selling photo goods (July 2019) Q. Is it legally appropriate to offer an online marketplace through my newspaper’s website whereby a customer can have an image or video published by the paper to be placed on a new product for sale (i.e. coffee mug, calendar, digital picture/video frame)?...

Legal Q&A: Advertising CBD oil

Q: Can I publish advertising for CBD oil? The sort answer is yes. The longer answer is that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that advertising for lawful products may be published without restriction where the advertising is neither false nor misleading. CBD oil may be sold lawfully in South...