New Jersey Ad Lab

New initiative will provide NJ publishers shared sales rep, training 

Since its inception, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University has operated on the belief that newsrooms are stronger when they work together. We’ve helped coordinate newsroom collaborations, encouraged partners to share content and hosted programs that support journalism innovation. 

But beyond providing editorial help, we’ve also seen the need for advertising assistance. For the last several years, publishers part of the New Jersey News Commons have expressed a desire to have a shared regional sales professional. The news organizations most interested have been small, independent and hyperlocal outlets. Their interest in sharing a sales professional was focused on being able to attract advertising support from larger, regional and statewide businesses that otherwise would not invest in many small, individual news organizations.

In 2019, the Center was able to secure grant funding to direct toward building an advertising cohort called the New Jersey Ad Lab. After several meetings with publishers, potential vendors and a long delay due to the pandemic, the Center contracted with Broadstreet Ads to lead this effort. 

Led by Broadstreet founder Kenny Katzgrau, the Ad Lab will provide participating newsrooms a shared sales professional for an experimental period as well as tools and training on how to sell ads themselves. You can learn more about Broadstreet’s plan for the Ad Lab here

Over the course of a three-month period, the shared sales representative will reach out to clients such as hospitals, universities, summer camps and car dealerships in an effort to secure premium display and newsletter advertising.  Concurrently, Broadstreet will hold a multi-week course for publishers/sales reps on optimizing their own digital ad sales process. Webinars (which will require pre-registration) will cover pricing, good sales habits, how to run great sales meetings, creating proposals/agreements, closing deals, and renewing and repeating business. Participating newsrooms will also have access to Broadstreet’s ad manager and various other tools and platforms. 

Registration for the New Jersey Ad Lab 2020 cohort is NOW CLOSED.

There will also be a kickoff call for registered members on April 7.

If you have questions, please email the Center directly at [email protected].

Read the latest:

Ad Lab experiment in New Jersey benefits independent local news orgs, but requires more investment

Annette Batson spent between 5–8 hours a week selling for the network in the fourth quarter of 2021. She closed six sales for the network, bringing in $9,000 across 16 publishers.

Of the 16 publishers who participated, four will receive checks of $1,000 or more. The average was $562.50 per site, although some with little digital traffic got substantially lower payouts.