One of top reasons I like attending conferences is the opportunity to exchange ideas with my peers. As a sales rep, I managed to earn many Hoosier State Press Association (HSPA) awards by taking someone else’s idea and adapting it to my market and customer.

Budget cuts have reduced or eliminated opportunities for many to attend conferences, and thus eliminated opportunities to find an idea that can work locally. HSPA and Indiana Newspaper Advertising Executive Association (INAEA) have started hosting regularly scheduled idea sharing conference calls. These calls are designed to be an idea generating session that might help you create that next big revenue generator for your market.

Since we’ve had budget cuts over the past few years, these sessions are offered free of charge. The only investment is one hour to listen to ideas shared from across the state of Indiana.

We’ve held two sessions thus far, and the feedback and results have been positive. Personally, I’ve found two great ideas that are now a part of our plans for 2017. Thanks to ideas shared by colleagues from The Times of Northwest Indiana (Munster) and The News and Tribune (Jeffersonville), we have brand new ideas for our market.

An idea exchange won’t work unless you are also willing to share a success. Our hope is that you will join us for the next idea exchange session, and will also have an idea to share with the group.

The state of Indiana has been blessed with great newspapers and great ideas that originate from those publications. The advertising idea exchange calls are a chance to help our industry and brag about the great things being accomplished in individual markets.

Here is a quick overview of how the calls work. Newspaper professionals on the call will share their ideas, and field any questions from those on the call interested in the idea. If you have any sales material, PDFs of the products, etc., email those to HSPA, and they share them with everyone on the call. In a matter of minutes, you have new ideas, sales fliers and other materials available to help you use the program locally.

The next idea exchange is planned for Thursday, May 18th, at 10 am EDT / 9 am CDT. The call is scheduled for no more than an hour.

Pete Van Baalen, general manager for Fort Wayne Newspapers, is a member of the HSPA board of directors and president of Indiana Newspaper Advertising Executives Association. 

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