helping media companies maximize revenue through effective sales of their multimedia assets


PRESS RELEASE: The Blinder Group Clears $1 Million Mark in New Revenue for Newspapers

For Immediate Release

Contact: Patti Minglin, Marketing Director




The Blinder Group Clears $1 Million Mark in New Revenue for Newspapers

Service-related businesses help newspapers achieve new print and digital revenue


Tampa, FL—Today, The Blinder Group announced it had helped local newspapers already generate more than $1 million in new revenue for 2017.  “In my 18 years of working for newspaper clients, this is the best ‘out of the box’ revenue year I have witnessed,” said Mike Blinder, President of The Blinder Group, a multimedia sales training and consulting firm based in Tampa Bay, Florida.  “I would say that 2017 is shaping up to be our best year ever, adding to the $110 million+ we have already achieved for newspaper companies around the world.” 

Shaw Media in suburban Chicago and the Royal Gazette in Bermuda were the engagements that took The Blinder Group over the $1 million dollar mark earlier this month.  In both cases, the client newspapers engaged The Blinder Group to:


  • Consult on “best bets” for multimedia solution development, packaging, and pricing.
  • Perform online and onsite sales training on the most effective means to take these products to market.
  • Host exciting, dynamic workshops for local business leaders to help introduce these products.
  • Perform sales assistance by deploying sales trainers who assist the local sales representative in presenting these products to local advertisers.


“We loved having Mike and his team in our Chicago NW Suburban markets,” stated Jason Hegna, Revenue Director at Shaw Media. “The events we hosted for local business owners were well received with over 95% saying they were “very satisfied” with Mike’s presentation on marketing tactics. Plus, the follow-up meetings we had with The Blinder Group team achieved over $200,000 in new business for our newspapers.”

The most active type of advertisers for The Blinder Group clients this year have predominately been service related businesses in categories such as healthcare/wellness, home improvement, financial services, legal services, and real estate.  “This has been a banner year for real estate services,” says Mike.  “It has become one of the largest new business categories for our newspaper clients.”

Mike will be exploring this “resurgence of real estate revenue” at the upcoming Inland Press/The Blinder Group Revenue Conference, April 26th-27th in Austin, Texas.  Click here for information and registration.  “We will look at the best methods newspapers can use to find these dollars and share the sales programs we have been using to close the deal.”



For more information, contact:

The Blinder Group

Mike Blinder, President



Shaw Media

Jason Hegna, Revenue Director



Blinder Group Assists Newspapers in Achieving Record Revenue for 2017

The Blinder Group has been very busy during the first weeks of this New Year—generating more dollars for the global newspaper industry than any other in our 18-year history. To date, The Blinder Group clients have achieved over $425,000 in new ad revenue for 2017, with half of those dollars coming from traditional print advertising.

Client newspapers we have worked with so far this year include:

  • Wick Communications--Sierra Vista (AZ) Herald
  • Gatehouse Media--Eastern North Carolina Group
  • Digital First Media--Northern California Group
  • Bermuda Royal Gazette
  • OPSA Media Honduras


In each of these markets, Mike Blinder consulted on best practices in sales pricing and packaging as well as brought his exciting and dynamic multimedia education workshop to local business owners. During these workshops, business owners learned how to effectively use multimedia strategies and were offered tailored products and packages crafted by our client media companies as possible multimedia marketing solutions. In most cases, those tailored solutions blended the dominant reach of the local newspaper’s print and Web products with innovative programmatic audience extension, social media marketing and assistance with search engine optimization. In the case of Digital First Media, The Blinder Group assisted in the crafting of a new real estate marketing solution that was widely embraced by many Northern California real estate brokers and agents!

In addition, the highly experienced trainers/advisors of The Blinder Group rode along with the local sales force, assisting them with presenting products and programs to local business owners.

“I can’t tell you how much I love this job," said Mike Blinder, president of The Blinder Group. “I wake up each morning when in-market focused on helping a thriving newspaper leverage its credibility, audience, and content to maximize revenue. I'm just so honored to help this amazing industry adapt and thrive in such an ever-changing media landscape."



About The Blinder Group

More than 350 media companies throughout the world have worked with The Blinder Group, a team of highly experienced trainers/advisors who assist clients in maximizing their revenue opportunities through effective onsite sales training and revenue generation programs. 

As founder and president of The Blinder Group, Mike Blinder is an internationally recognized expert on media advertising and author. His book Survival Selling reviews the fundamentals of B2B sales and has been acclaimed as a “must read” by managers and salespeople in all industries.



Becky Bork

Ad Director

Wick Communications, Sierra Vista (AZ) Herald

515-423-6518(m) |


Dennis Sheely

Director of Sales & Marketing

Digital First Media, NorCal Community Media

707-330-7528(m) |


David Prizer

Director of Digital Marketing

Gatehouse Media, Eastern North Carolina Group

910.568.6866(m) |


Mike Blinder


The Blinder Group

917-865-4827(m) |

Ready to Get Your Sales Swagger Back?

Did you miss yesterday’s webinar on how to leverage digital to sell traditional media?

We pretty much had a full “virtual” house as Vendasta’s co-founder & CMO Jeff Tomlin and The Blinder Group president Mike Blinder discussed how blending digital solutions into your day-to-day sales tactics can result in HUGE gains in legacy media sales.

"I will never say digital is not important, but newspapers are still getting a good deal of that local advertising dollar,” said Mike Blinder during the webinar.

Mike shared great insights and research on why blending digital and legacy is so important as well as gave details on packages and presentations that have been used in markets throughout the U.S. to generate new ad revenue for media companies. “If we tell the story properly, if we package it properly, if we go to market with energy, with fervor…if we get that damn swagger back, we can have a pretty good year.”

Ready to head into your own market with energy and fervor?

You can watch the entire webinar by clicking here.

You can also get many of the support materials (including sales presentation decks) mentioned during the webinar by clicking here.


This year, The Blinder Group has generated over $5 million in new ad revenue for our client media companies, with nearly one half attributed to new legacy print dollars from new local advertisers!

There's no question that we need to focus on building our audiences and revenues from the digital side. However, does that mean our core, most profitable asset, has to be ignored?

George Leith, vice president of sales for Vendasta Technologies, and Mike Blinder, president of The Blinder Group, will be discussing how blending digital solutions into your day-to-day sales tactics can result in HUGE gains in legacy media sales. "Mike's deep understanding of media advertising sales is tremendous advantage and learning tool for media companies who want to unlock their full sales potential," said Leith.  "Vendasta is excited to have the opportunity to partner with The Blinder Group in this webinar, and to share our experiences and best practices to enable success for local marketers."

Please join them for this discussion on Wednesday, December 14th from 1-2 PM EST as we host a FREE WEBINAR on leveraging digital to sell traditional media. Click here to register now--virtual "seats" are limited for this one-time event.

Hope to see you online on the 14th!

Adding newspapers to your ad campaign triples ROI!

That's the type of information every newspaper company needs to be sharing with their advertisers, and you can even download a single sheet flyer HERE.

We hear too many local advertisers proclaim "print is dead" when in fact print is still the biggest driver of reach in a local ad campaign.

Make sure your reps are fully prepared to tell that story.

Make sure they read the fiindings of HERE.

Smart local businesses are continuing to invest a significant portion of their ad budgets in print ads.  Help your advertisers be smart!

And if you want a focused campaign to take this message to your market and drive revenue and market share to your newspaper, give us a call.





Twitter @Bobkellagher







Your Advertisers Think Paywalls Are An Intelligence Test...Are You Failing?

A recent article lists "6 Reasons Why Newspapers Have Dropped Their Paywalls."

We want to offer what should be a seventh reason - ADVERTISERS THINK PAYWALLS ARE STUPID."

We've made thousands of calls on local businesses across North America in the past couple of years, and several times a week the advertiser wants to talk about the local newspaper's paywall.  

Just to be clear, we've started asking these clients point blank how they feel about the paywall strategy.  Not one is in favor!

What we glean from all the discussion is that even though impression levels are usually guaranteed, the advertiser has an uneasy feeling that a paywall will tend to limit the audience for his advertising.

Generally, newspaper reps tend to backpedal when confronted with this objection, explaining that a lot of content is still free, and that users find ways around the paywall.  Which begs the question - Then why are you doing it?

If your paywall is going to stay in place, then you at least need to properly school your sales reps in having the paywall discussion with their advertisers.  The reps need to have specific, credible figures on unique users and page views, to bolster the idea that the paywall is not destroying readership.

Tomorrow morning, give your reps this short quiz"

1. How many unique users come to our website in an average month (or last month)?

2. Define "unique user."

3. How many page views do those users generate in an average month (or last month)?

4. Define a "page view."

5. EXTRA CREDIT - What has happened to our website audience numbers since our paywall was put in place?  Be specific.

You may find you have some work to do.  Let us know if we can help.





Twitter @Bobkellagher











Would your local media reps pass basic training?

Gordon Borrell doesn't always tell us what we want to hear, but he does tell the truth - and his truth is always backed up by data.

In a recent LinkedIn article Gordon reports on a study he did to investigate What SMB's Want From Local Media.

Gordon's pie chart indicates that 39% of the local business respondents want "Better pricing and better ROI."  OK, no surprise there.

The number two response is more revealing.  13% of those surveyed cited a need for "Better educated sales reps."

This mirrors what we see in our work in the field as we provide training for local media reps across America.

Give your sales reps this pop quiz, and prepared to be shocked:

- Describe the market area of our newspaper/station?

- How many readers/listeners does our newspaper/station attract in an average week?

- Describe the demograghic makeup of that audience, in terms of age, income, and male/female split?

- How many people visit your website in an average week or month?  How many page views do those visitors generate?

In our experience it is rare that a rep can answer those basic questions in a cogent, professional manner.

For extra credit, if you are a newspaper publisher, stop your reps on their way out of your building and expect them how big a 2 column X 5 inch ad is.  We are constantly amazed that reps struggle with this basic question, with many resorting to showing an approximate size using their fingers!

If the results of this quiz alarm you, it means you have some basic training to perform.  Call us if we can help.





Twitter @Bobkellagher







Facebook is eating your lunch, and Gordon Borrell has the stats to prove it.

Three years ago we started warning our local media clients about the potential power of Facebook, and suggesting strategies to compete with the new local ad phenomenon.

The only thing we underestimated was how quickly Facebook local advertising would become a force to be reckoned with in terms of LOCAL market share.  Not surprising in retrospect, since Facebook rolled out a product that:

- Is effective

- Is easy to buy and manage

- Is precisely targeted to the advertiser's best prospects

- Does not require a long term commitment

- Provides easy to understand dynamic reporting to track ROI

Borrell Associates' latest Facebook research is putting some numbers on the hurt.  You can read Gordon Borrell's comments in this LinkedIn article.

The highlights are all about adoption rate and satisfaction.  

In one year, the percentage of SMB's who have tried Facebook advertising has skyrocketed from 33% to 60%.  Even more stunning, the satisfaction rate of those who have tried local Facebook advertising is a whopping 80%.  That means these business owners and managers are coming back for more, and they are telling their friends.  

Gordon lists the top five places where SMB's are cutting ad dollars to fund Facebook campaigns, and newspapers top the list.  

Publishers, it's time to drop your stupid assumptions that:

- Facebook is not local

- Facebook will never be a threat because they do not have feet on the street

- We should ignore Facebook because they are a competitor

We say if you can't beat 'em, join 'em AND fight 'em.  Specifically:

- Start offering the management of local Facebook ad campaigns as a service to advertisers.  You at least have a fighting chance at the 40% of SMB's who have not yet tried Facebook advertising.  Do not ever claim your local media company is "full service digital" until you can offer to manage any advertiser's ad campaign on any social media platform.

- Train your ad sales team to be Facebook advertising experts.  Once they learn the basics, give them a budget of $100 they can use to place Facebook campaigns for a client or two, giving them hands on experience with the buying and reporting.  

- Audit all your processes and procedures related to buying and monitoring the digital ad products you offer, and make sure your products:

- Are effective

- Are easy to buy and manage

- Are precisely targeted to the advertiser's best prospects

- Do not require a long term commitment

- Provide easy to understand dynamic reporting to track ROI

Now that is a VERY tall order, and some of you simply may not have it in you to become more competitive...but the Borrell data suggest the clock is ticking loudly.

If you want help honing your Facebook expertise and taking your digital products to market, we know a company that does that.





Twitter @Bobkellagher




Seven digital products you need to be offering local advertisers NOW!

We hear a lot of whining from local media markets these days.

Publishers still want to "protect" print revenues.

Sales reps complain about training gaps, and worry about fulfillment after the sale of digital products.

Advertisers are perplexed about the plethora of choices, and the lack of a single solution that will address their digital marketing needs.

That last item is, and always has been, the key for local media companies looking to survive and thrive for the next five years and beyond.

Local media companies, especially newspapers, are uniquely situated to be the primary provider of digital marketing products in every local market across the land.  That's because they have the deep relationships with many local businesses that competitors lack.    

To this day, however, publishers are guilty of selling what they have, and not what the advertiser needs.  That opens the door for every ilk of competitor, which these days are led by directory publishers, national Internet companies including Google, Facebook and Yelp, and local television stations.

The only antidote, and the only key to thriving in today's local market landscape, is to quickly and forcefully position your company as THE "full service digital provider" in your market.  You have to not just say it, but live it.

You and your sales teams need to stop joking that you are "dinosaurs" or "still trying to learn this digital stuff."  At the very least you should be reinforcing to your advertisers that you are "being trained to be real digital experts."  That is the message that will resonate with your advertisers and build their trust in you as their guide to solve and exploit the digital arena.

Many of you are still offering banner ads on your websites with print ads in your newspapers, and calling it "multimedia."  Your advertisers could care less about multimedia; what they are seeking is smart digital solutions.  "Multimedia" is about your needs, not theirs.  

Here are the digital product lines you must have in place right now:

SOCIAL STREAMING.  Social media was flat out oversold to local advertisers over the past ten years.  The result was that they spent time and effort building social presences, especially on Facebook, which never delivered meaningful return on investment.  More recently, Facebook's changing rules regarding business pages have reduced the value of a "like" to roughly zero.  You need to walk your advertisers through all this, but you also have the opportunity to present a magnificent solution.  Solutions like the social streaming widget offered by Friends2Follow immediately put every social post on steroids, by displaying them to the thousands of local readers already coming to your media website for local news every day.

AUDIENCE EXTENSION NETWORKS.  Also known as behavioral targeting, reach extension, geotargeting, search retargeting, national network ads, or even programmatic...all these labels refer to using a national network of websites to target the best prospects for your advertiser.  Since these networks often utilize top name brand sites, they are by nature sexier to your advertisers than banners on your own website.  Get used to it.  More importantly, because geotargeting across national sites is a key feature of most programs, this product line gives you new found power with advertisers who have multiple locations, regardless of whether all those locations happen to fall within your newspaper footprint.  To get started quickly contact a vendor that specializes in the needs of local newspapers such as CWR Digital.

EMAIL MARKETING.  Publishers have largely overlooked or abandoned email marketing for third party advertisers, but demand remains fairly high across local markets.  You will not sell this line to hundreds of advertisers, but if you don't offer this line over time you will yield market share to competitors.  To avoid a ton of fulfillment work, consider outsourcing to an expert vendor such as Presslaff Interactive.

TEXT BASED PROMOTIONS.  A subset of your advertisers are wide open to text based programs because of the lure of geo-fencing, and quick measurable results.  Here again we recommend finding a good vendor that can help you scale your efforts quickly and seamlessly.  

WEB DEVELOPMENT.  Perhaps the most cantankerous of all product lines to manage, but if you don't offer the full gamut from simple templated sites to the most advanced database driven ones, you are yielding enormous market share, not to mention control of the advertiser's digital efforts, in your market.  Stop making excuses and find a solution that works.

FACEBOOK ADVERTISING AND GOOGLE ADWORDS.  Two different product lines, but they are very similar in what they mean to you.   Low margin lines that often require carefull fulfillment and maintenance.  We could ignore them except for the fact that they work!  If you don't handle these for your advertisers they will bypass you and go direct to these big national brands.  The model here is to buy advertising on the big platforms, and mark up the cost to cover your services to the advertiser.  You're a digital agency!

If you want to talk more about any or all of these, or better yet if you want to schedule a full blown digital sales campaign to accelerate your positioning in your local market, call us today.  We currently have some open weeks in the fall of 2016.  





Twitter @Bobkellagher











Are newspapers winning local digital?

According to the Great Gordon Borrell, newspapers are winning by a mile.

In a LinkedIn article "Guess Who's Winning in Digital" Gordon points out that "A single newspaper in any market tends to sell more digital advertising than any other entity in that market.  By a factor of five."

Powerful stuff.  Newspaper teams should be reprinting that article and sharing it with their advertisers, to help fan the flames of a bandwagon effect in their local markets.

Newspapers SHOULD dominate local digital.  As Gordon points out, the local newspaper usually has a much bigger sales force on the street than any other entity selling digital, and most national level digital competitors have zero feet on the street.

Part of the positioning we help provide when we at the Blinder Group work with a local newspaper team is to help condition advertisers to ignore the multiple phone calls they get from out of town types every day.  The newspaper team is the trusted source.

We have seen rapid movement toward "full service digital" product lines at local newspapers in the past few years.  Make no mistake that having the right products in place is key for those newspapers that are winning. 

There is still some resistance among publishers to low margin digital products such as web development and SEO solutions, but those who ignore those product lines will yield market share, and sometimes control of the advertisers, to the dark side inhabited by directory companies and pureplays.

This is year to flesh out your digital product lines and take a major digital sales effort to market.  Call if we can help.





Twitter @Bobkellagher