As many of you know, when it comes to technology I consider myself a neophyte. Luckily for our customers and for myself, there are many folks employed by TownNews.com who understand how to use the technology that exists to build great products.

One of those products is our new BLOX Content Management System (CMS) that is being rolled out to current and new customers. The comments and reviews from new and potential customers have been outstanding. It is like moving blocks around on the page. Be sure to join one of our online webinars or ask your regional sales manager for a demo.

But this column is not about technology, this is about all the other services that TownNews.com offers: services that can grow revenue and build your bottom line. The knowledge and the expertise of our staff have been developed through years of work in the media business: newspapers, Internet, radio, TV and Yellow Pages in large markets and small. Our staff is focused on providing solutions that will help you grow revenue in the current economic climate. Below are just some of the areas where we can provide help to your organization.

SWAT/Sales training: Our SWAT team has sold more than $50 million in online advertising since its inception. Every week, this highly skilled group of ten sales consultants is on the road training local sales representatives at newspapers on how to sell Web advertising, everything from banner ads to search engine advertising. They also visit advertisers and help the newspaper representative close the deal. Not only do they generate revenue, but they also help train sales staffs. We also can visit your market and conduct extensive sales training in preparation for one of our SWAT sessions.

Sales Staff Optimization: Is your sales staff organized to take advantage of the changing media landscape? Do you have the right number of salespeople? Have they been trained to sell your Web site and do they understand competitive media? Do you have the right compensation plan in place to attract and reward your best performers?

Pricing: Are your products, print and online, priced correctly? When was the last time you reviewed your rate card and studied how it is used? Are you giving away revenue with excessive discounts? Has your Web traffic shown drastic increases in traffic, but your pricing has stayed the same?

Research: We know that in tough times one of the first areas cut is in research, but without the research how can your sales staff sell your products in the market? Do they know how many people read your paper? What are the demographics of your print and online readers? Are your online readers also your print readers or are you reaching a different market?

Creative Services: Now that you have sold the ad it needs to be created. Don’t have the expertise or time? Don’t worry! Our creative services division can meet all your needs, including video, and turn the work around quickly.

DotConnect Media: Our national advertising service sells premium campaigns onto newspaper Web sites throughout the country. In addition, we fill all unsold inventory on your site with remnant advertising. We write checks to you every month. Can we start writing you checks?

Ad-Owl: Yes, this is technology, but this is one product that is guaranteed to generate incremental revenue for your site. Pay your bills online? Book your flights online? Why not let your readers place, price and pay for their classified ads online without having to talk to anyone? We know from experience that when consumers have the opportunity to do this on their own time, they buy bigger ads and spend more money with you. As an added benefit, this product frees up your inbound call takers to solicit new business.

You see, we are a lot more than a technology company. We have a wealth of expertise and knowledge and more importantly, we are here to help. To learn more about these services, drop me a line, ckolsky@townnews.com, or give me a call at 1-800-293-9576 ext. 3014