iewPoint | Volume 2 | Number 8 | August 2006
A forum for news about Verified and the business in which we thrive.

This Month's Features:
Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Blogs: To Edit or Not to Edit?
Marketing Specifically to the Gay Consumer
B2B Media and Trade Shows Most Important to Executives
Events Calendar
Guide to Your Audit: Sponsored/Third-Party Sales


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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Directorio en Español Fort Worth 2005–2006
Directorio en Español Orlando 2006–2007
Directorio en Español Houston South 2005–2006
VEGA Directorio en Español DC/Maryland 2005–2006
HYP Network, LLC
Orlando, FL

Hispanic Yellow Pages Network's goal is to publish the best Spanish-language yellow pages directories in the U.S., providing valuable information to users and an effective vehicle for local businesses to reach the Hispanic consumer. HYP Network celebrates and supports the rich heritage of the Hispanic community in the edition's metro area.


Irrigation & Green Industry
ISG Communications, Inc.
Reseda, CA

Irrigation & Green Industry is a national monthly trade publication serving the upper management of landscape contracting companies: business owners, presidents, partners, and managers. The editorial mission of the publication is to keep the readers informed, educated, and up-to-date on emerging industry technologies and trends. The focus is to help top-level management teams make better business decisions and increase their profits and market share. Irrigation & Green Industry covers all facets of the landscape contractor's responsibilities, including landscaping, irrigation, fertilization, hardscapes, landscape lighting, waterscapes, construction, maintenance, service, software, and business issues.



Vineyard Gazette, Inc.
Edgartown, MA

Martha's Vineyard Magazine acquaints Vineyarders and visitors alike with the island that might otherwise go undiscovered and unnoticed, from sea and waterfront to wilderness and farmland, from home and garden to studio and gallery. In stories written with substance, clarity, insight and humor—and with photography and paintings created by pre-eminent local artists—Martha's Vineyard Magazine illustrates in word and image why the Vineyard is different from everywhere else in the world. And it satisfies readers who are endlessly curious about how they can make the very most of the time they spend here—no matter what the time of year.


My Family Doctor
Hubbard Publishing, LLC.
Colorado Springs, CO

Written by healthcare professionals, My Family Doctor provides positive, practical, mainstream medical information and advice to the general public. Its companion Website, www.myfamilydoctormag.com, includes past articles along with excerpts from current ones.


Paintball 2Xtremes
National Paintball Supply
Sewell, NJ

Paintball 2Xtremes (PB2X) is one of the most sought-after, respected, and read publications in paintball. In just six short years, PB2X has become the magazine that sets the pace in the industry. With some of the most talented writers and photographers in paintball, each issue of PB2X is packed with hard-hitting articles and photography you won't find anywhere else. PB2X covers every aspect of paintball including the professional and amateur tournament circuits, scenario games, new products and gear, and industry happenings.




Blogs: To Edit or Not to Edit?

Experts estimated that 75,000 blogs are created every day. In this interconnected world, bloggers have a tremendous amount of power. Writing a blog can be like publishing a story on the front page of every newspaper in the world.

With newspapers of all sizes rushing to get on the blog bandwagon, there are some serious questions arising about the potential dangers—especially the legal liabilities.

According to Robert A. Blackstone, partner in the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, "There is a lag between newspaper publishers' rush to monetize blogs and at the same time making sure their ethics policies and internal editorial controls keep up with the rollout of new forms of technology and content."

The case for editing blogs is strong. Chad Milton, one of the top media-liability authorities in the country says, "I don't want to tell editors how to do their job, but I think there's a balance between editing for liability and persevering the spontaneity of a blog. I think publishers are having a little bit of a hard time figuring our what is different about a blog, and how do you treat it differently."

Milton goes on to say, "My advice to publishers and editors is that knowing there's liability for a blog on their Website, they probably should edit them."

The Houston Chronicle, one of the most active players in the blog arena, follows Milton's advice. Scott Clark, vice president of houstonchronicle.com says, "All of the blogs we publish that are written by full-time, part-time employees, or freelancers, are edited as the paper is edited."

But there's a sticky question—who is responsible for the blog if the blog is edited by the newspaper, either before or after posting? Could a newspaper be held responsible for libel because the paper has posted a new, altered version?

In 1996, Section 230 was passed as part of the Communication Decency Act and has been a valuable tool for online intermediaries. Section 230 says: "No provider or user of an interactive computer services shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

In addition, "No cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any state or local law that is inconsistent with this section." The courts have used Section 230 to support "traditional" Internet service providers but have also treated many different companies as "interactive computer service providers."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (a staunch supporter of Section 230), however, gives this warning: "If you edit the statement, 'Fred is not a criminal' to remove the word 'not,' a court might rule that you have sufficiently contributed to the content to take it as your own. Likewise, if you link to an article but provide a defamatory comment with the link, you may not qualify for the immunity."

The court has yet to clearly define the line between acceptable editing and when you become the "information content provider" and lose the protection of Section 230. According to some legal experts, any editing threatens that protection.

Many newspapers are now following the "hands off" strategy by posting prominent rules about acceptable user behavior and acting as a monitor, not editor. They give users a way to notify the paper about errors, omissions, and potentially libelous third-party postings. They use special technology to protect against certain types of behavior, such as profanity or severe personal attacks.

David Finger, the attorney who represented "John Doe1" in the case against defamatory postings on a blog in the Delaware State News, says, "I recommend a prominent disclaimer at the top of a newspaper's home page making clear that the site is an open forum for public expression on the issues of the day, and that the newspaper does not engage in oversight, editing, or approval of postings."

He also suggests an added disclaimer, such as, "The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the newspaper or its staff or advertisers."

Some of the papers now using this approach are washingtonpost.com and www.STLtoday.com. At STLtoday.com, the disclaimer states, "The St. Louis Dispatch and STLtoday.com want to foster a spirit of community involvement and conversation. At the same time, we can't have objectionable material on the site. You should also know that we don't edit or review posts before they go live. So we're asking for your help. In the spirit of that free exchange of ideas, keep the conversation clean and respectful."

Some experts suggest that newspapers need to seriously review their existing policies and ethics guidelines. The Los Angeles Times and New York Times have already created separate policies on blogs. It is also important for newspapers to address liability issues that may apply to other technology-driven channels such as podcasts, RSS feeds, and wireless dispatches.




Marketing Specifically to the Gay Consumer

According to an annual report by Rivendell Media in New Jersey and New York's Prime Access Inc., last year marked the first time that advertising with gay-specific content comprised more than half of all ads in 151 reviewed U.S. gay and lesbian publications. According to the same study, ads with specifically gay-themed content generated $212 million in revenue in 2005, a 2.5 percent increase over 2004.

Three years ago, gay-specific content comprised just 9.9% of all ads. "Marketers used to approach the market by taking whatever mainstream advertising they had and running it in GLBT publications, but that's changed," said Howard Buford, founder and president of Prime Access. "The bar's been raised...the ad content is targeting the gay audience."

As with other niche markets, this approach seems to pay off. "The more targeted the advertising, the greater response in terms of recall and eventual purchase patterns," added Buford.

"You can no longer have your product with a little rainbow flag next to it and expect to reach the gay and lesbian audience," said Jeff Soukup, chief operating officer at San Francisco's PlanetOut, which owns Websites Gay.com and PlanetOut.com, as well as print publications, The Advocate and Out.

Robert Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, a Washington marketing and public relations firm that specializes in gay and lesbian consumers, said many corporations have matured in their approach to the market, targeting different segments, rather than treating it as one indistinguishable group.

"Not all gay people are the same," he said. "We're not homogeneous even though we have the word homosexual."

Soukoup expressed the same message: "You need to be very targeted. When Jaguar advertises, they don't show a car. They show a gay or lesbian couple walking toward it hand in hand."

However, not everyone is in favor of the increase in targeted advertising. Last year, the American Family Association, a conservative group, urged consumers to boycott Ford Motor Co. because of its advertising in gay media and its internal policies recognizing same-sex couples.

"There has not been any evidence of success on the part of these conservative organizations to silence companies that are interested in the gay market," said Michael Wilke, founding executive director of the Commercial Closet Association, a nonprofit group that tracks images of gays and lesbians in advertising. "Companies today recognize that they can't afford to lose any customers."

A quick snapshot of the gay and lesbian market:
  • There are 15 million gay, lesbian and transgender adults in the US or 6.8% of all US households
  • They represent $641 billion in buying power
  • $42,700 is their average per-capita buying power
  • There was $232 million spent on gay media and sponsorships in 2005
  • There are 175 Fortune 500 brands that actively market to gay consumers



B2B Media and Trade Shows Most Important to Executives

A study by Harris Interactive recently reported on the importance of business-to-business (B2B) media among executives in companies with $5 million or more in annual sales.

According to the study, B2B media are held in high regard among executives, with a strong majority who consider B2B magazines and Websites to be more informative and reliable than general media sources.

The study, conducted between February and April 2006 with 588 completed interviews is said to be projectable to the entire B2B industry. A minimum of 40% of the sample was among senior executives who are Vice President level or higher at their company.

Key findings include:
  • B2B media have remained an important resource for executives who, on average, report reading 4.2 B2B magazines and visiting 7.4 B2B websites in the past month
  • Senior executives report higher regular usage of B2B magazines than mid-level executives
  • Attendance at trade shows continues to be important, particularly among senior level executives who report attending close to 3 trade shows per year, compared to mid-level executives who report attending close to 2 per year.
  • When asked what source of information executives rely on to do their job best, B2B magazines (41%) comes out on top as the single most mentioned resource, well above any general business media.
Executives report that they are more engaged/involved with B2B media than with general business magazines, television, and newspapers. In particular, sales representatives and B2B magazines are the most engaging/involving (though 4 in 10 executives say they are spending less time with sales representatives than they did 5 years ago), followed closely by B2B trade shows, B2B Websites and B2B conferences or seminars.

During all phases of the purchasing process, a synergy of different B2B media offers executives the guidance they want every step of the way. The most used resources throughout the research process, at each level, are:

Start thinking about purchase:
1) B2B websites, 2) B2B sales people, 3) B2B magazines

Begin researching options:
1) B2B websites, 2) B2B sales people, 3) B2B magazines

Narrow down choices:
1) B2B sales people, 2) B2B websites, 3) B2B magazines

Make a final decision:
1) B2B sales people, 2) B2B websites, 3) B2B magazines and trade shows

Review after purchase:
1) B2B sales people, 2) B2B websites, 3) B2B magazines

Different B2B media are perceived by executives as having different strengths.

Executive Perception of Top Media Type Strength
 Top Strength
% Made or recommended purchase due to ad in this medium
B2B MagazinesTrust
57%
B2B WebsitesImmediacy
49%
Trade showsRaise awareness of products
70%
Source: Harris Interactive, June 2006

Advertisements in different B2B media spur different types of action on the part of executives, according to the study:
  • B2B magazines are a great way to direct executives to the web, either to find additional information (79%) or to make a purchase through the Internet (39%). Almost six in 10 executives (57%) say that an advertisement in a B2B magazine prompted them to purchase or recommend purchase of a product or service.

  • Trade shows also drive executives to seek additional information either on the web (77%), by talking to a sales person (73%) or calling an 800 number (40%). Trade shows, with their hands-on advantage, are great places to make a sale, with seven in 10 (70%) executives purchasing or recommending the purchase of a product or service directly as a result of advertising/promoting at a trade show.

  • Advertising on B2B websites led slightly over one in three (35%) to directly make a purchase over the Internet and half (49%) to purchase or recommend purchase of a product or service.
Please see The Harris Study for more complete information.

© 2006 MediaPost Communications. "Research Brief"




Events Calendar

Suburban Newsp. of America 2006 Fall Publishers & Ad Directors Conf.
September 12–15, 2006
The Adolphus, Dallas, TX
www.suburban-news.org

140th Annual Missouri Press Association Convention & Trade Show
September 14–16, 2006
Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, MO
www.mopress.com

Independent Free Papers of America and Mid-Atlantic
Community Papers Association Joint Fall Conference
September 20–23, 2006
Hershey Hotel, Hershey, PA
www.ifpa.com and www.macpa.net

Online Media, Marketing & Advertising Conference and Expo-New York City
September 25–27, 2006
NY Marriott Marquis, New York, NY
www.mediapost.com

Inter American Press Association 62nd General Assembly
September 29–30, 2006
Mexico City, Mexico
www.sipiapa.org

Inter American Press Association
September 29–October 3, 2006
Hotel Camino Real, Mexico City, Mexico
www.sipiapa.com

INMA North American Smart Newspapers Marketing Conference
October 5–6, 2006
The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
www.inma.org

Big Idea's Creative Expo 2006
October 11–12, 2006
Southfield Civic Center Pavilion, Southfield, MI
www.bigideaweb.com

National Newspaper Association 120th Convention and Trade Show
October 11–14, 2006
Renaissance Hotel, Oklahoma City, OK
www.nna.org

Arizona Newspaper Association Fall Convention
October 12–14, 2006
Chaparral Suites, Scottsdale, AZ
www.ananews.com

Midwest Free Community Newspapers Fall Conference
October 13–14, 2006
Crowne Plaza, Cedar Rapids, IA
www.mypaper.com

Southern Newspaper Publishers Association Annual Convention
October 15–18, 2006
Ritz-Carlton, Naples, FL
www.snpa.org

American Magazine Conference 2006
October 22–24, 2006
Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, Phoenix, AZ
www.magazine.org

Folio: 2006
October 23–25, 2006
Hilton New York, New York, NY
www.folioshow.com

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com.




Guide to Your Audit: Sponsored/Third-Party Sales

Verified defines Sponsored/Third-Party Circulation as multiple (5 or more) copies or subscriptions purchased by a person, business, or organization other than the recipient. Sponsored/Third-Party Circulation can be either single copy or subscription.

To qualify as Sponsored/Third-Party Circulation, copies must meet all the requirements of paid circulation. A minimum of 25% of the basic single copy price or the stated subscription rate must be received by the publication. Copies or subscriptions can't be purchased by a sponsor and then resold.

For the audit, you should maintain detailed records of the sponsorship—including the date, name, address, total copies/subscriptions purchased, and proof of payment (deposit slip, check copy, credit card receipt, etc.).

If subscriptions are purchased, you should also maintain complete subscriber records—including name, address, sponsor payment amount, payment date and expiration date. If sponsorship is for single copies, please maintain a route list that indicates the location and number of copies distributed.

Total Sponsored/Third-Party Circulation may not exceed 10% of the average paid weekly circulation for a publication. For example, if the average weekly circulation is 5,000, the average sponsored circulation can't be more than 500 copies.

When a sponsor or third party purchases copies or subscriptions, the purchase should be separate from any other financial agreements between the sponsor and the publication. If sponsored copies or subscriptions are sold in conjunction with advertising, the contract should clearly state the costs directly associated with this sale from the costs of advertising.

Sponsored/third-party sales can be a win-win situation. It can help build strong relationships with advertisers and increase your publication's circulation. Developing well thought-out partnerships can highlight the value of your publication and increase your reputation in the community.

If you have any questions, please contact Verified at 415-461-6006.



Please send comments and story ideas to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 295
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
Phone: (415) 461-6006
Fax: (415) 461-6007

© 2006 Verified Audit Circulation.