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December 2008 / January 2009

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This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Verified's Customer Satisfaction Survey
Banks Need Advertising to Rebuild Customer Confidence
Free Community Newspapers Can Save 40% With Mail Class Alternative
Events Calendar
Millennial Journalists Leading New Media Usage
Get LinkedIn with Verified

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Chicago ReaderChicago Reader
CL Chicago, Inc.
Chicago, IL

Published since 1971, the Chicago Reader is widely recognized as one of the leading alternative weeklies in the U.S. The Reader is distributed at more than 1,400 locations; distribution begins on Thursday and is completed by Friday at 2:00 p.m. The Reader is distributed in Evanston, Rogers Park, Edgewater, Albany Park, Jefferson Park, Uptown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Old Town, Logan Square, Bucktown, Wicker Park, Near North, Loop, Printers Row/Near South, Near West Side, Pilsen, Hyde Park, and Beverly.

Washington City PaperWashington City Paper
CL Washington, Inc.
Washington, DC

Published since 1981, Washington City Paper is a general-interest publication and an online destination for local urban explorers. Washington City Paper is published every Friday. It is a controlled-circulation weekly, printed in a tabloid format on newsprint.

San Antonio Express NewsCancha
San Antonio Express News
San Antonio, TX

Cancha is designed to meet the information needs of San Antonio's first-generation Hispanics who prefer to receive their news in Spanish. Since the majority are from Mexico, Cancha provides a regular source of news from Mexico and is available at convenient locations with high Hispanic density.

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Verified's Customer Satisfaction Survey

Verified's Customer Satisfaction SurveyWe cordially invite you to take our short customer satisfaction survey. The survey will ensure that Verified continues to meet your needs. Your responses will help guide our path in the coming years, and the results will be published in a future issue of ViewPoint.

Approximate time to complete survey: 5 minutes.

Click here to take survey now!

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Banks Need Advertising to Rebuild Customer Confidence

Banks Need Advertising to Rebuild Customer ConfidenceOne of the nation's largest ad sectors, financial services, cut spending 10% in the first three quarters of 2008 to $5.3 billion, the Nielsen Co. said.

Even in the face of tough economic times, banks continue to see marketing as an important part of doing business. According to the American Bankers Association's (ABA) 22nd annual bank marketing survey, nonsalary marketing expenditures exceeded $10 billion for 2007, down only 1.6% from 2006. Marketing was a key part of a bank's business picture in 2008 and will continue to be one in 2009, said Maggie Kelly, the ABA's Vice President of Marketing.

Erosion of confidence in banks, both big and small, is growing. According to the market research company Morpace Inc., only 38% of consumers are "very confident" in the banking industry, compared with 44% (already a record low) in the company's September survey. Furthermore, consumer confidence in consumers' personal banks—which had been at 71% in September—fell three percentage points to 68%.

Banks are looking to assure customers that their money is safe, particularly as ownership of many banks and financial services companies changes. "There's an increase in assurance going out to 'current' customers," said Pamela McHugh, President of Mintel Comperemedia. "When we're looking at all the mergers and acquisitions taking place, there are new players, and the communication tends to be reassurance to old customers and reassurance to [newly acquired] ones."

More ad dollars are being spent on savings-oriented products, such as CDs and deposit accounts. In addition, banks are promoting their client services. "Banks will continue to put out a message of safety and soundness of their investments," said Kelly. "Recognizing there's going to be a decline for loans, banks are going to be providing more of a service to customers on saving strategies and financial education."

There are, however, a few bright spots for financial services advertising ahead. Investment companies and their Web units increased spending 6% compared with the same period a year ago. Financial/investment services were the top category among financial services this year and last year, with $1.19 billion in 2007 and $1.23 billion so far in 2008. Investment Web sites, which are broken out as a separate category, were up 16%.

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Free Community Newspapers Can
Save 40% With Mail Class Alternative

Free Community Newspapers Can Save 40% With Mail Class Alternativeby Ryan Duques, Community Media Consulting

Do you publish a community newspaper? Does it publish local news on a regular interval at least four times per year? Does your paper maintain at least a 25% news hole?

If you answered yes to these questions, there is a good chance that your publication meets the criteria to become a Periodical Requester.

Paid newspapers have long enjoyed discounted rates at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). However, few free newspaper publishers are aware that their papers too can take advantage of Periodical Class mail and all of its advantages.

The U.S. Postal Service has set aside a strict set of guidelines for free newspapers that wish to meet the criteria and qualify for Periodical Requester status. Read more about the USPS rules.

Community newspapers that take advantage of this class of mail can save up to 40% over Standard (Bulk) Mail. Periodical Requester savings were increased in August 2007 when the USPS extended "In County" rates, which had been reserved exclusively for paid periodicals to requested products.

What are the obstacles to becoming qualified? The biggest challenge is to attain at least 50% +1 requesters for your publication. This means that if your free distribution newspaper has a circulation of 10,000 copies, you must have at least 5,001 requests for the mailed portion.

Acquiring that many requests can seem like a daunting task. However, a well thought out campaign for a well-read community newspaper usually results in meeting the requester requirement in between 3 and 9 months. Attaining requests should be done using signature cards in the newspaper, direct mail or via email. Requests attained using email require special information.

Additionally, publications wishing to becoming qualified must meet all of the USPS guidelines, which include:

  1. 25% minimum news hole (original content)
  2. 24 page minimum (broadsheet or tabloid)
  3. Must publish on a regular interval

When a publication has met all of the USPS criteria, an application with supporting documentation is then filed with the postmaster at the known office of publication (i.e., your publication's local post office).

In addition to the cost savings, Periodical Requester status also gives community papers priority in the mail stream over other publications and direct mail pieces delivered using Standard Mail. Periodical Requested pieces must also be delivered to the designated address or they are returned to the office and removed from the mailing list, which increases the effectiveness and efficiency of your mailings.

To learn more about Periodical Requester status visit or

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Events Calendar

Suburban Newspapers of America Spring Publisher's Conference
February 3–6, 2009
Tampa, FL

Email Evolution Conference 2009
February 9–11, 2009
Scottsdale, AZ

User Generated Content Conference & Expo (UGCX)
February 9–10, 2009
San Jose, CA

NNA 48th Annual Government Affairs Conference
February 18–20, 2009
Washington, DC

Minnesota Free Paper Association Annual Conference
Feburary 27–28, 2009
Minneapolis, MN

Inland's Key Executives Conference
February 22–25, 2009
San Antonio, TX

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information


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Millennial Journalists Leading New Media Usage

New MediaWhile journalists across all age groups and beat assignments are rapidly adopting social media tools into their everyday work, the greatest usage is shown by young "Millennial Generation" journalists.

Preliminary findings about these Millenial Generation journalists, shared by the Society for New Communications Research Symposium, showed that 100% of Millennial respondents (i.e., 18–29 year-olds) believe new media and communications tools are enhancing journalism, versus 40% in the 50–64 demographic.

Don Middleberg, formerly Associate Professor of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, said that "The most...significant finding of this...survey is the rapid adoption of new media and online communication among all journalists. The disparity in usage and perceived value of these new tools and technologies to the future of journalism is particularly striking among the youngest demographic versus the oldest."

The study, conducted by SNCR and Middleberg Communications, includes the following key findings:

  • 87% of 1829 year-olds believe bloggers have become important opinion-shapers, versus 60% of 5064 year-olds
  • 87% of 1829 year-olds confirm that new media and communications enhances the relationship with their audience, versus 42% of 5064 year-olds
  • 48% of all respondents use LinkedIn, and 45% use Facebook to assist in reporting
  • 68% of all respondents use blogs to keep up on issues or topics of interest
  • 86% of all respondents use company websites, 71% use Wikipedia, and 46% use blogs to research an individual organization

Said Middleberg, "We have new ways to reach and communicate with a whole new generation of journalists. The communications professionals who embrace these changes will be far more effective and successful."

While it's not entirely surprising, notes the report, that this younger generation of journalists are users of these new communications tools... they understand how to use them effectively in their work and are pushing the journalism profession as a whole to create a more collaborative, reciprocal, interactive, and fluid form of journalism.

MillennialsWhat is striking about this survey, says the report, is that it is very clear that the "Millennials"—the younger journalists entering the workforce—are adopting new media and social tools more readily and seeing their value, especially in terms of collaborating with their peers and strengthening their relationships with their audiences and the people in the areas they cover.

Final results of the study are scheduled for release in the Spring of 2009. For more information, please visit this site.

2008 MediaPost Communications

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Get LinkedIn with Verified

Join Verified on LinkedInVerified is proud to announce the creation of a new group on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is an online network of more than 30 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.

Read More About LinkedIn

Verified has created a group on LinkedIn. This is an online space where issues and challenges can be discussed and where ideas can be exchanged. LinkedIn's Groups Directory allows you to find communities of professionals who share a common experience, interest, or affiliation.

Join Verified on LinkedInCome join us!
Click here to become a member today!

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Verified Audit Circulation
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Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6007 fax


2008 Verified Audit Circulation.