Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
February 2014

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This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Customer Satisfaction Survey Results
Marketers Plan Surge In Social Media Spending But Don't Know How to Quantify Its Impact
Events Calendar
Renewal Notices and First Impressions
New Regimes Set New Goals at Boston Globe, Washington Post
Updated Telemarketing Guide Available

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

OC Register MagazineOC Register Magazine
Freedom Communications
Santa Ana, CA
OC Register Magazine is a new, twice-a-month glossy publication that is included with home-delivered copies of the Orange County Register every other Monday.

OC MetroOC Metro
Freedom Communications
Santa Ana, CA
OC Register Metro is the region's only leadership-focused glossy magazine published for Orange County executives, entrepreneurs and professionals.

OC Family
OC Family Freedom Communications
Santa Ana, CA
OC Register Family, the most-honored family publication in the region, has been the go-to source for Orange County parents for more than 15 years.

Southland Golf
Freedom Communications
Southland Golf Santa Ana, CA
Southland Golf has kept Southern California golf enthusiasts entertained and informed since 1995.


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Customer Satisfaction Survey Results

Customer Satisfaction SurveyThank you to everyone who took the time to answer Verified's customer satisfaction survey!

In accordance with our goal of continual improvement, the customer satisfaction survey measures satisfaction overall and in specific areas to help us determine what kinds of improvement would be most meaningful to our clients.

We are pleased with the results. When asked, "Overall, how satisfied are you with the employees of our company?" 66.7% of respondents said that they were extremely satisfied with Verified's employees and 16.7% said they were satisfied for a total satisfaction level of 83.4%. When asked if they would recommend Verified to people they know, 83.3% said they would.

Your feedback and comments will allow us to further evaluate our operations and continually improve the services we are able to offer you. Thank you again for your time and input!

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Marketers Plan Surge In Social Media Spending
But Don't Know How to Quantify Its Impact

Social Media Spending UpBrand marketers say they will more than double the share of their budgets being allocated to social media – boosting it to an average of 18.1% from 7.4% currently – according to a national survey of CMOs released today by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

The findings, which are based on the responses of 408 top U.S. marketing executives participating in the email-based survey fielded early this year, indicate that marketers are boosting their social media spending even though they cannot quantitatively show its benefit.

The study found that nearly half of respondents said "they have no proof it helps," and more than a third (34.8%) said they only have a "qualitative sense" of its benefit.

Not surprisingly, the respondents said they plan to dramatically increase their spending on marketing analytics, boosting their budgets an average of 72%.

© MediaPost Communications 2014

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Events Calendar

Events CalendarMPA Meet the Innovator: Adobe
March 11, 2014
New York, NY

NNA mediaXchange 2014
March 16 – 19, 2014
Denver, CO

Digiday Publishing Summit
March 17 – 19, 2014
Vail, CO

WAN-IFRA Printing Summit 2014
March 19 – 20, 2014
Munich, Germany

MACPA Spring Conference
March 20, 2014
Harrisburg, PA

TCNA 2014 Annual Conference
March 21 – 22, 2014
San Antonio, TX

Understanding Content Marketing and Making Money from It
March 27, 2014
New York, NY

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


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Renewal Notices and First Impressions

Renewal Notices and First ImpressionsIn a recent FOLIO: Magazine article by Roy Beagley titled, "Renewal Notices and First Impressions: Know your audience and keep messages on target," Beagley discusses several important points every circulation executive must remember when sending out renewal notices.

According to Beagley, "Whether you are sending a new offer, a renewal effort, an invoice or an order acknowledgement, your outer envelope speaks volumes about your publication. Therefore, before you decide on outer envelope copy, make sure you understand your audience."

"'Yo Dude! Here's a mega awesome offer!' is probably not going to work well if you are offering a new subscription and your audience is CEOs, expectant mothers or students of English literature," says Beagley. Keep in mind the audience you are serving with both the offer and design.

Beagley points out that as well as keeping the message on target, it's just as important to urge the recipient to do something. Beagley says, "If I get an envelope that states: 'You need do nothing,' then I do nothing and throw the unopened envelope away. If I get an envelope that says: 'You need do nothing...but what about 5 extra issues?' my trash can may not fill up quite so quickly, since now I am intrigued by the offer."

Beagley also advises publishers to not rely exclusively on email when sending renewal notices but to also put at least a few renewal notices in the mail. He states, "Don't let 'being green' stop you from mailing some renewal efforts. And be creative. Done correctly, you will see a good response to mail efforts, probably better than your email response."

Beagley suggests mailing an acknowledgement of an order because you can use this opportunity to offer people an option to extend their subscription term or offer them other products. "This approach makes you look as if you really care (which you do) and get more revenue just for being nice."


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New Regimes Set New Goals at Boston Globe, Washington Post

New RegimesBig changes are afoot in the newspaper industry, including new owners at The Boston Globe and Washington Post, raising hopes that new management and fresh ideas will help these ailing newspapers turn the corner after years of declines.

But past experience suggests the odds are against a dramatic turnaround, as the new owners will face the same, inescapable trends of declining print ad revenue and mediocre digital growth.

New leadership arrived at The Boston Globe, where the new owner, John Henry Jr., a co-owner of the Boston Red Sox, assumed the title of publisher and announced the appointment of Mike Sheehan, former CEO of Hill Holliday, as CEO. Henry purchased The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette from The New York Times Co. in October of last year.

Not long after the deal was made public, Henry wrote a column setting out his vision for the Globe. After describing his own early background in civic activism, Henry noted that the rise of digital publishing has presented the public with numerous new sources of information, but he said there is a continued need for journalists as trusted, impartial observers and analysts.

He promised the Globe would be free from any partisan leanings, with balanced opinion columns representing both liberal and conservative viewpoints.

On the business side, Henry hinted at a digital subscription strategy, with paywalls requiring frequent readers to pay for online access to the newspaper's content.

Sheehan was optimistic about the prospects for advertising, stating: "More people read the quality journalism of The Boston Globe today than ever before. Whether it is in print, online or on a phone, our journalism is everywhere. The opportunity for advertisers to reach a highly educated, civically engaged audience in the fifth wealthiest DMA in the country is limitless."

Separately, The Washington Post, now owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, announced plans to hire dozens of new reporters, including five new political reporters, new photo editors, a breaking news desk, and data visualization specialists, among others.

The newspaper also plans to introduce a Sunday style and arts section and a new Sunday magazine, reversing years of shrinkage, as sections were chopped to cut costs. With Bezos calling the shots, it's no surprise the main focus will be on the newspaper's digital presence, although it's not yet clear what the new strategy will look like.

Indeed, in both cases, the new owners have announced their intention to make a mark and shake things up, but both have offered few details about how they plan to salvage the publishing business model, badly damaged by the rocky transition from print to digital distribution. The trend lines are all stacked against them.

Over the last decade, the New England Media Group at The New York Times Co., which included both the Globe and Gazette, saw total revenues fall 44% from $700 million in 2004 to $395 million in 2012, and this decline continued in the first nine months of 2013, when total revenues fell 6.3% to $269 million. Over the same period, The Washington Post saw its newspaper revenues fall 39% from $957 million in 2005 to $582 million in 2012; in the first half of 2013, the newspaper division's revenues fell 2% to $266 million.

It may be worth noting that over the last decade, a number of wealthy owners have tried to revive ailing newspapers, usually meeting with little success. The purchase of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News by a group of investors in 2006 set the stage for bankruptcy and high-profile legal battles for control of the dwindling company. In the latest development, earlier this month, one of the current owners, George Norcross, sued his co-owner Lewis Katz after the latter allegedly tried to initiate an auction of the beleaguered newspapers.

Similarly, Sam Zell's plan to take the Tribune Co. private ended in debacle, with a tortuous four-year-long bankruptcy prolonged by various factions battling for control of the company. After finally emerging from bankruptcy in December 2012, Tribune immediately revealed plans to dump its troubled newspapers, either through a sale or a spinoff – settling on the latter course when no suitable offers were forthcoming. The spinoff is expected to be complete sometime this year.

On the other side of the ledger, Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett has expressed optimism about the future for newspaper publishing – but it's worth noting that he has confined his optimism, and acquisitions, to smaller metro dailies and local papers serving midsized cities and towns. Berkshire conspicuously passed up chances to bid for bigger metro dailies like the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

© MediaPost Communications 2014

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Updated Telemarketing Guide Available

Verified Audit Circulation is releasing an updated version of its Telemarketing Guidelines shortly. The new guide will be available on Verified's website starting March 1, 2014.

Updates include changes to the company request and interactive voice response (IVR) requirements.

To download the updated guide, go to Click on Members and then Procedures & Regulations. The Telemarketing Guidelines is password protected. You must either be a Verified client or an associate member to access the guide.

If you have questions regarding the guide, please contact Verified at 415-461-6006.


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2013 Verified Audit Circulation