Two districts publish newsletters in NOW, Marketplace

Ads are more cost effective, disperse information quicker

Sept. 8, 2010

Monthly vs. quarterly, fresh vs. stale - officials at two North Shore school districts hope monthly pages about their districts in North Shore NOW and Marketplace will provide more timely news for their parents and community residents.

Both the Glendale-River Hills and Brown Deer school districts have changed one of their major communication tools this year, taking full-page advertisements in the papers, replacing quarterly publications used in the past. The newspaper ads provide blanket coverage to all residences in both of the districts, with NOW being delivered to subscribers Thursdays with the Journal Sentinel and Marketplace delivered to nonsubscribers.

Glendale-River Hills District Administrator Larry Smalley said the district will have 10 full-page ads in NOW and Marketplace, once a month from September through June, replacing its newsletter. The first page was published Sept. 2 in North Shore NOW.

"I live in Menomonee Falls and noticed last year they were doing it," Smalley said. "From a financial standpoint, it makes sense."

The district had used bulk mail to send its newsletter to residents living within its two ZIP codes at a cost of $13,000.

"The ads will cost us $8,900 for 10 months," Smalley said.

The $4,100 savings doesn't include the time Smalley and his administrative assistant, Mary Dressel, spent getting the newsletter together.

The turnaround time for the information in the ad is far shorter, Smalley said.

The district ad will appear on a set schedule, the first Thursday of every month.

Brown Deer's ad will appear on the second Thursday of the month, although its first ad was published on Aug. 26.

Community Services Specialist Barbara Fleming said the district has purchased 12 pages, but will use double pages in January and June and skip the months of December and July.

"January and June are the end of the semesters and I think we can use the extra space then," Fleming said.

The district spent about $10,000 a year to publish its Highlights newsletter and the ads will be roughly the same cost, Fleming said.

Highlights was published four times a year but because of the lead time required it took a month to develop an issue start to finish.

"We are responding to a need for more timely and more frequent pieces of information," Fleming said.

The district will have a Focus on Education link on the website as part of the package.

Both districts will evaluate the success of the ads at the end of the school year.

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