WVPA staff visits newspaper staff to help with sales and training
WINFIELD — When Chris and Kelly Stadelman purchased the Putnam Standard and Cabell Standard newspapers in August, the couple were quick to talk with the West Virginia Press Association about maximizing the benefits of that professional relationship.
Chris is a former WVPA board member, and he and Kelly have both been involved in WVPA activities and events and have experienced the benefits of association seminars and trainings. With that background, the Stadelmans knew the potential gain of an active WVPA relationship for their two weekly newspapers.
In September, WVPA advertising director Samantha Smith and Executive Director Don Smith visited the Standard newspapers to meet the staff, explain the WVPA operation and discuss the newspapers’ operations.
For the Stadelmans, the WVPA visit allowed them to provide their staff with an overall continuing education program, along with a sales training.
“Kelly and I are familiar with many of the great services available through the West Virginia Press Association, and we appreciate the value membership brings. Having Don and Samantha talk to our staff was a huge benefit because they were able to share the information directly with all of our departments and show how our efforts can benefit each other. I would encourage all newspapers to bring them in for an educational presentation.”
Samantha met with the Stadelmans and their staff to discuss advertising initiatives and sales techniques. Smith provided information on customer inventories, annual advertising plans and sales calls. She also explained the West Virginia Press Service’s role as the WVPA’s advertising agency and the programs available to newspapers.
“We hope this meeting and discussion helps the newspaper staff and helps the WVPS increase its advertising placements in the Standard newspapers,” Samantha Smith said. “My goal is to place more advertising in the association’s newspapers. That’s easier when everyone understands the process, the programs and what today’s advertising clients are wanting from our newspapers. There are great people working at our newspapers. It’s our job to reach out and see how we can help them and make their job easier. We really are part of their sales team.”
Smith said newspaper visits improve communications and understanding of the relationship between the newspapers and the association. “We hope to visit all the newspapers as time allows and anyone wanting more immediate help can give me a call at 304-342-1011, ext. 161, or email at [email protected].”
Executive Director Don Smith outlined the goals of the WVPA and the resources available through the associations. From the website – wvpress.org – to the new WVPA Sharing Network, the legal hotline and state and national issues, Smith said the WVPA works to assist member newspapers. “We have worked hard in the last year to add value to a membership in the WVPA,” he said.
He also discussed the value of the WVPA Foundation and its scholarship and internship programs.
Stadelman Publishing acquired both weekly Standard publications from PC Newspapers Inc., owned by Bill Unger.
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The Standard staff members include office manager Trudy Black, designer Michelle Jividen, circulation manager David Miller, advertising sales person Thelma Hutchinson and reporter Justin Waybright.
Kelly serves as president and Chris as publisher for both the Putnam Standard and Cabell Standard. Stadelman Publishing previously owned and operated The Parsons Advocate, a weekly newspaper in Tucker County, from 2004 until 2011. Both Kelly and Chris were involved on a day-to-day basis in the newspaper’s operation. Chris also spent 10 years at the Charleston Daily Mail, serving as business editor, city editor and managing editor between 1994 and 2004.
In addition to the Standard newspapers, the couple also operates Stadelman Consulting, a research and public affairs company that works throughout West Virginia and surrounding states. They will continue consulting work, including joint projects with The Manahan Group, owned by their longtime friend George Manahan.
Along with continuing staff development, the Stadelmans have been reaching out to the community, attending community meetings and visiting schools and businesses.
“Kelly and I are passionate about newspapers, community journalism in particular,” Chris said. “While we will never shy away from covering important and controversial stories, we understand that what people want is an accurate reflection of their community. We will spend most of our time covering people where they live – their schools, athletic fields, churches and similar gathering places.”
To talk with Advertising Director Samantha Smith about a visit to your newspaper or a WVPA sales training, call 304-342-1011, ext. 161 or e-mail [email protected].