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General Info
Newspaper Clients
Getting it right
The production department
Getting It Right

Get more readers seeing your ad
Get more readers reading your ad
Get more readers responding

The department that builds the "live ads"--the final, typeset ads that will appear in the paper--is usually called the production department.

Unlike a spec ad that the creative department may build, these production people are required to follow to the letter whatever instructions you and your advertising representative give them, using as little creative license as possible.

That's because these live ads often go straight into the newspaper immediately after they're built, some without ever being shown to the customer, or even the advertising representative through a proof. A proof, by the way, is a copy of the finished ad that's brought out to the customer to sign off on just before the ad appears in the publication.

Since the ad information sent through to the production department is supposed to represent exactly what the advertiser wants, even the slightest change in design or content might result in an ad running that is not what the customer requested. And that might result in the customer refusing to pay for part or all of the ad.

Even when you do request a proof, you still should make sure you properly describe on paper exactly what you want your ad to look like. This will ensure that if a problem later arises and you request a full or partial adjustment to the cost of the ad, there's no finger pointing--every one knows exactly who was at fault as well as how to avoid the problem in the future.

This is why most newspapers' advertising representatives have a fairly formal procedure they must follow when communicating with their ad builders in the production department. Although you're not required to follow them, if you do, you'll rarely see an error appear in your ad, and when an error does appear, it probably won't be your fault.

Also, if you follow these guidelines, you'll be one of the production department's favorite advertisers, and they might just take that little bit of extra care when building your ad.

Next: The layout sheet


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