By: Heidi Kulicke
Subscribers in Martinsburg, W.Va., were treated this past November when they received a surprise deck of cards with their newspaper. But these weren’t just average cards — each card in the deck was sponsored by a local business or organization through a unique advertising campaign.
It all began when Laura Lowther of Progressive Printing pitched a creative money-making idea to Journal News sales director Judy Gelestor. Lowther had recently visited her family and noticed her hometown newspaper the Morning Times in Sayre, Pa. had sent her mother a deck of cards. “She was kind enough to bring the sample to me, and the advertising department loved the idea,” Gelestor said.
The sales team embraced the concept and had no trouble selling every card in the deck. A deck was delivered to each home subscriber of the Journal on Nov. 14, and the reader response was very positive, Gelestor said. “Several people called to say they liked the idea and will keep the cards as a keepsake, since local businesses sponsored them.” Progressive Printing sponsored the queen of diamonds card, and other sponsors ranged from local businesses to community icons such as libraries, schools, convention and visitors’ bureaus, and cultural venues.
“We would like to do the cards again; we’ll just need to see how they fit in with our other promotional plans in the future,” Gelestor said.
The deck of cards is a limited edition and is available for sale at the Journal office for $5 per deck.