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Memo clarifies points on self-serve obits

Gannettoid.com | news@gannettoid.com | Posted: Sept. 8, 2009 • Morning report

Leslie Giallombardo, Gannett's vice president of advertising, sent out a memo Friday to clarify points about the company's plans to automate obituaries.

According to an Aug. 17 memo, the company was planning to begin self-serve publishing of obituaries at The Indianapolis Star, with a scheduled transition to begin this week. Friday's memo from Giallombardo said the schedule is being pushed back three weeks due to "unexpected delays with getting the production environment in place."

Here is the memo:

Update on self serve for obits and celebrations
Giallombardo, Leslie

Friday, September 04, 2009 4:41 PM
To: (removed)
Cc: (removed)

This note will serve to clarify a few frequently asked questions that were raised from you and notify you of some other updates/changes as well as clarify a few items uncovered in the rate proposals.

1. Production/ad flow: there will be a full technical briefing conducted by Annette Gould and the IT folks when you are closer to your launch. The first web-ex was to get everyone on board with the sales, marketing and pricing issues.

2. You will be receiving notice soon from Annette that the kickoff schedule will need to shift back 3 weeks. We have run into unexpected delays with getting the production environment in place. However, rates should be submitted as originally requested as it will take some time to review them.

3. Wave2 should enhance and not alter or add to your work flow. We would expect that pagination, toning, ad tracking will occur as it has with no changes.

4. There seemed to be confusion on where the pricing for obits will be done. Wave2 will be the rating engine which will then pass to your front end system and then on to G2 where the bill will be created.

5. Our goal is 100% adoption which will greatly improve or eliminate current processing time.

6. The corporate recommended rate card needs to be adopted by every newspaper. The only exception would be if you can exhibit substantial buy-back due to additions such as the discount program. For example, if you already have a majority of your customers buying 3 days with a 50% discount on the 3rd day, the 3rd day free might not make sense for you. These issues should be discussed with your rate proposal.

7. The discount program should be offered as a self service only option. There will no pick up discounts offered for ads placed via a call center. This is a value that the funeral home director can offer their clients. This should also limit the buy back discussed above.

Hope this clarifies a few things.



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