We feel that advertising will be an effective way to allow clients to share specialized messages with our targeted audience of almost 20,000 subscribers.
And, honestly, because we can (prospective advertisers are already lining up).
As Chief Communications Officer Bob Finnerty likes to point out, RIT News is one of few on-campus organizations that doesn’t charge for its work. Though one of the most prominent on-campus departments—serving the entire university—there are no “chargebacks.”
We wouldn’t have it any other way, of course—because we’re a real news organization. By not being “beholden” to anyone, we’re able to exercise real news judgment in deciding what stories run in publications such as News & Events Daily and Athenaeum (which, in turn, enhances our credibility with outside news media—a crucial point).
As I’ve written here before, although RIT News is a news and public relations office, we’re slanted more toward news. It’s a luxury that universities, such as RIT, enjoy: We have real news to share (unlike some corporations and ad agencies that often do little more than tout new products and services—a few occasionally newsworthy, no doubt).
Running clearly labeled display ads will allow advertisers to share their messages—perhaps more effectively than via RIT Message Center—without jeopardizing our news credibility. Plus, as Bob adds: “We see the advertising as additional content—spreading messages about things to do on campus, for example. And advertisers will be encouraged to send less e-mail via Message Center.”
But we won’t just accept anything. We’ll impose standards: Ads must be tasteful and relevant to our audience, and ad and newsletter design will ensure that they’re unobtrusive. For example, ads will run in one of two specified sizes and three locations:
• At the bottom of the main section (beneath “RIT in the News”)
• Below the weather forecast in the right-hand column (see example below)
• At the bottom of the right-hand column (after sports results)
Occasionally, we’ll run “house ads” promoting RIT News. And, as a bonus, ads will also appear in the online-archive version of N&E Daily on the RIT News website.
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