MILWAUKEE: Declining ad sales have inspired the Milwaukee
Journal-Sentinel to put into practice the old maxim: if Mohammed won't
go to the mountain, then the mountain must come to Mohammed.
Deciding it's time to do PR for its city, the newspaper has appointed
Robert Schwartz to the new position of business development director. He
is charged with promoting the city to persuade retailers and potential
advertisers to move there.
"We have to go out and tell the Milwaukee story," said Schwartz,
formerly the assistant ad director. "The approach I'm going to bring to
this venture is a collaborative one."
Schwartz will initially contact local public and private economic
development organizations, and real estate sources to see what resources
the paper can provide them to help attract new retailers.
The paper's marketing and advertising departments routinely collect
demographic and purchasing-power data on the area, the type of
information that would interest retailers.
Schwartz also hopes to meet with retailers that show an interest in the
city. The Milwaukee market's loss of several major retailers in recent
years has had a dramatic effect on the paper's ad sales.
It's too early to say if the paper will hire outside PR or marketing
help for its new endeavor.
"I'm a one-man show with the entire newspaper - except the editorial
department - behind me," Schwartz said.
Editorial will not be involved in Schwartz's promotion efforts, nor will
he be informing reporters when a retailer is considering coming to
In order for his efforts to work, he must be able to maintain a
retailer's confidentiality about such plans, he said.