Plan your Display Ad



Display Advertising is the most flexible form of advertising available. With so many choices comes the need to plan your selections to ensure your campaign reaches the success you intend.

Keys things to understand for a successful Display campaign:


Define your goal.  Adjust your ideas of budget, ad size and frequency accordingly.

Select communities that give you the right audience.

Determine which week(s) to run your display ad.

REVIEW the booking and material deadlines that apply to your target run week(s).

Develop your ad contents using Illustrations, logos, headlines and body wording.

Determine who will build your ad(s).

Finalize your plan and budget.

Contact us to assist in the execution of your plan.

Prepayment will be needed if no existing billing account is in place. 

Receive proof of performance/invoicing.




Define your goal.  
Ask what you need the ad to accomplish, and then adjust your size and frequency to match.

Unless your budget is unlimited, decide if the size of your ad is more important than the number of times it runs.

Depending on what you need your ad to do, you may favour: 

Frequency - this refers to having your message appear often enough that the audience becomes familiar with it. This indicates to the audience dependability and a solid commitment. This is important if you wish to establish or maintain a relationship with the residents of the community in order to continue to do business or demonstrate credibility. 

Larger size - a larger display ad allows you to properly display and explain your product or service.  This is vital if what you have to offer is new or won't be readily understood without illustration and description. Besides being more easily noticed, a large ad creates urgency which is great for promoting an event or announcing something is new.

Select the communities that your ad will appear in.

AWNA Display ads can be targeted to the communities you select. 

Deciding which papers to run your ad in usually comes down to two factors: geography and demographics.

Geography - if your message pertains to a certain region of the province, or is meant to for the people who might shop as a certain location you wish to support, then you will chose community markets by geography. Basic geography assistance is provided by AWNA and advanced geographic help is available via AdWest.  Each can be accessed via the SELECT page of the AWNA Display Ad webpage.

Demographics -demographics such as age, income, education, occupation and thousands of other identifiers can be used to identify the best candidates for your message.  Communities can be measured and ranked using the same characteristics of your target audience giving you a priority list of communities in order to plan your advertising investment.  Demographic help is available from AdWest and can be accessed via the SELECT page of the AWNA Display Ad webpage.



In reality most market selection work involves a combination of both strategies.  Advanced research and planning is available from AdWest and the AWNA staff is always available to help you get the information you need.

Determine which week(s) to run your ad

Since AWNA member newspapers each appear on their individual publishing day, specifying a run date when planning multiple titles is best done by identifying the WEEK you wish the ads to run in.  Weeks are identified by the Sunday date of that week.  

For example "The week of August 11 would refer to the papers that would run the following dates: 

Sunday August 11 

Monday August 12 

Tuesday August 13 

Wednesday August 14 

Thursday August 15 

Friday August 16 

Saturday August 17

Review the deadlines that apply to your target run week (s)
With some much going into preparations it is easy to forget them.

For each week identified, the guaranteed deadline for booking is the Wednesday at noon of the week before.  The guaranteed material deadline is the following day, Thursday at noon. 

Having a single deadline for all the individual papers keeps things manageable for you and also guarantees that AWNA will be able to properly make and verify your bookings.  On the material side, the guaranteed deadline gives us time to build and proof your ad or, if you have provided camera-ready material, to pre-flight your material to match the specifications of all the different presses that print AWNA member newspapers.  This is a step that guarantees quality and is valuable for keeping campaign variables under control.  Individual Display Ad deadlines are available if absolutely required.  Click here for details.

Develop your Display Ad contents.

Good print ads include 5 key elements.  Missing out on any of these will usually reduce your ad's ability to work for you.


The Elements are:



Body Copy

Call to Action


Headline: What is the benefit for the reader?   The headline must tell them clearly or risk being skimmed over.  

Graphic: A picture says a thousand words.  The right graphic can be an illustration of your product or service, or it can be something that shows how the reader will feel about owning or using what you have to offer.  A graphic should be large enough to stop the eye and create interest. 

Body copy:  Here is your big chance to communicate - if you have succeeded in getting in front of the right audience, and have got there attention, this is where you persuade and inform.  

Good wording in the body copy must cover the 5Ws (click here). 

Call to action:  What do you want the reader to do?  How will the reader feel or be better off if they do?  Tell them! 

Identification:  Identify yourself with your logo and all the contact information the reader needs to act on your message.


Determine who will build your ad
You can see to this yourself – assuring these guidelines are followed.
Or help is available from several sources:

AWNA can provide basic design.  
Our fee schedule is here

AWNA Approved Design Network - is a group of freelance designers well-versed in production of material for community newspapers.  Contact any of them here.

Finalize your plan and budget
You may use the Display Ad SELECTION form in the SELECT section to lay out the variables relating to your Display Ad  and request a quote.

When your Display Ad quote is received you have all the tools you need to finalize and execute your plan.


Contact us to assist in the execution of your plan.
Final booking arrangements can be made by contacting us at or at 780-434-8726 ext 235

Prepayment will be needed if no pre-existing billing account is in place.


Receive proof of performance/invoicing.

Once all the ads in your buy have run for the week ordered, the AWSOM digital archive collects digital tearsheets.  These are sent to you via email and are easily viewed or printed for your records.  This email also contains your invoice – marked paid unless a pre-existing billing account is being utilized.


As has been mentioned, persuasion comes from repetition.  Anyone with children will recognize the power of repetition.


HOW TO GET A BILLING ACCOUNT:  AWNA is a non-profit association but does offer billing account status upon approved credit.  To receive the forms to apply for and AWNA account, click here.  Allow 5 business days for account processing.

When you are ready, advance to SELECT

Or if you prefer, AWNA is here to make your advertising planning a snap, no matter how complicated your plan.  If you would like to speak to an AWNA representative, contact or call 780-434-8746 Ext. 235









Advanced research and planning tools available

Click here for an introduction to the tools available through AdWest

To be successful

  • Guaranteed deadlines for Display advertising is Wednesday noon for publication the following week (Sunday to Saturday).
  • Material deadline for Display ads is Thursday at 4 pm.
  •  Holidays and long weekends can advance your deadline.  Click here for a list of affected weeks. 
  • Explore individual newspaper deadlines (for use only when unavoidable)  here 
  • Display rates are often different than Career rates. Make sure you are pricing the correct type of ad.
  • Display section column widths are often different than Career widths.  Make sure you are building your material to the correct format.  Click here for an overview

Just in case

  • View the process map


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