The President's Message: January 2012
It was another challenging year for the Community Papers of Florida (CPF), but that's behind us now. We are zeroing in on 2012 and making a commitment to shift classified network revenue back in the right direction.

The finance committee (consisting of Jim Kendall, Justo Rey, Dave Neuharth and myself) has spent considerable time recently working on contests, rates and ways to stimulate classified sales. Peter Lamb has joined us, and we appreciate the time each of these individuals has put in on the committee.

The classified network has long been the source of the benefits this association provides. It has allowed us to provide benefits second to none, including top rate conferences; national speakers; The Leadership Institute (TLI) training; paid rooms, food and beverages at the conferences; legal advice; consulting services; keeping track of state and national government affairs; supporting PaperChain; a disaster fund; a classified network that gives members the opportunity to make money; and contests that allow the sales reps of statewide classified ads to earn serious money.

Congratulations are in order for Ann Waite of Tower Publications in Gainesville for winning the CPF "Best of the Best" fourth quarter points contest and $1,000 for the first place award. Ann has also provided the lion's share of the enhancement revenue that is helping the association's weekly revenue.

We also thank Jennifer Ingram and her team at for providing the majority of the CPF revenue. We are looking ahead to 2012 with anticipation of starting to increase revenue. For the past three years, the association's revenue has dropped over 30% each year. We are still operating at "full speed ahead" because of the rainy day funds we set aside during better economic times.

But we have to be realistic, and the board of directors has accepted the recommendations of the finance committee to cut the 2012 budget.

Cut slightly were the number of rooms a member will be allocated at the annual conference. Take a look at the conference registration attached at the bottom of this article to find out how many rooms you will receive this year. We also have eliminated the free legal advice for members. If a member has a legal problem that affects the free papers in the association, the board will consider if they want to step up to the plate and have the association get involved.

The conference committee is already hard at work to assure that the investment you make to travel to Stuart in May will be worthwhile for both management and employees. It has been a few years, but the Three Minute Idea Fair will be back in 2012. Not only will you have the opportunity to share revenue-generating ideas with your colleagues, but you also have the chance to pocket some cash.

Plan on sending some telemarketing reps to this conference. The Saturday morning session will feature classified training with two of the association's best, Pat Snyder and Jennifer Ingram, paired up for this seminar.

During the New Year, the CPF staff will be calling on you to visit for network classified training. The sessions will be two hours long and well worth the time invested by your telemarketing staff.

Classified revenue has taken a deep hit in the past three years throughout the publishing industry. This has spilled over to the free paper members and associations. Let's make 2012 a Great New Year and reverse the classified ad trend.

May 4-5, 2012. Put it on your calendar now and plan to attend the annual CPF conference.



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