PNA Advertising Conference Schedule

Wednesday, September 25


3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. • Spats at the Grill • 100 W. College Ave.
The Welcome Reception provides an excellent opportunity to chat with old friends and colleagues, and meet new people as the program begins. Appetizers and drinks will be served during the event. For those attending, please meet in the hotel lobby at 5:15 p.m., and we’ll walk over as a group.

Thursday, September 26


7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Print 101: Back to Basics

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. (Breakfast included)
Print newspaper advertising accounts for the majority of revenue at most news media organizations. This session offers a review of valuable business-generating sales techniques, and provides valuable information about the core printed product, to energize and educate attendees. During this session, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Proven sales tips
  • Strengths and benefits of newspapers
  • Successful ways to overcome common objections

This session is perfect for new advertising sales representatives and senior sales team members looking for a review.


Growing the Obituary Category

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
For most publishers, the obituary category is a huge traffic driver and critical revenue stream. With the baby boomer audience representing the largest U.S. population segment, the market is poised for growth over the next 25 years. This session offers insights from representatives from two publications that have experienced tremendous growth in this category – the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Record Herald (Waynesboro). During this session, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Obituaries as display ads
  • Complimentary products to upsell obituaries
  • Informative overview of the funeral home industry

This session is perfect for ad managers, senior management and sales representatives who specialize in the obituary category.


All Day Digital Advertising Workshop

10:15 – 11:45 a.m. & 1:45 – 4:30 p.m.
Due to popular demand, Dr. James Bissell returns to present his highly-rated digital advertising workshop. This workshop begins with an overall digital review of market trends, advertising sales techniques and combining print and digital strategies. Following this introduction, there will be four specialized sessions: Google Analytics, Search Engine Marketing (AdWords), Social Advertising and Display Advertising.

This workshop is perfect for ad managers, senior management and sales representatives.


Ad Contest Awards Luncheon

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Join us as we announce and honor the winners of the 2019 Advertising Contest. The luncheon is a great time to celebrate the accomplishments of friends and colleagues, and be inspired by their outstanding work.


What You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana and CBD Oil Advertising

1:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Ads for medical marijuana and CBD oil are becoming more common in newspapers. While they may provide a welcomed source of revenue, it’s critical to understand the rules before placing them into a publication. PNA’s Media Law Counsel, Melissa Melewsky, will present the facts regarding this category of business. During this session, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Is pre-approval from the Department of Health required?
  • Can medical marijuana and CBD oil advertising feature a promotional giveaway?
  • What claims can advertisers make about their products?
  • Which regulations impact medical marijuana and CBD oil advertising?

This session is perfect for ad managers and senior management who wish to stay abreast of current advertising trends.


Hiring Challenges and Successes

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Hiring the best employees involves more than running a help wanted ad and scheduling an interview. Two seasoned employment attorneys will share important tips and practices to guide you through each step of the candidate selection process. During this engaging session, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Job descriptions – the importance of accurate job descriptions in helping to formulate relevant questions during job interviews.
  • Background checks – how accurate background checks can help to lessen uncertainty about potential job candidates.
  • Non-Compete agreements – when non-compete agreements are appropriate, and how to fashion non-competes that will be enforced by Pennsylvania Courts.
  • Onboarding and orientation – the importance of a strong orientation process, and best practices for orientations.
  • Employment interviews – how to fashion questions that are appropriate, and avoid pitfalls, during employment interviews.

This session is appropriate for advertising directors, human resource managers, and others individuals who participate in the hiring process.


Onsite Happy Hour

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Please join us for a happy hour reception, featuring appetizers and drinks, and a chance to reflect on the day’s sessions.



7:00 p.m.
Dinner is on your own this evening, but we have reserved space at the popular Federal Taphouse in State College for those who would like to join the group for an evening of dining and fun. The Conference program will also include a list of locally-based fan favorites if you’d prefer to do something else.

Friday, September 27

Revenue Roundtable

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Don’t miss the always popular Friday morning roundtable where ad managers and senior staff share their grandest initiatives, and most difficult challenges. This is a unique opportunity to compare notes with your industry peers in an open and honest environment. Bring your most successful ideas, and prepare to learn about exciting new opportunities. During this morning session, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Successful new advertising programs
  • Useful management techniques
  • Helpful responses to addressing the challenges that face the industry

This session is perfect for ad managers and senior management who are looking to develop new revenue for their publication.