Promotional Spotlight: Centre County Gazette Home Services Index

Promotional Spotlight: Centre County Gazette Home Services Index

‘Home Services Index’ attracts first-time advertisers

As in many counties across the commonwealth, Centre County has a strong local builders association that hosts an annual home show drawing hundreds, if not thousands, of residents. Likewise, many local newspapers look to partner with these associations to provide advertising and print pieces for the events. So what happens when the association is not interested in a direct partnership, or instead partners with a competing paper in the region? Amy Ansari, advertising director for Centre County Gazette, was faced with this conundrum and decided to make what appeared to be a stumbling block serve as an opportunity. “Rather than create something that was in direct competition with the home show or the other paper, we decided to create something that was going to reach a similar, yet different and unique category,” said Ansari. “Better still, it would complement the home show and serve a great group of small businesses.” Ansari and her team went to work to create the Gazette’s Home Services Index, a full-color special insert featuring more than 50 local home-service businesses.

In its fourth year, and issued every April in tandem with home improvement season, the “Home Services Index” was developed with consideration of the use of the final product as well as the bottom line of the companies that would be served by it. There is no editorial content in the Home Services Index, and Ansari said that was appreciated by both the editorial and advertising departments. “Editorial gets a break and advertising gets an easier sell and new prospects,” said Ansari. “We were able to offer a lower price point because it was all advertising on the page.” Ansari said the building of the prospect list was an interesting and enjoyable process for her team as well. They would take pictures of local service vans and other vehicles or write down the information and add it to the outreach list. Ansari encouraged her ad reps to think outside the box as it pertained to the type of services, including businesses like cleaning services, lawn care, tax services, insurance brokers and Realtors. “It wasn’t just home improvement type services,” said Ansari. “If a business provides some kind of service to homeowners then they are a target for the Home Services Index.”

With more than $12,000 in total revenue for the 2019 edition and more advertisers every year, Ansari said there is no denying the publication’s success. However, she stresses the success is not simply in dollars but also in the ability the index offers the Gazette to serve an often overlooked group of local businesses. “I feel like it’s a category that a lot of newspapers aren’t utilizing and getting business from,” said Ansari. “Many of these folks have never advertised before.” Ansari said that some of the Home Service Index advertisers have become regular customers, but a few of the businesses only advertise in the index and the Gazette would not have otherwise had their business.

For additional information, please contact Amy Ansari at (814) 525-8867 or