Promotional Spotlight: The Republican Herald ‘From the Heart’

Promotional Spotlight: The Republican Herald ‘From the Heart’

‘From the Heart’ section showcases youth art, salutes essential workers

The Republican Herald has a strong, vibrant Newspapers In Education program that has historically connected the youth in the community with the publication and with a better understanding in the value of a free press, while also providing fun and interesting activities for the participants. In fall 2020, with schools switching to remote or partially remote classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NIE program was unable to function in its normal capacity. “The NIE department brought an idea to us,” said Dawn Fisher, director of advertising at The Republican Herald. “We thought it was a really strong campaign idea. We were going to make it happen no matter what.” The idea was for a special section, called “From the Heart”, that comprises artwork submitted by kids of any age and is supported by local advertising businesses. Beginning with a request for submissions in early October, young artists were asked to create artwork that would salute the essential workers in the community.

Since the From the Heart section was a completely new section for The Republican Herald, Fisher and her team were unsure of the response it would receive. With many local sports, fairs and other events that would normally keep families and kids occupied canceled, however, the team thought it might prove successful and well serve the youth in the community. The first advertisement for submissions was met with an incredible response. “We had submissions coming quickly, and in so many different ways,” said Fisher. “Some schools that were open were scanning and emailing them in, other people were sending them by mail. We even had grandparents walking their grandkids up to the office drop box to put in their submissions.” Fisher said the young artists ranged in age from 5 to 15 and that every piece of artwork in the special section included the name and age of the child who submitted it.

Fisher and her team used a lead list for the special section that was previously used for a “design an ad” campaign run in tandem with NIE week. The team’s secret weapon, so to speak, was that they took samples of the actual artwork that had been submitted along with them on sales calls or scanned and shared them remotely in sales pitches. Even in a trying economic time, The Republican Herald’s advertising team was able to secure 10 advertisers with ads ranging from strip ads to a full back page. The back-page advertising business had run its own “design an ad” contest and featured the winner of the contest in the ad. All told, The Republican Herald was able to break even on the full-color, 24-page “From the Heart” section, which ran on Oct. 29. “We covered our costs,” said Fisher. “It wasn’t a huge moneymaker, but that wasn’t the purpose. It was mainly to give the kids something to do, by saluting essential workers, and a way to express themselves.”

The community’s response to the special section was one of appreciation and gratitude. Fisher shared a surprising moment as she got out of her car in the office parking lot one morning shortly after the section had run. A passing jogger paused and said, “I loved that publication! You’re an essential worker, too.”

For additional information, please contact Dawn Fisher at (570) 628-6053 or