Is circulation lingo bewildering your ad sales department?

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You know those people in the ad sales department? The ones who really don't understand circulation? Maybe it's because they're new, or maybe they just never really got it.

Did they get any training before calling on clients? Did the circ department spend hours reviewing the “pink sheet” and explaining the line-by-line details provided in Paragraph 6, or the latest reporting changes? How often you update your Rapid Report data? Probably not.

Most magazines lack institutional training for the ad sales force. Too often, that guy in ad sales is unprepared for the detailed questions he is asked about circulation. Too often, both he and the buyer leave the meeting frustrated, stymied by a confusing web of circulation terminology and pages of data. Maybe it's time to get ad sales some training.

Today more than ever, it is critical that your ad sales team is knowledgeable and can speak intelligently about your magazine's circulation and the programs used to generate it. To meet this need, the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) has launched a new training program to help beginning and intermediate ad sales executives build a solid foundation of circulation-related knowledge so that they may successfully communicate with inquisitive media buyers.

The Training-Knowledge-Organization program is designed to prepare ad sales professionals to talk about circulation rules, regulations and reporting with expertise.  The program covers verified circulation, explaining public place and individual use; source of circulation, describing partnership sales, combination sales and more; changes in reporting, pointing out sponsored sales' move to verified; and ABC Rapid Report, detailing participation and reporting practices

This training, which is free to any ABC consumer magazine member, should keep your ad sales team up-to-date on the ever-changing world of circulation. And, knowing their circ lingo might even help your ad sales team generate some revenue.

George Bartman is the VP of marketing and sales for the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Reach him at


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