As part of celebrations marking 145 years of The Fiji Times this month, we start a daily series today that we hope will create awareness about how the paper works. The newspaper you read daily is put together by many people who work behind the scenes, from the advertising salesperson, the drivers in our transport department to the journalist and photographer on the field. This series will cover everything from how the various departments in the company function to cover many of the issues that made the headlines over our 145-year history.
Today, we start with the advertising department.
The Fiji Times advertising department is led by group sales manager Noelene Powell.
The department comprises 24 staff members working in a fun environment, which often belies the seriousness of a highly-competitive, target-focused sales team. Classified staff members, display advertising sales and administration teams and three production co-ordinators make up the advertising team.
They label themselves as fun, dynamic and absolutely brilliant.
"The marketing department and sales work hand in hand, making marketing manager Foto Ledua a vital part of our team also," Ms Powell said.
"Together we plan and implement promotions, new features and events including sponsorships, all designed primarily to enhance our total brand and stimulate readership in all publications, as well as online.
"As an important part of Fiji's history for the past 145 years, The Fiji Times has built strong brand recognition locally and internationally, however, we constantly endeavour to maintain top-of-mind awareness through strong sales campaigns, promotions and assisting the editorial team with new features concepts."
Ms Powell said marketing efforts were primarily focused on corporate image enhancement, further brand awareness and boosting circulation.
"Besides our core product, we also have an excellent news website, Fiji Times Online, which enjoys very high unique visitor numbers — currently averaging over 250,000 — more by far than any other news site in Fiji," she added.
Ms Powell said about 35 per cent of these visitors were within Fiji and the rest were international, mainly from key markets such as Australia, NZ, US, UK, Canada and, of course, where our military personnel are stationed in the British Army in Europe and the Middle East.
"These outstanding statistics give our online advertisers excellent results and make it relatively easy to sell.
"Besides advertising sales for The Fiji Times and Fiji Times Online, the hardworking sales team is also responsible for ad sales in the three weekly publications, namely the Sunday Times, Nai Lalakai and Shanti Dut.
"With The Fiji Times' solid reputation as the oldest, most reputable newspaper in the country and the most widely read, it is without a doubt an excellent product which we are proud to promote.
"With such a strong editorial team and reliable content, it's hardly surprising that our readers believe in us, our advertisers believe in the power of our medium and probably most importantly — as employees of this company, we do too.
"On our 145th birthday, I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of the advertising team, to extend warm thanks to our valued clients and readers for their ongoing loyalty, support and trust in The Fiji Times. Vinaka vaka levu."