local media insider
Case study

Republican-American upsells 80% of recruitment ads to AfterCollege ad networks

The Connecticut Republican-American's inside classified staff has been re-energized by selling recruitment ads to niche networks

Alisa Cromer

Media: Republican-American
Company: Republican-American
Circulation/Traffic: 50,000 Daily/323,000 Unique Visitors
Market: Waterbury, CT
Initiative: Partnering with AfterCollege.com to increase recruitment classified revenues
Key Executives: Katie Sala, digital and classified manager at Republican-American; Katie Martin, senior regional sales manager, AfterCollege.com

Challenge: Drive additional digital revenue in the recruitment category to Republican-American and re-energize recruitment sales.

Strategy: Katie Sala, digital and classified manager,  elected to partner with AfterCollege.com, which allows the classifieds sales reps to upsell ads to largest  network of job sites  for college students, as well as 11 other recruitment niche sites.

"Employers today don't just want more resumes, they want the right resumes," Sala said.

AfterCollege.com, currently partnered with more than 250 newspapers across the country, includes 2300 job boards used by recent graduates, and also allows sales to niche networks for health, veterans, call centers, diversity, education and other categories.

On the public facing side, besides the existing network of job sites, the AfterCollege site captures new users by having them enter their college, major and year of graduation. Then takes them to a screen that shows a pie chart of jobs people from that same college and major are exploring.  

Martin worked with Republican-American’s tech staff and AfterCollege.com’s tech staff to set up feeds for upsells, so that reps only have to enter a code instead of rekeying ads.

The ads are sent in text format, but often appear in different kinds of formats, such as the one below, placed by a hospital in Florida: 

One adjustment for customers is that because the networks are not open to the public - they require student ID's to log in and search the networks - they do not get to view all of the ads or see a screen shot of what it looks like on the network. The percieved value of reaching highly targeted and often private networks, however, far surpassed this concern.


Sala got feedback from other newspapers using the program to work out the details.

The team now uses the  rates recommended by AfterCollege for all networks. Upsells start is $40 for a 30-day run on the AfterCollege network; other network prices range up to $85.

Of the $40 upsell, a a revenue share goes to AfterCollege. Fees schedule start at a 50/50 revenue share split, but publishers can earn a more favorable split based on units sold.

Additionally, the sales rep spiff program funded by AfterCollege makes the spilt  more favorable because AfterCollege funds the sales commission, Sala says.

As the manager of digital and classified, Sala coordinated the launch. Print classified's inside sales staff sold the program with  sales spiffs from AfterCollege.

Sellers report to Sala, who has a hybrid position that is digital and classified. 

Critical to the success  of the launch was Sala's assistance with reps in the first week. “I got on the phone with reps and made calls with them. They needed to get over the hurdle of selling something new,” she explains.

Reps were trained to talk to accounts about placement options, going deeper into what kinds of candidates the employers was looking for, and making recommendations. This approach paid off so well that reps now enjoy working on recruitment accounts. 


• Today 80% of recruitment ads are  upsold to additional networks. Typically advertisers buy just one network, although some buy two or three more when appropriate.

• The sales team "loves it." Salas says the biggest change is that reps are "excited about selling recruitment and having better conversations with clients" because they are talking about placement. 

• Ad volume has doubled from 150 ads per month to a range of 250 to 350 per month.

• The quality of resumes is higher. "Literally zero complaints" from advertisers about results.

• Second year sales are still strong. Sala said she wished she had started the program sooner

• “Through experience in selling AfterCollege.com and other recruitment networks,  sellers became more aware of digital recruitment and the overall recruitment advertising climate. The marketplace was ready for this program.”

Many thanks to Sala for sharing results from this initiative with us. 

Alisa Cromer

The author, Alisa Cromer is publisher of a variety of online media, including LocalMediaInsider and  MediaExecsTech,  developed while on a fellowship with the Reynolds Journalism Institute and which has evolved into a leading marketing company for media technology start-ups. In 2017 she founded Worldstir.com, an online magazine,  to showcases perspectives from around the  world on new topic each month, translated from and to the top five languages in the world.

Aftercollege, recruitment, ad network, Republican-American, classifieds