If you don’t work for a newspaper, you probably don’t know who is one of the most difficult people to replace when they are away from the office.

Hint: it is not the publisher or the top sales rep, but the person who oversees public notice ads.

Public Notice Challenges

Typically part of the classifieds department, the people in charge of public notices carry a wealth of institutional and local knowledge about legal notices in their heads and often keep a great big notebook that is the department “how-to” manual for public notices.

Some of the things that differentiate a public notice ad versus any other type of advertising are questions like “What are the requirements for the size and font of the headline for fictitious name filings? Do I need to include the county clerk’s name in the bankruptcy notice? With what frequency does the notice type need to run for it to meet the legal requirements? And which affidavits do I send today?” And this is just the tip of the iceberg of the complex “dos & don’ts” of legal notices

It is a complicated process, but one that also supplies an increasingly important source of revenue for newspapers.

The stakes are huge. Not only are public notices notoriously difficult to input, but they are also under constant legislative threat. Modernizing the process can only help preserve this important category for the newspaper industry, according to a Local Media Insider’s May report.

Public Notice Automation Benefits

The latest public notice self-service software from iPublish Media Solutions, AdPortal Public Notices, uses automation to make the process easier for everyone – government employees, private parties, law firms, and for internal use by newspaper personnel.

Here’s how AdPortal Public Notices works: the user can enter any kind of public notice – from a school board meeting to a bankruptcy filing – into simple pre-configured fields, that automatically publish in the right size, font, headline style, placement and frequency required by law for that type of public notice. The AdPortal will not allow the notice to be placed until all of the required fields are filled out and the correct advertising schedule selected. Lastly, AdPortal Public Notices includes the ability to generate preformatted affidavits. When the legal notice has run the required number of days, the details are preloaded into an affidavit template and queued for your team to print and certify.

The legal notices member of the newspaper team can take a vacation without turning the classified department upside down! And if the newspaper is fortunate enough to operate other iPublish Media Solutions self-service AdPortals such as Classifieds or Obituaries, there is nothing to learn. The underlying architecture and process are the same.

There are additional benefits. This stream-lined order-taking process cuts out the paperwork, the number of steps involved, and the need for any single individual to understand all the rules or refer to a complicated book of rules. The fonts, rules, and frequencies are setup once by the newspaper, and then only need to be changed if the regulations change. The many rules are “baked in” to the software thereby greatly reducing errors. And affidavits are generated, ensuring the notice buyer gets what they need on time, every time.

“Now anyone on AdPortal Public Notices can create a public notice. You don’t have to be an expert,” said Brian Gorman, Chief Revenue Officer of iPublish Media Solutions.

The platform has already launched at the Anchorage Daily News and Bay Area News Group, and over 30 other markets have signed up.

Automation eliminates one of the arguments often made by opponents of requiring public notice ads in newspapers: That online publication makes the need for newspapers obsolete.

“For newspapers, making it easier to publish public notices and publishing them online is protecting their flank,” Gorman said. “If and when public notices go 100% digital, AdPortal Public Notices will already be set up to meet that requirement.”

Click here to schedule a demo today. Soon you could be creating Public Notices using iPublish software in less time than it took to read this blog post. iPublish Media Solutions is the leading provider of self-serve marketing and advertising platforms across multiple verticals and we look forward to working on solutions to help your media company.