EVER wondered what life is like inside the world of sales promotion?

Huddersfield Examiner merchandiser Joanne Storrs sheds light on the subject by talking about a day in her working life.

Joanne, of Almondbury, has been with the Examiner for a year, after working for many years in sales.

Ask most people if they love their job - the common response is: "It pays the bills".

But not 35-year-old Joanne - she genuinely enjoys her work.

She said: "It's a great job. You get to meet people all the time. It's brilliant."

Her typical day begins with getting up early and planning a schedule for visiting all the newsagents, supermarkets and kiosks which sell Examiner papers.

Joanne covers most areas of the Examiner's circulation patch, including Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Dalton, Aspley and Ravensthorpe.

She generally plans to visit shops in one specific area a day.

At each store she has a checklist.

First, she makes sure the shop displays bills showing the Examiner's latest headlines.

Then she checks to see if copies of the Examiner are displayed prominently in stands near the till.

She looks to see where point of sale items - such as signs or promotional novelties - could help boost Examiner sales in the shop.

Then she will chat to the shop owner to see whether they need to stock more or less copies - the ideal scenario is having no more than one copy left on the shelf each day.

She also ensures that unsold papers are being returned properly.

People skills are clearly vital. Merchandisers have to be smart, pleasant and outgoing.

Joanne said: "It's part customer service and part sales really. You have to build a rapport with people and get to know the area.

"You really need good communication skills and have to be able to work with people on many different levels.

"You do need confidence and knowledge and pride in the product so that you can convince people it is worth selling."

Initiative is also something Joanne has in abundance.

This, she says, is very important - as well as a `never off duty' attitude.

"You have to be self-motivated. You are your own boss really, planning your day.

"They key is not to just do the jobs you are assigned to, but to keep your eyes open for new ways to promote the Examiner.

"For example, if I leave a job and notice a neighbouring store is not selling the paper, I would go in and ask why. You need to be confident."

She says the exciting part of the job kicks in when a breaking news story means a second edition of the paper is printed.

"Sometimes we literally stop the press and then it's all hands on deck to get the new edition into as many outlets as we can."

After a long day of driving, negotiating and selling, does Joanne go home happy?


She said: "A lot of people don't know exactly what merchandising entails. They think a merchandiser is just someone who stands in supermarket aisles handing out cheese samples!

"But it's quite an exciting job. I love it."

* Two more merchandisers like Joanne are needed at the Examiner. If you think you fit the bill, why not phone our newspaper sales on 08451431234 or you can email hr@liverpool.com.