"Don't Make Donations To Herald Newspaper, Zimbabwe"


About 5 years ago, I discovered something shocking about the Herald Newspaper in Zimbabwe. It angered the heck out of me and I decided to do something about it.

Did you know:

The Herald newspaper is probably Zimbabwe’s Most Successful and Cash Rich Charity.

They’ve raked in more in cash donations than ANY HIV AIDS or Cholera based NGO in Zimbabwe ever did! Shocking right? But, I know this, because for years, I myself (and many more) was a major contributor, without even knowing it!

But now – no more donations from Max Soutter.

See, I’ve found a way to turn the tables around in my favor. These days, I’m the one milking them for financial gain… here’s how you can too (100% legal)

A ‘donation’ is what I call it when you give money in return for nothing – and that’s what thousands of Zimbabwean businesses over the years have done in paying for newspaper advertising, with little to no results.

Experienced this?

You come in on a Monday, pay $250 and on Wednesday, out pops an advert in the newspaper. You’re thrilled, delighted. You can’t wait for the flood of responses. But they don’t come. Instead you get a tiny trickle. You’ve made just enough money to buy fuel and (of course), place another advert.

You should have received a 1000% profit, but instead, you had to settle for a 10th of that.

It’s Not the Herald’s fault, You Have Only Yourself to Blame!

Their job isn’t to ensure you maximum results from your advertising. They make no guarantees on the results of your adverts. They can’t. You’re the one who writes and designs it. You’re the one who must absolutely make sure you get the best results you can and make profits instead of donations.

The way to do that is to re-think your newspaper advertising completely. Reword, redesign and re-engineer your ads to make the super attractive (not visually…but psychologically).

How to go from making donations, to making profits… Be Irresistible

Here’s how 

Listen – the reason so many see your ads (newspaper, email, radio, print etc) and totally ignore them is because you’re resistible. Your offer is no better than your competitors… it doesn’t have him awake at night thinking “how can I get the money to pay for this product”. Instead he’s thinking – “Arhh, I’d rather keep my money than give it to you for that offer.” There are several ways to fix this, more than can be covered in one short post – but here’s two of the most powerful ones…

  1. “Guarantee them a result they absolutely want”. Now please, read that sentence carefully to understand what’s being said.
  • Notice the focus is on a result, not a product/service. No one buys your product for no reason, they want a benefit. THAT benefit is what you’re really selling and what you should be focused on.
  • Notice also that the focus NOT on your business. It’s on something your prospect REALLY wants. That means your logo, your company name – you are not important and the space you occupy in the ad should reflect this. When you know your market, you’ll have an understanding of what they actually want – simply sell them that. Talk about that and refer only to that.
  • ‘Guarantee’ is not a word, it’s a policy. If you guarantee a result, support it with a policy/system. Your guarantee policy answers this question for your prospect “What happens if you fail to deliver the result you promised?” When you make a powerful guarantee, you eliminate the risk factor inherent in every business transaction. You immediately increase the attractiveness of your offer.
  • 2) Be Different.

  • I almost cringed from embarrassment as I wrote those two words (“Be different”). It’s so obvious and so overstated that everyone immediately assumes they know what it means – but they don’t, and it shows. Maybe if I say it this way…

“Be absolutely the only one who does what you do the way you do it”. Get it? Hmm, lemme try again;

“Be unique in a visible, tangible and clearly describable way that matters to your market, even if you sell exactly the same product/ service as your competitors”


That’s better.

In marketing, a lots been said about developing a Unique Selling Position (USP), yet still, so few entrepreneurs make use of this basic power strategy. It’s at the very head, the very start of all business/marketing strategy. It’s vitally important you take the time to ask yourself these three questions.

  • “Why should anyone buy from me, ignoring other options?”
  • Even though there are other options, you are genuinely better off choosing me because____
  • Others in my industry do this_____, but we this_____.


Price, durability, amazing service, convenient hours, bigger, faster whatever your advantage is, it should be at the heart of all your marketing communications. Why?


Unless you’re unique (and people know it), you won’t stand out, you’re harder to remember and to notice.

How do you know you’re different enough?

When you can finally say or promise something your competitors can’t – and deliver. Something (again) that your market actually cares about.

For as long as you’re not using the above tactics, all your paid advertising efforts will end up donations to help keep the Herald going. Personally my favorite charity is the “Save the Max’s Business Foundation” AKA Bizsetup Group.


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8 Replies to “"Don't Make Donations To Herald Newspaper, Zimbabwe"”

  1. Thank you for the very educative releases.The most important component is that they locally based.Is it possible to get a bigger version and some of are willing to pay for the services instead of paying for American or south African magazines that may not be relevant to our situition

  2. This is by far the best analysis on advertising,marketing strategy and major talking points when selling.It is amazing how a marketing department can slowly evolve into a cost centre without anyone noticing,what most “experts” fail to take into account is that :it is not about making a colourful statement out there but it is about giving customers the quality service and products that will suffice to their needs.

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