Skills Circulation Clerk, Newspaper near Saskatoon (SK)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a circulation clerk, newspaper in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Correspondence, publication and regulatory clerks (NOC 1452).

Expertise

People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Process classified ads
  • Write and edit advertising copy
  • Calculate advertising rates and bill customers
  • Proofread data
  • Read newspapers, magazines, press releases and other publications and clip articles to locate and file articles of interest
  • Write routine business and government correspondence
  • Compile and verify material for publication
  • Assist in the preparation of material for publication
  • Perform routine clerical duties
  • Compile, verify, record and process applications, licences, permits, contracts, registrations, requisitions, and other forms and documents
  • Verify facts and conduct research

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

Reading
  • Read memos from supervisors in order to understand changes in policies. (2)
  • Read letters from subscribers who have suggestions for future articles or comments on the publication's content. (2)
  • May read letters, memos and bulletins from various sources such as government agencies or from a minister's office to stay abreast of issues which will be dealt with in correspondence. (2)
  • Proofread articles for publication. (3)
  • Read briefing notes in order to integrate new information into writers' drafts. (3)
  • May read regulations and specifications regarding insertion of copy in publications. (3)
  • May read manuals which outline the procedures and protocol for correspondence. (3)
Document use
  • May consult a variety of directories, such as phone directories and specialized directories, such as listings of consultants, ministry personnel or constituency offices. (1)
  • May read lists of classifications and codes to ensure that ads are put in the correct sections. (1)
  • May read forms such as classified advertising forms or layout forms. (2)
  • May read a master schedule showing deadlines of various production teams. (2)
  • May read measurements on a computer program and on a reduction wheel to reduce the size of copy. (2)
  • May fill in invoice forms for advertising copy. (2)
  • May enter information into tables to describe material being typeset. (2)
  • May refer to rate tables for specifications for various types of advertisements. (3)
  • May read and interpret graphs or charts accompanying an article to ensure figures are accurate and to correct mistakes. (3)
  • May read copy of television station programming in order to prepare a television guide timetable. (3)
Writing
  • Write memos to staff members to accompany news releases and clippings. (1)
  • Write confirmation notes or queries to customers concerning the layout of their orders. (2)
  • Write letters to writers and artists to provide information or to explain why the publication cannot use a proposed article, illustration or photograph. (2)
  • Complete production sheets and event information reports. (2)
  • May write e-mail messages to other staff members to request information. (2)
  • May write captions to accompany photographs to be published. (2)
  • Write letters to respond to concerns raised in correspondence from readers. (3)
  • May write monthly and yearly reports summarizing trends in correspondence. (4)
  • May write short articles, particularly if they are working on a small publication. (4)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • Accept cash or credit card payments and make change. Credit card payments may be taken over the phone. (1)
  • May calculate invoices for classified ads, including GST and discounts. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Monitor deadlines to ensure that articles are received on time to be included in publications. (1)
  • May compile weekly sales totals for inclusion in quarterly reports. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Use a pica agate ruler to measure lines in classified ads. (1)
  • May measure the length of a classified ad in inches and multiply by the number of columns it will occupy when determining the cost of the ad. (2)
Data Analysis Math
  • May calculate the average number or the percentage of letters received about various issues. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate how much space an article is going to take or the cost of running ads of different lengths. (1)
Oral communication
  • May ask co-workers about the meaning and spelling of particular words. (1)
  • Communicate with book designers and sales staff regarding deadlines for production of changes made to orders. (2)
  • Communicate with members of the public concerning the placement of ads or complaints or compliments about past issues. (2)
  • Interact with writers, artists and freelancers who have suggestions for articles or designs. (2)
  • Talk to printers and photo laboratory personnel to co-ordinate production deadlines. (2)
  • Interact at meetings with consultants, editors and other supervisory personnel to clarify correspondence style and protocol and to check sources of information. (3)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • May resolve problems when clients are invoiced twice for work they have already paid for. They check files and apologize to customers who have been inconvenienced. (1)
  • May be asked to rerun an ad only to find that the necessary logo is missing. If a file search fails to locate the missing logo, they contact clients to provide another copy. (1)
  • May face a sensitive situation when making minor changes to writing which has been submitted and approved for publication. They collaborate with the author, using tact to effect the changes without causing hostility. (2)
  • May have problems drafting an appropriate reply to correspondence which has political connotations. They check procedures manuals, conduct background research and consult experts before drafting a response. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide which letters of complaint from readers should be forwarded to the editor. (1)
  • May decide which terms in the thesaurus are most apt as an index entry for an article. They make the decision based on past experience and the preferred usage by journalists. (2)
  • Decide whether to accept an ad which is submitted very close to layout time. (2)
  • Decide whether to offer a customer compensation for an inaccurate ad. (2)
  • Decide how many facts to check when verifying and proofreading a story. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Own Job Planning and Organizing

Correspondence, publication and related clerks are given general instructions from editors or other supervisory personnel and set their own priorities to carry out the work within established time frames. (3)

Planning and Organizing for Others

Publication clerks' planning tends to be short term and oriented towards meeting press or production deadlines. Co-ordination with personnel in other departments such as sales or layout is often required. Disruptions from incoming calls and from clients may be frequent but are of short duration. Some tasks, such as correcting proofs, may be carried out on a regular schedule to accommodate other workers who must deal with the copy to meet press deadlines. (3)

Correspondence clerks' planning of their job tasks varies according to the volume of correspondence and the urgency of the reponses. Their planning must take into account the due dates set for correspondence and the possible delays which may occur in getting necessary input for responses from departments. Their planning also takes into account the need to produce reports regularly. Emergency requests can alter work schedules for short periods of time. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the dates of various production deadlines.
  • May remember font types, colour and layouts of specific customers' advertisements.
  • May memorize accounting codes or prices for various types and sizes of ads.
Finding Information
  • May consult a thesaurus, dictionary or grammar text to check a point when proofreading a document. (1)
  • May refer to past issues of the publication to check information for a subscriber. (2)
  • May contact supervisors or subject matter experts to locate information for responses to sensitive correspondence. (3)
Digital technology
  • They enter customer information in a computer database so that they may, for example, retrieve previous ads automatically by typing in the client's phone number. (2)
  • They may check the status of clients' accounts. (2)
  • They may use e-mail and the Internet. (2)
  • They may use word processing software such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. (3)
  • They may use software packages such as Compugraphics to enter text for ads and PowerPoint presentation software to generate graphs for reports. (3)
  • They may use spreadsheet software to summarize customer service expenditures. (3)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Correspondence clerks work independently for the most part, logging, editing and writing correspondence. Publication clerks work independently to take information from clients, proofread, prepare mock-ups and write invoices. Correspondence and publication clerks work in a team environment, collaborating closely with editors, consultants, service representatives and press personnel.

Continuous Learning

Correspondence, publication and related clerks learn on the job and through courses. They may take courses in desktop publishing, editing or selling. They may take a variety of computer courses, such as those related to graphic design.

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