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IM Report Now Available
A 32-page report, authored by I.M. leader and LMA President Nancy Lane,
identifies top takeaways from the week-long study tour and is now available at
the bargain price of $299. Some of the takeaways are immediately actionable;
others are disruptive and will require strategic planning with your team. The
list touches on a wide variety of topics including mobile resources & strategies,
investing in data, analytics & programmatic, changing content strategies, revo-
lutionizing your culture and much more. To order, visit www.localmedia.org.
Release Date: June 17, 2015
group of 25 senior-level local media executives banded
together for last month’s sold-out Innovation Mission,
the signature event of the Local Media Foundation. This
6th annual week-long intensive study tour offers an educational
and often game-changing experience to participants via close
up visits with some of the world’s leading technology and media
Led and developed by LMA President Nancy Lane, the 2015
tour included visits to Pinterest, Yahoo, Mashable, the Rubicon
Project, Hearst, Yelp, Parse.ly, McClatchy, Tout, Yext , The New
Attending the Innovation Mission is always my favorite week of the year. It's like
summer camp for adults!
From Big Fish Digital's bus tour (editor’s note: read more about this in Mark Poss
column on page 3) to all locations throughout their entire company to educate co-work-
ers on the state of the media industry and discuss the importance of digital initiatives in
the next 3, 5 and 10 years, to Yext's weekly Friday meetings (that do include beer and
food!) in which they report on their weekly wins with sales (that could include edito-
rial analytics in our industry), to General McChrystal's new book on building a team of
teams, it has become clear that it is not just a champion or an ‘exchange’ team that
should be charged with, as our CEO says, "Figuring out digital." It should be a compa-
ny-wide approach on both the editorial, sales, creative, marketing and circulation teams.
As a company we should all be thinking "digital-first" and celebrate our wins weekly as
we forge the path toward our goals.
Culture changes need to be revamped and updated often and, if we are to be the
innovators in the digital space, we should innovate our own internal culture consistently
to make it reflect our current goals company-wide.
— Emily Walsh
Chief Digital Office, Observer Media Group
Mobile. Data. Content. And within content, I’m including native and social. My big take away is that if we can get
these right, the revenue will follow and we will be well positioned for the future. I took away something on each of these
themes from every session, but by far I got the best “back at the office on Monday” list from our visit to Hearst. They
were so thoughtful in putting a great mix of relevant presentations in front of us. And you can’t help but be inspired when
you are meeting “in the sky” in their gorgeous offices.
— Pam Laycock
SVP Strategy & Communications, Metroland Media Group
This was my first Innovation Mission and I didn't really know what to expect. It far
exceeded my expectations and the experience was both valuable and timely as Wick
Communications maps its digital future and moves into a long range strategic planning
My top takeaways were:
■ the digital service partnership options ("White labeling options") availed through the
companies we visited
■ the cultures and work environments we experienced and witnessed (lots of lessons to
be learned here by the newspaper industry)
■ and the new industry friends and network connections I made with the other IM
I would definitively recommend the IM experience to others and look forward to
participating again in 2016.
— Tom Yunt
President & CEO, Wick Communications Co.
I would rank the experience of joining the Innovation Mission at the top; I was
amazed at the access that we were given to companies that are in our industry and
those that are not.
My top takeaway was that each company we visited is hyper-focused on the
consumer and how they engage or what they need as compared to what that par-
ticular company can provide. In addition, I really appreciated the culture differences
between our industry and the start-up organizations we visited. While we can’t (and
shouldn’t) implement all that they do there are definitely things that we should put
into place soon.
— Bryce Jacobson
General Manager, Greeley Tribune
The Innovation Mission was a defining moment for me. The environment, though
incredibly fast-paced, somehow gives you the opportunity to slow down and really
think through how you want to structure your organization for the future. I am now
working on plans to implement organizational changes and launch new advertising
solutions, including video and targeted audience products, in my markets.
— Shawn Palmer
Senior Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer,
Record-Journal Publishing Company
I rate the experience as incredible, amazing, game changing!
My takeaways were:
1. A handful of publishers are actually pricing two video experiences per article
page, which I would like to consider.
2. Pinterest's tiered add product landscape was intriguing, and something I'd like
for us to consider.
— Todd Handy
VP/ Advertising Strategy & Products, Deseret Digital Media
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