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Nancy Cawley Lane writes a blog about disruption in local
media and her thoughts are definitely worth the read. Check it
out at https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/11309770
LOCAL MEDIA ROCKS
LMA President Nancy Lane
@localmediarocks • Nancy.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Case to Launch a Full Blown Events
Division at Your Local Media Company
hen many of us think about local media trans-
formation, we mainly think of Clark Gilbert’s “A”
and “B” – meaning print or broadcast for “A” and
digital for “B”. I think most of us agree that transformation is
absolutely needed on both the “A” and “B” sides of the busi-
ness. At LMA, we also strongly believe that there is a “C”
and that refers to events.
Truth is, events can bring in far more revenue than
digital can for small-to-mid-size media companies and that
revenue can be far more profitable. And it comes with extra
benefits like branding, engagement with the community
and much more.
Our recommendation is to start an events division in
your company yet this year (or expand your division if you
already have one). Hire someone from the area that has
strong experience in planning events. For smaller compa-
nies, this person might be part-time to start. The ROI on this
position shouldn’t take very long (unlike a digital sales rep
that often takes 18 months to pay for themself.)
Everywhere I turn, I am hearing more and more about
events when in conversations about media transformation.
At WAN-IFRA’s World News Media Congress in June, the
annual Newspaper World Innovation report was unveiled.
One of the six recommendations was to invest more in
events. According to the report authors, “it will help offset
print losses going forward.”
During a panel discussion at #WNC15, Jim Brady,
founder of digital start up Billy Penn, told the audience
that more than 50% of his revenue is coming from events.
According to Brady, this was intentional and part of his
business plan since “digital revenue alone was never going
to fund our site 100%.”
At our recent DDM Boot Camps, one of the most popu-
lar sessions is the one on events. Utah Media Group (joint
effort between Digital First Media and Deseret Digital) is
now the number one events company in the state of Utah
with revenue exceeding $7 million. From Comic Cons to
economic summits, they are killing it with events.
Even during a recent phone call with my sister, who
happens to be a top exec at The Denver Post, events entered
our discussion. She mentioned that she spent time recently
working at their travel expo. It was a huge success and one
of many events being produced by the Post in Denver.
At Local Media Association, we are intensely focused on
helping local media companies discover new and sustain-
able business models. We wake up every day with that one
goal in mind.
Events aren’t new but they are sustainable and have
huge potential for growth. Somewhere along the line we
allowed out-of-towners to come into our markets and create
huge events. It’s time to take them back. It’s time to double
down on events. This one fits into our core competency.
This one replaces a lot of print and broadcast dollars.
We will be dedicating some time to events at the upcom-
ing Local Media Innovation Conference on September
30 at the Denver Tech Center. But don’t wait until then to
get a strategy in place. Make it a priority today and by all
means, call on us at LMA if you want any help. We know of
outsource partners, other media companies to talk to or our
own Amie Stein is available to help craft a business plan and
We got this one industry!! Just do it.
Boot Camp attendees learning the inside info on what makes events
worth more than $7 million in Utah.
he acclaimed two-day intensive digital
training developed by Deseret Digital Me-
dia will be offered in Germany in October
but before that, there’s another opportunity stateside
to get in on the action. LMA , in partnership with
DDM, is offering the next BootCamp on August 25-
26 in Salt Lake City.
The training takes participants on a deep dive
into one of the world’s most disruptive and inno-
vative media companies. Based on DDM’s highly
praised business techniques and progressive culture,
attendees will learn of the immediate opportunities
and proven disciplines for digital growth that can be
transported back to local markets.
Best practices in a disciplined environment are
taught and discussed in depth. Training is con-
ducted first-hand by some of the leading digital
media thinkers and operators. DDM has grown their
audience of unique visitors from 4 million to 25 mil-
lion, almost 500 million page views, and 100 million
Facebook followers, all in four years. Designed for
senior-level managers and executives who truly want
to transform their media company, the curriculum
n How to build a profitable native business plan
n How to use the principles of dual transformation
to grow your core and digital business
n How to optimize programmatic buying in your
n How to grow successful e-commerce offerings
n Audience engagement, social media, video, and
n Building and managing a vibrant contributor
network & much more
And the learning doesn’t stop at the conclusion of
the BootCamp. DDM will conduct periodic follow-
ups with measurement and quarterly index tracking
to ensure that progress with the learned techniques
is on track. “Hands down, the most valuable training
I’ve attended in a decade,” said a recent graduate.
BootCamp Going to Germany
But first, next stop Salt Lake City later this month
Available Training Dates:
August 25-26, Salt Lake City, Utah
October 7-8, Hamburg, Germany
(In conjunction with the WAN-IFRA World Publishing Expo.)
Register today at www.localmedia.org/training
The DDM BootCamp
was the most engaging
I’ve ever attended
in my 26-year-career.
There were so many
things I learned, that I
can implement quickly,
in order to make an
immediate impact on
the digital future of our
Small group learning enhances the BootCamp experience.
Kevin von Gillern
Sr. Content Strategist,
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