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community than people doing bad things. We highlight and celebrate the positive news.
Whoever wrote the rule that news has to be negative?
Take for example, a recent annual event called Hometown Heroes which we hosted
this month. We had more than 300 community members, business leaders, church
leaders as well as government officials in attendance to honor 20 ordinary people doing
extraordinary things in our community. All proceeds from the event went to local chari-
ties. We first published the event in our newspaper with stories about each local hero, we
hosted and recorded the event for airing on our channel. In addition, we have a weekly
show called “Hometown Heroes” which is archived digitally so it can be viewed anytime
anywhere on smartphones, tablets, desktops or TVs as we continue to tell positive stories
in innovative and engaging ways.
Q Later this year you’ll hit the three-year
anniversary of the launch of your company.
How are things going? What have been some of
your best successes so far?
A Things are
well. We have
entrenched in the
continues to grow.
And we’ve received
a lot of very
feedback about our
We acquired a weekly newspaper and launched a first-time ever full Southern New
Jersey nightly newscast. We have improved content and share it across all platforms.
Video production continues to grow as we utilize the traditional method of delivery as a
runway to the OTT world.
We also continue to add value to our clients. A couple of examples would be:
n A new technical education and public high school, for which we created and ex-
ecuted a multi-media campaign and rebranding effort to attract first-time students. The
expectations of the client were 250 to 275 applications. The result: we attracted 525 stu-
dents to complete applications for only 225 slotted seats. We helped them double their
expectations. Only 20% of the ad placement spend was kept in-house between our radio,
TV, Internet and newspaper. We take a very objective view when it comes to figuring out
value for our customers.
n Another success is the Cowtown Rodeo – the longest running weekly rodeo in the
country . ClearBridge Media Consulting, our marketing services company, was able to
work with the client and strategize how to drive revenue. This one was simple — show
the rodeo. Our production company, Glasstown Productions films the rodeo on Satur-
days, we buy airtime in the entire Philadelphia market and air it on Thursday evenings.
This strategic plan has led to sell-out crowds on most event nights. We showed the world
this family entertainment product and helped them achieve their objective to increase
Q Can you comment on
the reception your
products are experiencing with
audience and local businesses?
What types of branding and
promotional efforts are working
well for you? Effective tools for
A The added and im-
proved content is what’s
growing the SNJ Today brand.
New programs are increas-
ing viewership on our cable
TV channel, but none so much
as our nightly newscast which airs on our own station in Cumberland County and on a
neighboring Philadelphia market station serving more than 3 million households in the
Delaware Valley area.
Our expertise, which we have leveraged into ClearBridge Media, is getting clients to
come to us for our accomplishments to date in areas such as social media management,
identity and brand designing, marketing campaign planning and development, creative
and effective digital advertising as well as engaging Web design and development.
And as I said, we’re becoming heavily engaged with our community, and in particular
our business community. To further develop those relationships, we are partnering with
local chambers of commerce and business trade groups to host positive engagement
sessions at our facility. The notoriety of events such as our visit from U.S. Senator Cory
Booker and the response to an upcoming event with New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim
Gaudagno is helping us to build and strengthen community engagement.
Q What has your experience so far taught you insomuch as “I wish I knew then what
I know now”?
A I had the theory of all things positive for our community and thought I should
roll it out slow over the traditional eclectic programming we had. It took almost
a year. Looking back - I would have changed our format immediately.
In addition, I would have quickly made personnel changes rather than dragging
them out. Obviously, there was some push-back from the small but loyal listeners and
viewers, but we can clearly see the larger and growing audience is appreciative through
Q Tell us about the organization of your company. And please share your approach
to ad sales – products bundled? Sold separately with dedicated staff?
A We had initially bundled radio and television packages and we have continued
the bundling concept becoming more aggressive with radio, TV, Internet and
newsprint packages. Our focus on sales at the moment involves putting more advanced
processes and tools in place to build and support our sales team. We continue to
explore the concept of specialists. Likely we will start the process of utilizing a digital
sales specialist in 2016.
Q Please describe your workplace, culture and employees. How do you foster a
culture in which new ideas can be incubated? What’s working for recruiting and
retaining the right people?
A First, our team members must have a core belief in our mission, vision and
values. We embrace the word synergy. I love the idea that one plus one can
equal much more than two. If one person has an idea and another person has an idea
- you have two independent ideas - combine or take elements from each and you have
three or more.
In order to be a positive change in the community, I often repeat to our staff and to
our supporters the characteristics or expectations that we have for our team members.
Our roots are based on a team that is compassionate, honest, charitable, professional,
insightful, flexible, ambitious, respectful, kind, hard-working and responsible.
We have a great team and their work and our proven mission to keep things positive
is becoming recognized and sought after by clients and supporters. That kind of noto-
riety is also attracting people who are seeking us out to work with us. As we continue to
grow our list of accomplishments, I think that attraction will continue to grow also.
Q What are some of your current or emerging initiatives that you are working on?
A Our initial purchase included an AM radio station and we’re very excited that
we’ll soon be transitioning to an FM platform for better reach and exposure.
We will continue to create relevant community content and share it across all of our
We are a resource sharing company, and right now we’re looking for partners who
are interested in having pre-produced local news and weather pieces. Even if it is one or
two reports a day for them to share through social media. This can help improve their
engagement. The private-labeling capability is something we’re excited about and are
getting ready to market more aggressively.
Q Finally, where do you see the biggest opportunities for local media companies this
year and beyond?
A I think the biggest opportunity for local media companies is staying focused on
creating value for their clients. If you can find ways to add value to the clients the
rest will take care of itself.
Our team members must have a core belief in our
mission, vision and values. We embrace the word synergy.
I love the idea that one plus one can equal much more
than two. If one person has an idea and another person
has an idea - you have two independent ideas - combine
or take elements from each and you have three or more.
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