Home' Local Media Today : June 2013 Contents 2 | LOCAL MEDIA TODAY | June 2013
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LMA OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
Chairman of the Board / SNI Vice-Chairman /
John Humenik | Arizona Daily Star
First Vice Chair / SNI Treasurer
Gloria Fletcher | Sound Publishing, Inc.
Second Vice Chairman
Clifford Richner | Richner Communication, Inc.
Gordon Borrell | Borrell Associates
Suzanne Schlicht | The World Company
Immediate Past LMA Chairman/
Current SNI Chairman
Jon K. Rust | Rust Communications
Roy Biondi | This Week Community Newspapers
Henry Bird | Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
Robert Brown | Swift Communications
Matt Coen | Second Street, Inc.
Brandon Erlacher | The Elkhart Truth
Terry Kukle | Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Chris Lee | Deseret Digital Media
Jennifer Parker | CrossRoadsNews, Inc.
Mark Poss | Red Wing Publishing
Kim Wilson | The South Bend Tribune
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CEO/Red Wing Publishing
The decision to go was based on a hard look at the Borrell Associates
data. It clearly shows that the bricks and mortar businesses in our
markets are spending more on digital than they are on print advertising. The
print ad budgets may have leveled out at a new normal, but our opportunity
to grow is in digital. So we could continue working on expenses, or invest in
the future and follow the money.
Once we made the decision to go, we built out the strategy based on the
competencies we already had or were able to attract affordably. We have a
full suite of offerings and utilize a blend of in-house talent and white label
vendors for fulfillment. We offer website design, SEO, PPC, social media
management, video and e-mail marketing. Our blended approach allows
us to achieve higher overall margins while utilizing key vendors in areas
requiring expertise beyond our abilities.
What is the profile of your target client and what kind of services
do you offer? Are there some top categories for digital services that
you’re especially focused on?
We have set up a full-service agency. We don’t push product. We
complete a full needs analysis which usually takes up to two hours
and then we provide our clients with a short term and long term digital
advertising and marketing plan. As a result, our target clients need to
have some scale and they need to have a budget. We need to do a good
job qualifying up front based on the prospects number of employees, total
revenue and industry category. We are
not all things to all people.
What do you figure this space is
worth in your market?
Look at your newspaper revenue. It
is bigger than that. Just decide how
big a piece you want.
Tell us about staffing – dedicated
staff, existing resources, some combination? Satisfied with the
Hire a Googly leader; someone who is humble, is a good communicator
and plays well with others. We hired a Googly director from outside
the industry to set up and lead our agency. We also hired a social media
specialist to assist our clients and serve our clients on the fulfillment side.
We are using our digital team leader for four legged sales and will be adding
more dedicated digital only sales reps soon.
How are your efforts going so far? I understand you made an early
sale worth $20K to a non-newspaper client. Congratulations!
Please share details ...Client development, what did they buy, how was it
executed, customer satisfaction, etc?
It’s early in the process but the indicators are all good. We‘ve closed
a few sales and are working on the fulfillment end so this is really the
first test for some of our partners to see if they can deliver as promised. The
average monthly billing on sales is well over $1,000 per month per client so
these are nice packages. Our current clients are most interested in website
rebuilds or upgrades, SEO, video and PPC. As we get into more business
categories I expect we will see more demand for social media and e-mail
What are your long term expectations? Can you give us some idea of
the budget you’re allowing for this endeavor? Timetable for profit?
For a small company we have made a pretty solid investment in digital.
There is not much expense beyond the staffing, but there is a cost in
getting your partnerships and strategy in place and then the ramp up. I think
we can support three full time digital only sales reps without any additional
expense in the back shop and we want to build out that team as soon as
possible. At that point we should have a pretty profitable business unit.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
I want to explore what you’re doing in the
digital agency space but before we get into
that can you please give me a thumbnail of your
traditional media company?
Red Wing Publishing is a small 2nd generation
company with ten traditional weekly/twice
weekly newspapers and shoppers. Circulations are
typically under 10,000 and we reach about 120,000
homes each week with our newspapers and total
market publications. Our markets range from the
affluent Minneapolis suburbs to a paper mill town in
northern Minnesota. We have some awesome niche
magazines, a couple of printing operations and now a
digital advertising agency.
You recently launched Big Fish Digital – a new
agency serving local SMB’s. Tell us about the
impetus behind the endeavor. And, why now?
We’ve experienced the revenue drop like
everyone else. When you start to dig into what
is cyclical and what is structural you see there has
been a serious migration of ad dollars to digital. Not
just from newspapers but from directories, direct
mail, radio and others. If that’s where our customers
are going, we should be there for them. We still scrap
for every print ad dollar, but we need to go after the
digital ad spend. It is imperative to maintain those
customer relationships. Our customers are getting hit
hard with digital offers every day and we need to be
their trusted partner.
How did you arrive at the decision to ‘go’ and
what were your primary deciding factors? Did
you replicate another’s efforts, brainstorm from
scratch, conduct local research to assess needs?
Q&A with Mark Poss
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