Home' Local Media Today : January 2013 Contents 2 | LOCAL MEDIA TODAY | January 2013
one form or another, such press releases have
traditionally comprised much of the content
of our paper. Often treated as “filler,” these
releases were typically not published online.
There was a fair amount of work involved in
publishing these releases – and a lot of rework
and waste, as PR “blasts” to multiple staff
members would often result in redundant
effort and redundant insertions; also, many
releases were formatted for print but left
unused – and all for no revenue.
Meanwhile, we’ve seen the studies telling
us, and as we are painfully aware, many SMBs
are spending less on traditional advertising.
We know we must deliver non-traditional
marketing solutions. Some areas of growth
for us have involved programs offering a
combination of ads and advertorial. So, we
started thinking, press releases, managed in
a non-traditional way, might constitute part
of the “non-traditional marketing” we need
Then, as to drive the point home, our editor
attended a large public organization’s press
conference where the public relations direc-
tor announced that, in the prior year, the
organization had generated over $4 million in
advertising equivalency with press releases.
The PR director also touted some strengths of
press release articles relative to conventional
advertising, including SEO benefits and a
better format for delivering detailed messages.
We decided to overhaul our approach to
press releases: stop publishing low-value
releases, streamline release processing, publish
releases online as well as in print, and selec-
tively require payment for release publication.
To help justify applying a charge for some-
thing we had delivered for free, we wanted to
bolster the value of what we are delivering and
made this a multi-media offering, as most of
our programs now are. The press releases we
choose to publish are first published online,
then selectively reverse-published to the
print edition. If the subject of the release is
an event, a calendar listing is also created,
which appears online and in print. We have
not yet incorporated social media, but we
expect to do so.
Common practice is an entity e-mails a
press release and news organizations do
with it what they so choose. Take us through
the mechanics of your program please.
The Herald’s “Newsdesk” is the clearing-
house for all incoming press releases.
This is the advertised “access point” for com-
munity submissions, and we reinforce this
access point for those who routinely submit
press releases to us. With some exceptions,
all releases received by other staff members
are relayed to Newsdesk. While this process
creates redundant submissions at Newsdesk,
it curtails redundant processing throughout
Newsdesk performs triage on the submis-
sions, deleting some, posting some, and relay-
ing some for further consideration – including
I want to explore your ‘sponsored content’ initiative but first things
first. Can you give us a thumbnail of your company, market and
We are an independently-owned media company. Our flagship
publication is the Herald – a free-issue, bulk-drop weekly, sus-
taining an average circulation of 32,000. CapeMayCountyHerald.com
averages over 100,000 visitors and 250,000 visits monthly. About 70
percent of our online traffic is local; about half of our local visitors are
web-unique; about 20 percent of total traffic is non-local with strong
local interests. Cape May County is a Jersey Shore market; so, our
population of almost 100,000 swells to more than 500,000 during the
summer. The Herald’s summer circulation is 60 percent more than the
winter circulation. We are the leading local media company serving Cape
May County, but there is plenty of competition from a regional daily,
various hyper-local community publications and tourist publications,
along with many niche websites and other digital and broadcast entities.
And, please share your professional pathway to your role as
Director of Development.
In 2001, while serving as Training Officer at the Coast Guard’s boot
camp in Cape May, I hit the 20-year service mark. I was looking
for a career change; my family was looking for some stability; and the
Herald was looking for someone to help chart a course through the
digital-disruption storms then looming on the horizon. Here I am.
A little more than a year ago you started a ‘sponsored content’
program that ties to press releases. Tell us about the impetus for
Of course, we’ve customarily published press releases and event
promotions, for our advertisers and as a community service. In
An OfficiAl PublicAtiOn Of
Local Media Today is published in print
and digitally by the Local Media Association,
the only non-profit trade association in
North America that specifically represents
the needs and interests of local newspaper
and media companies, their multi-media
publishing entities and other community based
With a tagline of Innovate. Educate. Inspire
LMA provides leadership for its members and
support for their endeavors including their
pursuits of journalistic excellence, sales and
marketing expertise, audience development,
community-centric initiatives and leadership
values through the ongoing development and
dissemination of powerful, innovative and
116 Cass Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
lMA OfficERS & DiREctORS
Chairman of the Board / SNI Vice-Chairman /
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
843-390-1531 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President of Operations
215-256-6801 | email@example.com
Sales & Marketing Director
888-486-2466 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Classified Avenue Director of Sales
888-486-2466 | email@example.com
Local Media Today Editor
888-486-2466 | firstname.lastname@example.org
888-486-2466 |e-mail to email@example.com
Accounting & Finance Director
Database & IT Director
Local Media Today is printed courtesy of
CNS Printing and This Week Community
Newspapers, serving Columbus, Ohio and
The digital edition of Local Media Today is
published courtesy of Page Suite, a leading
digital publisher, with their North American
office in Atlanta, Georgia.
Q & A with...
old: press releases, page 12
Preston Gibson, center, with teammates
Karen Dickinson, Advertising Manager
and Steve Dunwoody, Media Manager.
Director of Development, Cape May County Herald (NJ)
Old: Press Releases
New: Sponsored Content
Links Archive December 2012 February 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page