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You are well into the process of launching a brand new local
digital ad agency business and I’d like to probe that but
first, can you please give us a thumbnail of your company,
market and your personal professional path that led you
to Holden Landmark?
Holden Landmark Corp includes 4 weeklies and one monthly
plus associated websites. We are based in Worcester, Mass, the
second largest city in New England, and about 40 miles west
of Boston. I began my career as a community journalist back
in 1988 and have worked in a large and small newspaper and
magazine companies in Massachusetts ever since.
Your digital agency launch is a true start-up. What are
some of the drivers that led you push the ‘go’ button on
Just instincts about the opportunity. The digital revolution
has resulted in a dizzying number of marketing opportuni-
ties for small businesses and they need help sorting it out.
Our motto is “It’s chaos out there. We can help.” It’s tied to
our name as Kelley Square is a legendary traffic rotary in
Worcester with no traffic signals and 10 different spokes of
traffic. It’s appropriately named after a war hero!
Where did you start? Are you using existing resources and
making this an ‘in-house’ endeavor? Separate business?
It’s all in-house labor with out-sourced partnerships for
things like website development, printing, etc. While digital
services are the spark that has created this, we are not limiting
ourselves to that. In fact, we are seeing more initial progress
with some traditional agency services like media buying and
creative design. But it’s considered a separate business entity
to the point that some clients or other media are not even
aware of the connection.
Tell us about your goals for this business.
Our Year 1 goal is to assess the opportunity and determine
what we can effectively do and build. Every market and
opportunity can be a little different I think based on the
talent, resources and competitors you face. For example, we
see a mix of traditional , social media and public relations
work as a big opportunity in our market.
And, please comment on staffing and the start up
We are doing this with in-house sales management, in-house
lead generation from our sales force, and in-house creative
talent back-filled by freelance, temporary labor as needed.
The folks at The Times-News in Kingsport, TN are front
runners in the digital agency space and publisher Keith
Wilson says there’s a “huge sweet spot” between a full-blown
agency (high-end production/video) and the very small
stuff. What kinds of services will you be offering and who
are your target customers?
I totally agree with this. We are offering website develop-
ment and SEO to small businesses for as little as $100 per
month with zero upfront cost. Creative design work for non-
traditional businesses – we did logo and letterhead design
for a manufacturer. We have a very large, multi-phase PR
relationship building with a large independent restaurant
group in our market.
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lMA OfficERS & DiREctORS
Chairman of the Board / SNI Vice-
Jon K. Rust | Rust Communications, Inc.
First Vice Chair / SNI Treasurer
Gareth Charter | Holden Landmark Corporation
Second Vice Chairman
Gloria Fletcher | Sound Publishing
Clifford Richner | Richner Communications, Inc.
Gordon Borrell | Borrell Associates
Immediate Past LMA Chairman/
Current SNI Chairman
John Humenik | Arizona Daily Star
Robert Brown | Swift Communications
Brandon Erlacher | The Elkhart Truth
Terry Kukle | Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Chris Lee | Deseret Digital Media
Jennifer Parker | CrossRoadsNews, Inc.
Suzanne Schlicht | The World Company
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Q & A with...
gareth, Page 6
Digital Agency Start-Up:
Kelley Square Communications launches in Worcester, Mass.
i think the potential here is
very big given our local roots,
knowledge and relationships
with so many businesses.
Holden Landmark Corp.
Charter is the incoming Chairman of the Board for
Local Media Association. His contributions to LMA have
been significant over the years. He currently chairs the
very active marketing committee and has also chaired
numerous conferences and events over the last eight
years. In this month’s Q&A, editor Deb Shaw caught up
with Charter to get a status update on his new digital
agency that was launched earlier this year.
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