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The Tuscaloosa News has won
the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for break-
ing news coverage of the April 2011
tornado that destroyed much of
The breaking news prize focuses
on organizations that capture events
accurately as they occur, as quickly
as possible, and over time, illumi-
nate, provide context and expand
upon the initial coverage.
The News’ Pulitzer entry high-
lighted the coverage from the day of
the storm, including a Twitter feed
that provided real time updates to
residents, emergency personnel and
readers around the world, photo galleries and video of the aftermath and an online
bulletin board for people seeking residents in the path of the storm.
“This is work we have prepared our entire careers for and the staff came through
without hesitation, giving up endless hours to get the news first, fast and above all,
accurately, not least because this is a city we all know and love, and we were telling
the stories of our neighbors and friends,” said City Editor Katherine Lee.
Top 10 from the
I love this event and this year was no excep-
tion. There is something about a conference
that focuses 100% on revenue that brings the
energy level to a new high. This year it was
hard to narrow down to just the top 10, but
here they are in no particular order:
So Lo Mo: We’ve heard about the success
coming out of Morris but when American
Consolidated Media shared that they sold
$325,000 in two very small markets, that got
our attention. So Lo Mo is a cool strategy that
is easy to sell; 100% of the revenue is digital
(So Lo Mo stands for Social, Local, Mobile).
LMIA recently issued a 20+ page report on
SoLoMo, contact Tanya.henderson@localme-
dia.org to order a copy.
Block & Prospect: brilliant strategy coming
out of GateHouse Media. They set aside a
certain time and day each week for pros-
pecting (no exceptions). Reps are required
to conduct 5 new account calls each week
as a result of the prospecting exercise. Early
results are impressive.
Sell Facebook Contests for your
Advertisers: from Matt Coen, Second Street
Media. They are working with a lot of media
companies to help produce these advertiser-
focused contests (unlike the ones that focus
on the newspaper’s brand). These contests
drive “likes” on Facebook for advertising
clients and are producing $5,000-$10,000
per campaign for companies like Scripps
and Lee Enterprises.
Tie Compensation to Key Performance
Indicators: Bruce Faulmann at the Tampa Bay
Times uses four of them: # of active accounts
(# per month- ranges from 15 to 40+); new
account growth (# per month – ranges from
1 -7); customer retention – 80% is the goal
from prior month; and revenue diversification
(percentages for print and digital). Hit all four
and get a 45% bump on your commission.
Two or less results in a negative hit.
Make Your Reps Write a Weekly Plan: from
Steve Waterhouse’s keynote presentation.
Winners have a plan (ask your sales reps to
show you their plan for the week – if they
don’t have one, send them home to develop
their plan and tell them to come back the
Create a New Business Development
Team: from Chris Edwards/Source Media,
Cedar Rapids, IA. This team prospects and
sells non-customers only; they eventually
turn the accounts over to the regular team.
They also act as a “hit squad” for projects
and new product launches.
Recognize Your Top Performers: from
Jim Doyle’s “8 to be Great”. Doyle thinks we
spend too much time on under-performers
and not enough on our all-stars (the ones
that deliver and bring in the $$). “What are
you personally doing to recognize your stars?
Applause, excitement and fun – that is what
they want!” Have you created this environ-
ment for your all-stars?
Large Format Ads on the Homepage Are
More Effective. This was a top takeaway from
the WAN-IFRA study tour that resonated
with the summit attendees. European media
houses are monetizing home page ads in a
bigger way using larger formats (examples:
www.aftonbladet.se, www.20minutes.fr, www.
Consider The Blinder Group for a Sales
Blitz or Advertiser Workshops. We heard over
and over again at the summit how various
companies were utilizing The Blinder Group
to drive multimedia revenue. Executives from
Morris, GateHouse, American Consolidated
Media, Journal Register/Digital First, The
Observer Group, Sandusky Newspapers,
Source Media/Cedar Rapids and more all
included these facts in their individual pre-
sentations. (Full disclosure: Mike is our part-
ner for this summit but this takeaway came
directly from the mouths of our members
and was covered so often by a wide variety
R&D Partners Have Developed Many
Revenue-Generating Products. Many of
our exhibitors and sponsors shared their
latest success stories during a working
lunch. Brainworks showcased an iPad app
for sales reps that is location based and
identifies non-advertisers while the reps
are on the road. Ranger Data presented
their call management software system
that is designed to increase revenue in
just 30-60 days (proven and guaranteed in
the contract). Impact Engine has a vertical
sliding billboard that is delivering higher
CPM’s and is very cool. Capital Marketing
Concepts presented several case studies
using travel awards for advertisers, employ-
ees and subscribers. Our Gold Sponsor
Saxotech announced the launch of Saxotech
Connect this July. This is designed to help
publishers increase their CPM’s by more
than 100% and click through rates by 200%.
As always, visiting exhibitors at one of our
events pays off.
LMA will be publishing a free report on all
of the top takeaways for our members. The
report will be released in mid-June.
Brian Reynolds, Staff Writer,
The Tuscaloosa News
LMA MEMBER WINS PULITzER
The Tuscaloosa News wins
for breaking news reporting
Members of The Tuscaloosa News staff
celebrate and congratulate one another
after the announcement that their paper
had won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage
of the April 27, 2011 Tornado that destroyed
much of Tuscaloosa. (Tuscaloosa news /
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