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Local Media Today’s Deb Shaw caught
up with several attendees just after the
conference and asked them what was
their favorite session and why. Here’s a
sampling of the responses:
My favorite session was Jason Taylor’s
on Event Marketing. Jason’s presence and engaging speaking
style are captivating. His creative ideas and energy truly inspire
newspapers to think outside the traditional box and get creative and
be innovative by taking advantage of the strengths and resources
we have as trusted community newspapers to help us grow and
thrive in the future.
(Editor’s note: See Nancy Lane’s article on opposite page for more
on this presentation.)
The last day of the conference was by far
the most beneficial for me. I would have
to say that I took the most away from the
Event Marketing session and the Managing Online Session.
Both speakers were impressive and struck a chord with me since
I am in the middle of planning our companies “Best of Worcester”
party as well as taking on a new role as manager of our online.
The Managing Online gave me a new perspective which is much
needed in our market. So far it has helped me to lead with value
rather than price...very helpful since this is the first year we are
charging for our online component. We have gone back and
forth on whether or not to create an online rate card....sitting in
on that session helped me make the decision not to.
The Event Planning and Marketing Session had great energy
and helped me to see different ways to plan and get advertisers
involved....all the while actually turning a profit.
I enjoyed the first session
with the CEO’s the best. It was
refreshing to hear the balanced approach to the print/
digital investment dilemma we face espoused by Donna
Barrett of CNHI, and of course our own David Black is well
known as a champion for the print side of our industry.
What I didn’t expect was to meet so many executives who
agree that the print side of our industry, which is still the
dominant revenue stream, needs continued investment and
that digital opportunities will not replace print so we need
to have both platforms working well for the overall health
of our companies. There seems to be a school of thought
promulgated by some that we should be “transitioning
our business from print to digital” and that idea, taken
to its conclusion, would mean the end of our industry, in
my opinion. The session generated terrific debate in the
hallways and it was encouraging to see so many execu-
tives in attendance and talk of the US economy showing
signs of life.
Associate Publisher for New Media
Record-Journal Publishing Co.
Chief Operating Officer
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.
Advertising Sales Manager
Holden Landmark Corporation
Senior Vice President of Media Operations
Chief Operating Officer
First of all, I would say that in general,
I really appreciate the Mega-Conference
- both last year and this year - because
the agenda is always timely, positive and
forward-thinking. There’s no hand-wring-
ing, just rolling up the sleeves and getting
down to work and the overall message
from the presenters is “here’s what we’re
doing to move our organizations forward
and by gosh you can do it too!”
But my favorite session was “Industry
Innovators: Four Newspapers that are
Moving Forward in a Modern Media
World,” specifically Brandon Erlacher’s
presentation on the new digital depart-
ment he is creating at the Elkhart Truth
in Elkhart, Indiana because he has
taken lessons learned on the Innovation
Mission, created a vision and a plan for
his company and is making the invest-
ment of time, resources and personnel
to make it happen. I don’t know if there
is a more important message that can
be sent in these times than the message
that vision and courage of conviction is
a powerful combination to move forward
with. Also on that session’s panel was
Liz Thompson from the Herald-Mail in
Hagerstown, MD who presented on the
topic of Revenue Opportunities through
Email Marketing. Liz gave some very
practical and helpful examples of how her
company collects and monetizes e-mail
addresses. Newspaper companies have
a unique opportunity to gather e-mail
addresses and append them with street
addresses and other socio-graphic and
demographic information that will help
us reach our consumers with news and
advertising information that is tailored to
their lifestyles, and will help our advertis-
ers to efficiently reach the people most
likely to be interested in their goods or
(Editor’s Note: See the page 2 Q&A with
Liz for more on e-mail marketing.)
It really was a great conference. I have
a tablet full of notes, now if I can only find
the time to type them up and match them
up to the presentations!
The paywall session was
outstanding. The speakers presented a wide array of
examples and options to consider. The experiences they
shared made me much more comfortable considering
this path for our operation.
(Editor’s Note: See article by Al Cupo on page 9 for more
on this presentation.)
My favorite sessions were the
various discussions on paid content. Matt Lindsay was
really interesting in showing how to set the number of page
views for the paid content meter. He did a very good job
covering the logical way to approach the issue.
Andy Waters video from xtranormal was very memo-
rable. It did a great job of show how many of the proponents
of free content are not considering the business realities.
(Editor’s note: View this video at http://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=erQgGi7gDXU – it’s definitely worth
three minutes of your time.)
The mega-conference was a terrific event.
The quality and quantity of speakers and
attendees made for the best industry con-
ference in years! I was particularly impressed by Matt Lindsay’s
presentation. It was great to see some analytics concerning paywalls
and the direct impact on audience and ad revenue.
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