Home' Local Media Today : February 2009 Contents MEMBERS CAN EXPECT MORE FREE SERVICES & BENEFITS IN 2009
Times are tough. Our industry faces unprecedented challenges. At the same time,
tremendous opportunity exists. We understand that SNA members need more sup-
port, ideas, training, research and information than ever before. And we are
retooling to provide just that in 2009.
The SNA Board of Directors spent two full days at an airport hotel in Tampa in
early January focusing on strategic planning for 2009 and beyond. Never a group
to sit on their laurels, they pushed the past eight years of record growth aside and
discussed ways to provide more value to SNA members for less money.
At the end of two days, nine critical issues emerged, and action plans are being
developed now for roll out starting in the first quarter of 2009. Some of the imme-
diate changes that you can expect:
More FREE webinars and conference calls. In our recent member survey,
we received tremendous feedback on the quality of the free webinars that we con-
duct. Originally we had scheduled more than 20 free webinars for 2009; expect
that number to double. We understand that your staff needs more training,
research and information - more than ever before and that you are not willing to
spend a lot in travel. These webinars will provide this much needed information at
no cost to SNA members. Webinars will continue to focus on actionable ideas,
best practices and information that you can put to use today.
The IMA or Interactive Media Alliance will shift from an individual paid
membership to a company-wide membership. Now, every IMA webinar
will allow five lines per company instead of one. This brings the cost of IMA
webinars down to $2.35 per person for Classified Avenue members and $4.16 per
person for non CA members.
Classified Avenue will launch a 2x2 network in the second quarter with at
least 50% of the revenue going back to member newspapers. Rebates are expected
to be in the same range as current CA rebates – meaning that most members can
expect to receive double the money in 2009. For large regular SNA members, this
means annual revenue in the $6,000 range. For corporate members, this could
mean tens of thousands of dollars.
We will conduct extensive research on behalf of the industry in 2009.
The member survey indicated that research was one of the top reasons why mem-
bers belong to SNA. We know that individual newspaper research budgets have
been cut for 2009 in many cases. We will step up our efforts to conduct a large
market study – one that will demonstrate the importance of community media to
consumers. We will aggressively market the results of that study to major and
national media buyers and make a template available to SNA members to use in
their own local and major account presentations. You can also expect more indus-
try reports in 2009 through partner Borrell Associates and others in areas such as
Web site benchmarking, recruitment and real estate outlooks and much more.
We will focus even more on securing grants for the SNA Foundation to
conduct more research to help members make the digital transition. In 2009,
through a McCormick grant, we will issue a comprehensive research report enti-
tled – Striking a Balance between Community Journalism and Citizen
Participation. See the related story on page 2 for fuller details of this study. Our
efforts will continue with e-learning courses through our partnership with the
Poynter Institute (thanks to a Knight Foundation grant). Three more courses will
be launched in 2009 including Leading an Online Newsroom – What You Need to
Know, scheduled to go live later this month.
I could fill several pages outlining the nine critical issues and our extensive action
plans associated with each. Some are still in the development phase; some are
close to launch date. At SNA, we only have one speed (lightening fast), so expect
to see these changes and many others very soon. I will report on more of the plans
in the March column. Thanks for your continued support of SNA. Know that you
are with an association that “gets it” and will do everything in its power to help
you and your staff during these challenging times.
From the sna
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