Home' Local Media Today : June 2007 Contents Macy’s to Newspapers – Reinvent or Else...
We recently attended the NAA Annual Convention in New York where the mood was
somber. The woes of the large metro dailies were discussed in every session that we
attended and in every side conversation that we had. The emphasis continues to be
online for the large metros but we also left with a feeling that major changes are on
the horizon for the print product. I’m not sure if this means converting the paid model
to free, eliminating unproductive days from the daily publishing cycle or creating
more and more niche products – but change is definitely on the way.
One session that really got our attention was the Tuesday keynote featuring Anne
MacDonald, president and chief marketing officer, Macy’s Corporate Marketing. She
delivered a refreshingly candid presentation and gave plenty of advice to newspapers.
She is not happy to see newspapers in decline and in fact is very troubled by this.
Because newspapers have shown an inability to reach younger and multi-cultural con-
sumers, Macy’s is taking money out of newspapers and choosing media that is attract-
ing and embracing these customers.
Macy’s is looking to reinvent their business model. They went national last
September. Their target customer is female, age 18-54 with household income starting
at $35,000. They are balancing national advertising with local.
Ms MacDonald offered the following advice to newspapers if they want to secure
advertising from Macy’s (and we think this advice applies to many other retailers as
Find ways to reach women age 18-54 and also minorities. She doesn’t think that the
metro dailies are doing a good job (opportunity for community papers!)
Content needs to be more relevant – need to be more local! She thinks the metros
push the local content to the back sections
instead of on the front. (another opportunity
area for community newspapers!)
Work harder at customizing the reader
experience. The technology is there to do
things that seemed impossible just five years
Keep strong journalistic standards.
We need to be much more aggressive in
leveraging our content online. Newspapers
are so connected to local communities and
she sees this as a very enviable position. (Community newspapers are even more local
with their connectivity).
Newspapers need to think more about brands and marketing. Don’t sell ink on paper
show advertisers how you create an environment that engages their customers.
Get more creative in our approach to advertisers – bring big ideas and breakthrough
thinking – that gets attention.
Coordinate across geographic markets. Working with individual newspapers is NOT
effective for them or us. She knows this is uncomfortable for newspapers to hear. (We
hear this from every retailer and advertising agency in the country!)
Partner with Macy’s on proprietary research studies. They are conducting a consider-
able amount of research right now but they need more targeted research about news-
papers. They also need to test propositions together with newspapers.
We walked away from this session energized and more enthusiastic about our industry
than ever. We were the minority. As the big metros try to become hyper-local, com-
munity newspapers are already there. It is time to leverage this, promote it and let the
advertising world know that no one is better at hyper-local than the community daily
or weekly newspaper.
SNA’s Al Cupo and Sammy Papert (Belden Associates) plan to visit Macy’s in the
next month to show them our research and discuss ways that the suburban and com-
munity newspaper industry can work with Macy’s. If you need contact information
for Macy’s, email email@example.com and he will provide it to you. We will
also report on the call to the entire membership.
From the sna
“Don’t sell ink on paper
– show advertisers how
you create an environ-
ment that engages
Bragging Rights Coming Soon
The 2007 SNA Newspaper of
the Year/General Excellence
Contest is underway and as SNA’s
Marketing Manager Kim Cole says “It’s
the big one!”
This contest crowns winners in 6 different
circulation/frequency classes and the 1st
place winners in each get to justifiably
declare that they are the best newspaper of
their size in North America. Last year’s
contest drew over 200 entries.
Independent judges from American Press
Institute - check out the pedigree of one of
last years judges in sidebar - will review
the entries and make decisions based on
specific criteria. Everything from headline
writing and editorial layout to retail ad
copy and news photography will be taken
Entering involves sending your best issue
from June & November, 2006 and April,
2007. That’s 3 different issues per entry.
All entries must be postmarked by July 6,
Any suburban or community newspaper
may enter this contest.
Complete rules, downloadable entry forms
and detailed criteria are available on
SNA’s website, www.suburban-news.org.
On Last Years’ Entries
Judge Tom Linthicum said:
“Good journalism is alive and well at
many community newspapers. These
entries offered examples of terrific writ-
ing, strong story-telling, hard-hitting
investigative reporting, terrific photogra-
phy, compelling design and new ways to
connect with readers."
- Tom Linthicum, judge
SNA 2006 General Excellence
and Newspaper of The Year contest.
- former metropolitan editor of The Baltimore Sun
and founder of TDL Group, Inc .
- seminar associate and discussion
leader for the American Press Institute,
teaches journalism at the University of Mar yland,
lectures regularly at the International Center for
Journalists and has been a visiting
faculty member at the Poynter Institute
With nearly double the entries from last
year, SNA’s 2007 Local Community
Website Contest proved to be a tight race,
presenting top-notch community websites
from across North America. SNA’s
Community Website Contest recognizes
excellence in local community websites
and contest entrants did not fail to deliver.
Dominating the competition on the daily
side with 16 total awards was Lee
Enterprises, while Metroland Media
Group monopolized the weekly side with
15 combined awards. Other impressive per-
formances included: GateHouse Media
with 8 awards; Journal Register Company,
NorthWest Herald/Shaw Newspapers and
Ottaway Newspapers with 5 awards apiece;
and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.,
Cox Ohio Newspapers and ThisWeek
Newspapers proudly taking home 4
awards each. The Sioux City
Journal (www.siouxcityjournal.com) led
the pack for individual sites with 5 com-
Website of the Year winners exemplify how
local websites can attentively serve their
communities in a profound and proficient
style. First place honors for this
category, divided into 4 classes, were
Class A: Sioux City Journal / Lee
Enterprises, Inc. www.siouxcityjournal.com
Class B: Lawrence Journal-World / The
World Company www.ljworld.com
Class C: Cox Newspapers / Cox Ohio
Newspapers-Southwest Group www.pulse-
Class D: GateHouse Media New England /
GateHouse Media, Inc.
Innovator of the Year recognizes an indi-
vidual who has
ing, use of new tech-
nology and effective
marketing. This year,
bestowed upon Mike
New Media, NorthWest Herald, Kane
County Chronicle, NorthWest News Group
/ Shaw Newspapers www.nwherald.com
Judging for the contest was managed by
the American Press Institute. Judges were
hand selected and included some of the
brightest minds in the area of interactive
media, many of whom oversee some of the
largest newspaper websites in the country.
For a complete and detailed list of all the
contest winners, as well as judges’ com-
mentary, visit SNA’s website, www.subur-
ban-news.org under Contests.
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