Home' Local Media Today : June 2007 Contents JUNE 2007
By Nancy Lane
There was no shortage of great ideas at
the second annual SNA Interactive
Strategies Symposium held on May
22 in conjunction with the E&P Interactive
Conference. Community newspapers are
doing great things with their websites and
have come a long way in just the past year.
Industry experts from companies large and
small shared their experiences, new ideas
Mark Bullard, Director of Design &
Emedia, The Daily Herald, Provo,
Utah: discussed the yahoo partnership and
how it is working at his company. He attrib-
utes extensive training and sales contests to
the success of the upsells ($180 for 30 days
online compared to $55 before the partner-
ship). He said that over 50% of new hires
were sourced from the internet in 2005 and
urged attendees to partner if possible to
broaden their reach and increase revenues.
Michael Schlein, Director of New
Media, New York Times Regional
Group: his company’s websites are going
from web 1.0 to the “wheel of tomorrow”.
Web 1.0 was defined as newspaper.com
using cheap technology and small staffs.
The new version will be more of a commu-
nity portal with a search focus, updated
design and multi-media sales approach. He
sees search as the “technology glue” for the
new site. They are using Planet Discover
for their search application.
Anne Eisenmenger, Vice President,
Business Development, GateHouse
Media New England: they recently made
the sales process easier by simplifying the
process. They want it to be as easy as
“would you like fries with that”. To do so,
they are taking advantage of town-specific
sites and offering limited inventory ads at a
flat rate. The sales reps don’t have to talk
about click throughs or impressions – the
flat rate makes it easy to understand and
sell (even if it is based on CPM).
Peter M. Zollman, Founding Principal,
Classified Intelligence, LLC &
Advanced Interactive Media Group,
LLC discussed three specific ideas:
Special sections – thinks that newspapers
are missing an opportunity by not integrat-
ing special sections online (with a web
Self serve – obviously classified is a must
but display is the new opportunity in the
self serve arena. Whatever you do, the
model must be robust.
Local video sponsored – accept user gener-
ated video and sell a sponsorship.
VEDEO COMES OF AGE
A great session about video followed:
Kate Gannon, New Media
Development Manager/Content, Ft
Collins Coloradoan: At the Coloradoan,
they conduct a mini video bootcamp that
lasts two days. They teach how to shoot,
conduct mock interviews, take action shots
and provide an introduction to editing.
Their top videos in 2006 were either critters
or crashes/disasters. They have experienced
a major change in culture. Photo galleries
are really important for them resulting in
great traffic. Visit www.coloradoan.com
Mark Bullard, Director of Design &
Emedia, The Daily Herald, Provo,
Utah At The Herald in Provo, UT, they
shoot a nightly news webcast that includes
the involvement of all staff members. They
produce this using existing staff and in-
house resources. It also appears on a local
public TV station – iProvo. Visit www.her-
aldextra.com and click on Daily Herald TV.
Chris Krug, Group Editor & Vice
President, NorthWest News Group of
Greater Chicago At the Northwest
Herald, Crystal Lake, IL, they concentrate
on high quality video and also produce a
late afternoon news cast. They are also get-
ting national attention for their recent cov-
erage of poverty which incorporated a lot of
The Edit or Not to Edit session proved to
be an endorsement for not editing user sub-
missions (other than foul language or
abuse). At past conferences, this was
always a healthy debate but the industry is
definitely learning and understanding the
need to let go when it comes to citizen gen-
Joanna O’Connell Senior Media
Planner, Avenue A/Razorfish delivered
one of the most interesting sessions of the
day. Microsoft just acquired their parent
company which gives them their first
entrance into the media buying business.
Avenue A/Razorfish represents many online
national advertisers including Wal-Mart,
Best Buy, Ford, Starwood, Conde Nast,
Disney, Coca Cola and much more. They
are the largest buyer of search media in the
They see many things feuling changes in
user behavior such as the increase in broad-
band. Consumer empowerment is key.
National advertisers are looking for stan-
dardization with pricing, sizes (MUST be
IAB compliant) and video opportunities.
They also want targeting capabilities. In
addition to geo, demo and contextual target-
ing, they are very interested in behavorial
targeting. They see a real future in this.
O’Connell strongly recommends that online
publishers partner with an advertising net-
work; they simply can’t work with every-
one directly. Networks also open up target-
ing opportunities that smaller sites can’t
provide (numbers aren’t big enough).
She provided some key resources that they
use and suggested that online publishers
become familiar with them as well.
Free resources: emarketer.com (she reads
this every day), mediapost.com and clickz.
Subscription based: comscore.com, netrat-
ings.com, forrester.com and jupiterre-
The final session addressed social media
opportunities and featured some of the win-
ning sites for reader interactivity (go to
www.suburban-news.org and click on con-
ferences – go to the presentation link for
the full powerpoint).
During this session recent college grad
Hannah Bea told the audience of her gener-
ation’s addiction to facebook. Jon Rust, Co-
President, Rust Communications, wowed
attendees with the demo of two niche sites
recently launched in his market –
www.shethemagazine.com. Both create
communities of interest online and are per-
fectly set up to tap into the power of social
networking. Sports Illustrated recognized
semoball.com as a site to watch for
Cardinals coverage and Pepsi has provided
a $50,000 sponsorship of the site.
The community newspaper industry is
clearly making the turn. Websites are con-
tinually improving. Innovation is happening
and the revenue is starting to follow. It
marked the fist time in SNA history that
this much excitement surrounded the inter-
active side of our business.
As announced in this newsletter, SNA is
making a major investment to bring iFocus
to the Fall Conference for a one-day digital
leadership symposium on October 3. This
symposium will focus heavily on social
media and practical advice to take commu-
nity websites to the next level. The owners
of iFocus produce the internationally recog-
nized “We Media” conference each year.
SNA members will find this programming
refreshingly different and motivating –
guaranteed to make you think about oppor-
tunities that you never thought of before.
Be sure to sign up soon – a record atten-
dance is expected.
Videos,Training and Social Media Take Center Stage
at the SNA Interactive Strategies Symposium
Michael Schlein, left, Director of New Media, New York Times Regional Group,
Mark Bullard, Director of Design & Emedia, The Daily Herald, Provo, Utah and
Anne Eisenmenger, Vice President, Business Development, GateHouse Media New England
delivered the opening session and provided attendees with great ideas.
Joanna O’Connell, Senior Media Planner,
Avenue A/Razorfish delivered one of the most
interesting sessions of the day.
Among many other excellent insights,
she provided some key resources that
they use and suggested that online
publishers become familiar with them as well.
emarketer.com (she reads this every day),
mediapost.com and clickz.
Chris Krug, Group Editor & Vice President,
NorthWest News Group of Greater Chicago
presents another idea.
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