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WHAT DOES OUR FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
Community newspapers are undergoing an exciting transformation. At
the same time, an uncertain economy puts new challenges on us every
day. What can be done in 2008 to decrease expenses, increase revenue
and keep employees motivated?
I get asked this question by many publishers these days. Most SNA
members are still experiencing a decent year; they are just affected by
the economy in areas like real estate and automotive. At the same time,
they are trying to transition to a multi-media platform. It can be over-
whelming at times.
First and foremost, newspaper com-
panies must not postpone the
progress they are making with their
digital transformation. Wherever you
are with your progress, you must set
3-4 major goals for the year and
ensure that they happen. This can
range from developing a classified
self-service model on your web site
to a full blown mobile platform –
depending on your progress to date.
No matter what else happens, make
sure that you continue to transform
your operation to a true multi-media
platform. Your future depends on it.
Second, make sure that all revenue
opportunities are being uncovered. Publishers must be out with sales
reps at least once a week (more if you can). Advertising Directors should
be on the road every day. Listen to your clients and new products and
strategies will emerge.
Third, you must become leaner and this means expense cuts.
Outsourcing things like ad building, customer service, newspaper distri-
bution and more can save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Look into partnerships with competitors where possible. Do not cut
things that are sales-related or technology-related. Sales reps must have
money to travel to meet with potential large advertisers. Journalists
must have the tools in the field to become multi-media reporters.
Fourth, explore new and innovative ways to conduct our business. For
example, we just learned from our friends in Sweden that a new “layout-
based editorial” system is enjoying a lot of success. Reporters file direct
to the page and this eliminates most of the work of the copy editor.
Ottaway Newspapers has launched lifestyle magazines in several mar-
kets and has outsourced everything – including sales and editorial. They
are enjoying healthy revenue gains and profit margins without over-
whelming current staff.
Finally, appoint at least one innovation champion at your company and
make it part of your regular staff meetings (one per department is even
better). Your employees will often develop the best ideas for new rev-
enue and expense cutting and that will keep them motivated.
So... our new future will be leaner, meaner and more multi-media in
focus. Get your team to rally around this new future. Remove doom and
gloom and make the workplace exciting – despite tough economic times.
You will be surprised what this will do to your top and bottom lines.
From the sna
“No matter what
make sure that
you continue to
operation to a
depends on it.”
he full page, full color cruise line ads
sold by LocalPoint Media and placed
in several newspapers last month sig-
nals the start of something really, really
good, according to LocalPoint Media
President Nancy Lane. ”We are excited about
all of the ads that have been placed so far but
the full page, full color cruise line ads have
us the most excited,” said Lane who added
that “after the initial run, the client added 10
more markets and increased the budget by an
additional $109,000. We view this as a great
testimony to the calibre of readers delivered
by LocalPoint participating newspapers.”
LPM has discovered an important niche in
the travel advertising category that seems to
be a hand-in-glove fit for suburban and com-
munity newspapers. The strong demograph-
ics represented by the many LPM member
newspapers match exactly with the profile
sought by the travel industry – educated,
affluent adults who are pre-disposed to travel
and have the money to pursue this interest.
And, the attractive, lower ad rates offered by
LPM are also getting a lot of attention
among media buyers.
“We believe that this is just the start of a big
run in the travel category”, said Lane who
added that “there are dozens and dozens of
proposals out there right now that look
promising. We expect the third and fourth
quarters to be very strong.”
Lane and LPM Chief Operating Officer
Mike Zuniga are encouraging suburban and
community newspapers to provide a
travel environment in their newspapers
when possible and can facilitate access
to travel articles as need be. In addition
to the national ads being sold by LPM,
community newspapers have a terrific
opportunity to sell local travel advertis-
ers. SNA can assist with marketing
materials and Belden research for any
member that would like more informa-
tion about the travel category.
Full details about the network are at
target categories, participation details
and online registration.
Talk it through with LocalPoint Media
COO Mike Zuniga at 314-453-9125 or
Travel is hot for LPM
Category revenue tops $200,000
Readers of The Fox Chapel Herald (PA) received this
luscious offer thanks to LocalPoint Media.
“New category – new business
all the things you promised
when we signed up for
Senior Vice President, Major/National Accounts
HomeNews Community Newspapers of Nevada
“If your newspaper group isn't
taking advantage of the
LocalPoint program, I would
highly recommend it. This is
just the beginning of what will
be many great sales!"
National/Major Accounts Director
Independent Newspapers, Arizona
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