Home' Local Media Today : May 2008 Contents 14
Thomas Worthington's Ryan Sparks safely steals second base as
Dublin Scioto's David McKinley can't make the catch during the district
tournament game at Thomas Worthington High School last May. Scioto lost 11-3.
Lewis Center, OH
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Bayside, NY 11361
had an opportunity to attend the
Newspaper Next 2.0 workshop in
Richmond, Virginia recently where
Stephen Gray, Managing Director of
Newspaper Next talked about the latest
N2 report “Making the Leap Beyond
You can access this latest report at
www.newspapernext.org . Here are my
quick “takeaways” from the session
We need to move from “eyedrop-
per” approach to the “Mississipi
River” – Gray discussed how the 20th
century was the century of mass informa-
tion. Newspapers were the premier deliv-
erer of this information reaching most all
households. Now in this century, we are
being “eclipsed” by digital solutions. We
need to flood our markets with informa-
tion through digital distribution channels.
Cramming isn’t innovation – Gray
says that our original business model was
based on mass reach and 100% penetra-
tion. That model no longer holds. Many
newspapers are doing the same thing they
always did but “cramming” it onto new
technology still reaching the same current
customers, while that base continues to
The local information and connec-
tion utility – a new phrase offered by
Gray to describe the newspaper company
of the future. We must stop calling our-
selves newspaper companies - our vision
must be bigger. We need to offer what
communities need – the opportunity to
debate, discuss and share. Geography
isn’t limited by physical newspaper distri-
bution in the digital world. Publishers
must define local in new ways.
Own the mega-job – Gray says there
are underlying themes through the “jobs
to be done” interviews that can create an
opportunity for a mega-job (to me, this
means you can create scalability and
develop a mass audience vs a niche).
Some mega-job consumer examples:
Help me make good spending decisions
Help me connect, talk and share with oth-
Help me find/choose things to do
Help me get answers about this place
Give me a one-stop answer place
Some mega-job business examples:
Help me reach exactly the type of cus-
tomer I need to reach
Help me build and maintain customer
Help me create one-to-one relationships
Help me with the customer transaction
The last part of the seminar dealt with
maximizing revenue with information
provided by Borrell Associates. A few
Email, Video and Search – The big three.
The revenue model flips and banners and
buttons become less important in terms of
revenue and email, video and search
Don’t rely on big three classified cate-
gories – Maximize other online opportu-
nities and non-traditional categories
Hire online-only sales people – Smaller
newspaper companies can see $100,000
in revenue for one online-only sales rep
which does not include upselling into
Find your market benchmark – what is
your opportunity in local online revenue?
On average, markets can expect to see
15% share and as high as 62%.
Online promotions will be another lead-
ing category of revenue – Discounts,
coupons and contests are emerging as rev-
Director of Conferences and
New England/Mid-Atlantic John Szefc
Dennis Richardson (731) 694-2149
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