Home' Local Media Today : April 2006 Contents APRIL 2006
INTERNET STRATEGIES FOR COMMUNITY NEWS-
PAPERS – SNA IS KICKING IT UP A NOTCH
Weare really excited about two new initiatives that we believe
will help our members with their new media needs and strate-
gies. Members tell us all the time that this is an area of frus-
tration for them as they continue to invest without seeing a big financial
return – yet. Many SNA members are also behind the larger papers when
it comes to advanced features on their websites.
We decided to partner with Editor & Publisher’s Interactive Conference
this year to provide a full day of programming dedicated exclusively to
the needs of suburban and community markets. Many of the conferences
that are out there are too big picture or advanced for community newspa-
pers. By teaming up with E&P, we are providing a day of nuts and bolts
and E&P is providing two days of big picture programming. The combi-
nation of the two should make it worthwhile for SNA members to attend.
And the cost for all three days is only $800 for SNA members. The E&P
two-day event is $850 so members are actually saving $50 and getting a
free day of programming - it’s a great deal but more to the point, it’s an
affordable education in a subject in which more knowledge is imperative
for many of us!
There are some fantastic sessions scheduled and SNA members are guar-
anteed to leave this conference with many great ideas – many at the low
budget level – to immediately improve their website upon their return.
Gordon Borrell is going to cover new revenue opportunities outside of
the classified category that many newspapers are simply ignoring. Peter
Zollman is going to showcase some best practices with web advertising
and specifically web ad placement – helping your advertisers to get bet-
ter results. Bob Kempf is going to unveil the brand new
WickedLocal.com – Enterprise NewsMedia’s new hyper-local website. It
has a separate brand from the newspaper and it is cool, groundbreaking
and as local as it gets. (Visit www.wickedlocal.com). We are thrilled to
have Clyde Bentley from the University of Missouri to talk to us about
local websites of the future and share the innovative approach that they
are taking with their daily newspaper in Columbia. Belden Associates
will wrap up the day with a session that examines what users want from
a community website. Great stuff and I hope that you will consider send-
ing someone to this valuable, guaranteed to deliver, conference. (Visit
www.suburban-news.org for complete program and registration informa-
Meanwhile, the SNA Foundation has been hard at work developing its’
first major research project. Through Belden Associates, a study will be
conducted to measure what people want and need from community-based
websites. It will also measure usage and awareness of newspaper web-
sites. The study will consist of over 8,500 telephone interviews – in 22
different suburban and community markets – and will measure over 25
community newspaper websites. Best practices will be determined along
with an understanding of what people want. It should provide some
much needed, up to date information from the kinds of markets that SNA
members serve. It will be Belden’s largest newspaper research project of
the year. The foundation is going on a major fundraising campaign to pay
for this study and many more to come. More information will be sent to
all SNA members in the coming weeks.
There has never been a better time to publish suburban and community
newspapers. Now we need to turn our focus on producing the best local
communication tools in the communities that we serve – no matter what
the format. SNA stands ready to assist in these changing times and we
welcome your participation, ideas and suggestions.
From the sna
Both images look exactly the same, but couldn’t be more different - one is printed and one is digital. Imagine
putting your publication online for readers and adver tisers keeping the same look and quality of the original
print version and at no extra work! Advanced Publishing has the technology to turn your PDF files from print-
ready to web-ready. The result is an exact facsimile of the printed version - fully interactive, full size, full colour,
in a compressed format up to 100 times smaller than comparable PDFs! Now you can see the difference.
Is your website prime time? Have your initia-
tives really caught the attention of the local
audience? Do you get tons of hits on your
Many local newspapers are doing a super job
with their local sites and the time is right to
see they stack up against their peers from
across the U.S . and Canada.
SNA recently announced its’ inaugural web-
site contest - The Local Community Website
Contest is focusing solely on the efforts of
community websites produced by local news-
papers in North America.
Twelve categories will recognize excellence
on a variety of topics including best local
community initiative, best site architecture
and overall design, best
best advertising initia-
tive, best employment,
real estate and automo-
tive sites or verticals
and others. There will
also be top awards for
best local community website and local web-
site innovator of the year.
There are four classes to separate daily and
weekly newspaper websites and further
breakdowns based on size.
Contest brochure and entry form are avail-
able at www.suburban-news.org or
call (888) 486-2466.
Hurry - deadline is April 14.
By Chad Perry and Jeremy Cowdrey, Co-Founders of
Contrary to common belief, competing and
winning against online behemoths such as
Google, Monster.com and Craigslist does not
necessarily require a complete web site over-
It is incremental improvement that will drive
the most successful newspaper sites.
Incremental improvement does not have to be
"perfect" improvement for optimal success.
One such revenue-charged improvement
opportunity that has been recently introduced -
lead generation and referral services.
According to the Internet Advertising Bureau,
lead generation - or the collection of qualified
purchase inquiries from online visitors - was
one of the two fastest growing Internet adver-
tising segments in 2005. This segment
accounted for nearly $350 million in Internet
advertising revenues for the first half of 2005,
growing $230 million year-after-year.
Advertisers are drawn to newspaper advertis-
ing for its powerful consumer demographics.
Consider the positive revenue impact on your
newspaper by making these demographics
available through lead generation and referral
Successfully Competing Online Does Not
Require A Site Overhaul
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