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& Even Failing...A Recipe
for LMA’s Success
nything can happen when the LMA board convenes each year for the
annual strategic planning meeting. So many great initiatives have been
developed at these meetings such as our name change, the sales certifica-
tion program and even some that didn’t make it.
Anything can happen because this board comes to play. They come open-minded
with big and bold ideas. They think like entrepreneurs and disruptive innovators.
They discuss how we should serve the industry going forward...and sometimes that
pushes all of us beyond our comfort zone. And that is an exciting place to be.
We conducted the 2014 strategic planning session last month. It was particularly
inspiring. In the next three-six months we will be rolling out several new initiatives
that will set up our organization for a very bright future. We spent a lot of time look-
ing two-three years out and imagining what LMA might look like. In all of our con-
versations, we focused on how we could best help our members grow their business
and stay ahead of the curve.
As previously communicated, we tackled the issue of membership criteria. We
poured through the member survey reading every word that you shared with us. In
the next month or two, we will be recommending a bylaws change that will allow a
new class of membership. It’s premature to share the details as they are still being
worked out ; but this is an exciting step for our organization. And we believe that this
change will help our newspaper members grow their business on the digital side
while helping LMA diversify our revenue streams.
Because of this meeting, we expect to expand our sales training division. This new
business unit was launched last April with the hiring of Amie Stein, a former Scripps
executive. And since that time she has trained nearly 300 local media executives
from 70+ companies. The need for niche training, especially on the digital side, is
huge. Our goal was to make it affordable. We budgeted this new business as a break-
even venture. And now we will be hiring a second trainer and tackling even more
topics and projects. More details to come soon!
Conferences were a huge area of growth for us in 2013 mainly due to the addition
of niche events (Social + Mobile and Digital Agency Summit). We are in the process
of putting a comprehensive conference strategy together that will offer new and
interesting options (in addition to our tried and true events). We also plan to blow up
the traditional trade show model and modernize the experience for both our R&D
partners and local media executives. Think flat screens on walls, stand up booths,
R&D-driven sessions featuring case studies and user group information and much
Speaking of the R&D community, our commitment has never been stronger. The
board spent considerable time discussing ways to help this important segment of
our membership grow their business. Stay tuned for more on this topic.
It was a fabulous two days. I'm proud to be affiliated with the LMA board. I’m
grateful that they care so much about this meeting and the future of LMA. I think our
members would be so impressed with the forward-thinking and innovative discus-
sions that take place. I love to talk to the new board members that attend each year
as they always have the same reaction. They are blown away by the high-level of
discussion that takes place and the passion of the group.
We will outline all of these plans in more detail in the next two-three months.
These are exciting times for LMA. Like our newspaper members, we must continue
to reimagine our business, and this means taking some risk, failing sometimes and
exhibiting some courage. Status quo is just not an option for LMA.
Special thanks to the LMA board for paying their own travel costs and volunteering
their precious time to attend the annual strategic planning meeting.
The hard working group at last month’s LMA Board of Director’s annual strategic planning meet-
ing. From left, Amie Stein, LMA, Terry Kukle, Metroland Media Group, Peter Newton, GateHouse
Ventures, Chris Lee, Deseret Digital Media, Ben Shaw, Shaw Suburban Media, John Humenik,
Wisconsin State Journal, Cliff Richner, Richner Communications, Matt Coen, Second Street, Gene
Carr, former board member and meeting facilitator, Gloria Fletcher, Sound Publishing and Board
Chairwoman, Nancy Lane, LMA, Suzanne Schlicht, The World Company, Mark Poss, Red Wing
Publishing, Brandon Erlacher, The Elkhart Truth, Roy Biondi, This Week Community Newspapers,
Al Cupo, LMA, Robert Brown, Swift Communicatons, Henry Bird, The Herald Bulletin, Janice
Norman, LMA. Not pictured, Gordon Borrell, Borrell Associates, Kevin Kampman, World Media
Enterprises, Kim Wilson, South Bend Tribune.
LMA President Nancy Lane
@localmediarocks • Nancy.email@example.com
LMA Board — A Hard Working Group
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