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Best of Local Media - Newspapers

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Best of Newspaper Strategy

Best Small Market – Overall Digital Strategy

Company: Advocate Digital Media

Market: Victoria Advocate - Victoria, TX

Population: 111,163 (metro)

Circulation: 25,000

Key executive: Jason Holmes, General Manager 

Judges take: This small newspaper consistently outperforms in market share of digital service sales for its size. Taken individually, the strategies are sound across the board from its digital service media kit, the 250 account digital services sales team have paid off. Ownership outside the newspaper industry has paid on in aggressive forays into additional, separately run, divisions.

Best Overall Digital Strategy, Mid-size market

Company: Morris Communications

Market: Augusta Chronicle, Augusta Georgia

Circulation: 55,465

Key executive: Mark Lane, VP of Sales, Morris 

Judges take: Morris is a consistent leader in enhancing digital growth and the Augusta Chronicle sells the most small business digital products for its size of any Morris paper, with 200 SMB digital service accounts in addition to larger accounts. 

The company as a whole was dedicated early on and ttracking the right things; today the centralized agency Main Street Digital, uses local reps and best of breed media technology to sell a variety of digital products and services from SEM, to Web Development and targeting, tracked on a central dashboard. The vision, summed up by Lane, is clear: “The goal is so simple, to acquire, retain and grow our customer base...If it’s a $300 a month sale, if we retain that business, we grow the base. It is our bet and our vision.”

* LMI story: How to attain a 98% retention rate for agency services

Best Large Market – Overall Digital Strategy

Company: Boston Globe

Market: Boston

Population: 4,590,000 (metro)

Circulation: 245,572

Key executive: David Skok, General Partner 

Judges Take: With two mega-sites - Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com – the number of successful and innovative initiatives are now paying off in digital sales in the hundreds of millions. “They’ve understood it from the beginning.”

Best Use of Video

Company: Calkins Media

Market: The Intelligencer - Doylestown, PA

Population: 8,380

Circulation: 40,015

Key executive: Mike Jameson, President and General Manager

Judges take: Owning a few broadcast sites has trickled over into Calkins Media’s three newspapers. With the help of a consultant the group has created a video daily news update in each market; plus a weekly GameOn sports video, two dining shows “Eat this” and “Cook This" and "Saving Bucks" in all three markets. Reporters shoot 60 to 708 videos per week, sold on fee-based share of voice, five per market.

Best Newsroom Innovation & Technology

Owner: Digital First Media (DFM)

Market: York Daily Record - York, Pa

Circulation: 55,000

Key Executive: Randy Parker, Managing Editor

Judges take: The York Daily Record has been a leader in implementing the Digital First newsroom, using ScribbleLive and scribd to live-post a 21st century courtroom blog; increasing use of video via editorial use of iPads; Geofeedia to cover events out of area and create photo galleries on the fly; Storify to curate social content and RebelMouse to amplify social pages for big events. Additionally the newsroom takes a weekly trip into the community to meet and greet – and share its’ digital newsroom practices at events in the field. Judges like the proactive approach to changing “the community image of the “dying” print company to one of excitement.”

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