Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

America East Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Above the Fold, checking-in
There is a buzz of new ideas and exciting strategies to help build revenue in your department.

It is day two of the America East Conference in Hershey, Pa., and we have attended some excellent panels with information that you can use for your newspaper. There is a buzz of new ideas and exciting strategies to help build revenue in your department. The conference also stressed the importance re-inventing the footprint of the newspaper to reflect a more useful and comprehensive product.

Many of the sessions have included ideas for implementing mobile solutions that will allow your readers and advertisers to have better access to content and advertisements, as well as ways to generate content that will appeal to and engage the upcoming generations of newspaper readers.

One of the sessions we have attended so far was Mobile Marketing with Troy Piekarski, the Classified Digital Business Development Manager for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Piekarski discussed the abundance of mobile information, and the consideration of consumer’s mobile devices as an extension of their bodies in how to develop both editorial content and advertising. We also heard from Jennifer McKay, who is the Regional Digital Sales Manager for the Dow Jones Local Media Group in Middletown, New York. Her session discussed “smart bundling” and how newspapers need to re-brand themselves as media experts to help transform local small businesses into driving forces in their economies.

Another topic that was brought up was how grassroots community social news sources are quickly outnumbering the reach of certain newspapers in specific metrics, because of their abilities to deliver breaking news in a more effective way. In “Way Beyond News: A Template for Assessing and Meeting a Community’s Information Needs,” Ed Efchak, President of Customers by Design, LLC, and Elaine Clisham, Director of Communications of New Jersey Future, discussed the consumer’s current distrust for newspapers during natural disasters and other breaking community information, because of the lack of useful coverage that has been dedicated to helping the community through these situations. Both presenters stressed that recognizing this trend is essential to the survival of newspapers, and that user-generated content and community engagement can change the perception of newspapers and allow them to survive from both an editorial and advertisement perspective.

Above all else, the conference has stressed the importance of seeing the newspaper as a cohesive product, not editorial or advertisement, but as a single organism. I even heard the word “synergy” several times today, and although synergy is a dated term, its implications are no less significant.

We still have several more sessions to attend, including some new revenue ideas and tips you can implement right away. We look forward to the information and discussions that will occur, and will be updating you with more articles with specific details and discussions in articles to follow. Stay tuned!