Social media

How to create your newspaper’s online persona

Daniel Honigman, one of the Chicago Tribune’s social media presence, has some advice on how to mold your newspaper’s online persona. At the Tribune, Honigman was part of a team that created Colonel Tribune, a fictitious avatar who represents the news organization in social media circles.

His advice can carry over to newspaper of any size, and should fit just as well for community newspapers. If social networks are active in your community, Honigman’s advice could prove quite useful, and presents a more fun alternative than simply opening up a Facebook account under your newspaper’s name.

Future of news Social media

Weeklies finding it easier to adapt to new technologies

Community-based newspapers — in this cast, alternative newsweeklies — are finding a place for new technologies faster than traditional media, according to a news story coming out of their annual meeting.

One publisher quoted in the article above said this: “As those big guys crumble, it’s an opportunity for us. We know that they are stuck halfway between print and the web. And now they have to figure out what to do about mobile. They have far more resources than we do, but they also are much more bureaucratic.”

At the opening session, Rob Curley of Greenspun Interactive told publishers that they needed to be “of the Web” and not just “on the Web.” Curley said: “It’s not about getting people to your site. It’s about getting your site to the people.”

Ask an Expert Questions and Answers

It feels like I’m all over the place, do you have any suggestions on how to manage my sales territory?

Managing your sales territory to generate additional revenue for you and your paper is not a case of working harder, but working smarter. Here are seven suggestions to get you headed in the right direction:

  • ‘What is it you are trying to manage?’ Do you want to increase ad revenue, account count, development of a particular geographic area, ad count, or more use of a particular newspaper product?
  • Optimize your selling opportunities for success by structuring your day to assure less in office, production time and more out-of-office, face-to-face selling time.
  • Practice Time Management. Plan, plan, plan. Learn to prioritize. Stop procrastinating and wasting time (identify your time wasters). Know yourself and understand the value of time (both that of your client’s and your own). Say no!
  • Delegate and use all available resources. Everyone at your newspaper (circulation, production, newsroom) is part of your sales and marketing team, from top to bottom. Remember, no one can do it all.
  • Organize your information. Ideally, you have or will develop a pitchbook (it may be as easy and simple as a ring binder) to keep all appropriate sales information at your finger tips and presentation ready.
  • Assess your accounts specifically and realistically. What degree of potential $$ exists with each account? What problems may be evident, what may change, what’s the future? Review, too, the urgency or priority of each account. Who may be at risk from competitive challenges, both from other retailers or other media?
  • Reward yourself by taking care of yourself. Ensure both your professional and personal growth. Take time for you. Maintain a positive attitude, don’t dwell on past failures and rejections – use them to build on future successes. Think of a new way to handle an old problem. Keep growing. Learn from others. Have fun!!

As you grow and develop and your territory or account list changes and evolves, remember to learn and work on inventing the future rather than trying to redesign the past. Good luck!

Online news

Poll says many trust online news more than print

John Zogby writes in his regular Forbes column about research data that suggest many news consumers trust online over print. Why? Zogby suggests it has to do with the deep-rooted perception bias. It’s hard to apply his conclusions to community newspapers, but the survey results are still eye opening.

Online advertising

Ad experiment targets local, low-budget advertisers

This is definitely an advertising concept that I can see working for community newspapers. The Nieman Lab has a story op about MinnPost’s experiment with “real-time advertising.” They’re sort of a technologically-updated version of classified ads that are powered by micro-updates from businesses.

Online news Website traffic

Tracking your Web traffic essential to understanding your audience

In a post on Journalism 2.0, Mark Biggs lists several ways to track the performance of your Web site while being realistic about what the numbers actually mean to those in your newsroom. While some of his techniques may be a little much for a smaller news operations, many of the techniques will still apply.


A few suggestions for ad growth

Jen from Editor & Publisher has a few suggestions from Ed Strapagiel of Kubas Consultants about how to improve ad sales. Among his suggestions: stop selling in lines and inches. You’ll have to pay for the full report from Kubas, but the snippets shared by Jen are interesting in themselves.


New one-day workshops will focus on Photoshop, Web tools

For those of you who don’t have time to come to one of our three-day workshops we’ve got a new option. The Center will now be offering one-day “boot camps” and the first two will tackle topics that always pique the interest of our workshop participants: Photoshop and using the Internet.

Below is a flyer for the first boot camp, which will be led by Broc Sears on August 1. Broc will devote an entire day to Photoshop tricks and best practices. The cost will be $40 for those who pay early and $50 for those who pay upon arrival.

I’ll be leading the second boot camp on August 8, which will tackle how to use the Internet for reporting, and how to use the Internet to engage readers.

I’ll be talking about how to search the Web, what can you do with social media and finish off the day with a rapid fire session where we’ll tackle any question you have related to the World Wide Web and community journalism. And, best of all, it’ll all be done with free tools that you can use straight out of your Web browser — no special software required.

Check out the posters below for more information or click here to register.

Future of news

The Economist proves quality still sells

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting take on new numbers released by The Economist. He says their latest circulation and online audience figures — which look quite good — are evidence that people are still willing to pay for a solid product. This may be the niche that community newspapers fall into.

Online news Sports coverage

How to improve sports coverage with online tools

10,000 Words has a cool roundup of several ways to adapt online sports coverage to better fit the Internet. While the sports story clearly still has a place, they have some good suggestions for some value-added features, many of which we’ve discussed in workshops, such as maps and stats features.