Saturday, April 19, 2014
Press Releases

Innovation & Inspiration – the Fall Conference had it All…

By Nancy Lane

Wow – what a conference; one of our best ever for sure! Below represents my top takeaways, ideas and thoughts – in no particular order:

Nancy Lane photo


·         From Jason Taylor’s event marketing keynote: “Create something out of nothing.” He is closing in on $3 million/year by doing this. New event ideas that require little risk included: city-wide garage sale with a brand & logo; sell your own After Hours event instead of the Chamber of Commerce; broadcast live medical surgeries with sponsorships from the hospital; movie premiers/partner with local theatre & sell sponsorship.

·         From Centro’s Shawn Riegsecker - 2017 media landscape presentation: “What if digital advertising as it’s currently practiced, is actually the last stage of the old cycle rather than the beginning of the new cycle?”  Shawn also told the audience that 24/7 video news channels represent a huge opportunity for local media companies.

·         Email marketing session – from Rich Whippen/WSPN: “Best time to send an email campaign is Tuesday morning.” WSPN has realized $350,000 in incremental revenue from email marketing. Check out to learn more including opportunities to partner with them.

·         Digital agency session – from Peter Newton/GateHouse Media & Propel Marketing: “33% of consumer searches are now done on mobile devices; that will increase to 50% next year yet most SMB’s don’t have a mobile-enabled web site.” This is a huge opportunity for digital agencies; Propel now builds these in-house for their clients. Propel is also interested in partnering with other local media companies.

·         From the great idea session – Restaurant Weeks. Both Shore Publishing and Gold Country Media reported good success with this new event that brought in incremental revenue from the restaurant category. Sponsorships were sold to suppliers (produce companies and beer distributors are two good examples). Working with the chamber or economic development council is also a good idea for this type of event. Both conducted these in smaller towns that did not have a restaurant week promotion.

·         From Gordon Borrell:  “100% of the top digital revenue performers employ digital-only sales reps. Average break-even time for these reps is 18 months.”

·         From the Innovation Mission panel: 1. Observer Group changed their name and had employees submit mission statements and then vote on the top choice; they also conducted extensive social media training. 2. Lawrence Journal World launched free state social – a social marketing strategy and has sold $50,000 to date. 3. Shaw conducted extensive iPhone training and will also share this training with LMA members via a free webinar this fall. 4. South Bend Tribune started a digital advisory board that meets monthly and includes a car dealer, health care administrator, chamber leader, minor league baseball executive and more). They also equipped all of their reporters with iPhones and all of their sales reps with iPads.

·         Google Consumer Surveys session – they now have 50+ partners that are realizing a $15 RPM rate. Survey placement “above the fold” drives rates up as does frequency and metering controls.


To learn more about any of these sessions or ideas, email me at Also check out the fall conference portion of the LMA web site to access most of the presentations (









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