November 2023

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November 2023 NewsBeat 3 a sleep sofa from a Murphy bed and don't understand our page hierarchy, but do we have an opportunity to address this coop- eratively? Can Rich Hotaling lead a team of designers that could achieve the desired results? Or what about you? Who among us has a great graphics team that could be expanded to take in more work? What about digital ad sales? Is it fea- sible to develop regional "dream teams" that could sell small regional networks of newspapers more efficiently than multiple independent sales teams? What about a "dream team" to do investi- gative reporting? What about more training? Is once a year at the spring conference enough or should NYPA do quarterly or twice a year regional training for ad salespeople and re- porters? If we offer it, will you send people or will you tell us you can't afford to take them off the road for a day? Let's take training one step further – in the Albany market Hudson Valley Com- munity college partners with Verizon and National Grid and annually offers a curric- ulum to unrecruited candidates who would like to pursue a career with them – can we do something similar with colleges around the state and work with them to train ad salespeople and reporters? What about a "loaned executive" pro- gram? When I worked for Ingersoll we had one – if for example you lost your control- ler or another key employee do we have the ability to create a dream team of the best controllers, the best production people, the best ad managers to help train new hires at other papers? Can we collaborate on subscription mar- keting and sustained audience development initiatives? It's hard individually to find the bandwidth to commit to sustained efforts – can we collaborate to create a dedicated team focused only on this? As part of this effort, is there a way to collect and use zero and 1st party data more efficiently? Can we collaborate on newsletters? How about yet another dream team to create special interest newsletters – cooking, trav- el, music, sports, cars – you name it. How is NYPA's earn your press pass training working out? Can we help you collaborate more effectively with members of our community to generate content? One publisher who shall remain name- less has repeatedly asked me to take over the preparation of her weekly mailing statements – NYPA can't cover our costs by performing that service for one newspaper company, but economies of scale might work if we did that same work for a couple dozen newspapers. Is anyone else interest- ed? That same publisher wants NYPS to take over her classified sales – I can't figure out how that can work, but maybe you can help me. Let me know if you have any ideas. I know I have thrown a lot at you, and I don't want it to feel like I'm throwing up on you so to make this manageable and pro- ductive, I am asking each of you to email me and tell me what your greatest pain points are that you think NYPA can help solve. I'll go to the November board meet- ing with a compilation of your responses, and we'll put a plan together to cut costs, increase revenue and increase engagement. We'll all benefit by making significant decisions about where to focus our efforts. What can we accomplish by working togeth- er and with technology to shed manual la- bor, lower our cost structures, and achieve economies of scale? I think the answer is "amazing things" and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Michelle Rea is executive director of the New York Press Association.

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