The Inlander

February 2017

Digital Edition of the Inland Press Association. Offering financial research, salary compensation survey, training for advertising, classifieds, editorial, circulation, social media, human resources, special sections and niche products.

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Mailed from Sterling, Ill. Inform Post Office if it arrives after February 15 February 2017 | Vol. 31, No. 2 INL ANDER THE Stay engaged. Find solutions. Move forward. ORLANDO FEBRUARY 23-25 When Mather Economics LLC, the consul- tancy best known among newspapers for their data-driven subscription pricing optimization strategies, began developing Publisher Benchmarks for Inland, they set the ambitious goal of surpassing a product newspapers had relied on for more than nine decades. Four years later, Publisher Benchmarks had proven even more vital for providing insights into a newspaper company's performance than the National Cost & Revenue Study it replaced. I t h e l p s , o f c o u r s e , t h a t P u b l i s h e r Benchmarks is designed for the digital era, employing a web-based dashboard with a vir- tually unlimited array of customizable metrics and comparisons at the click of a mouse. And, u n l i k e t h e a n n u a l N C R S , P u b l i s h e r Benchmark data is refreshed every quarter, and available 24 hours a day the year round. Publisher Benchmarks "comp sets"—cate- gories of comparable factors—allow top executives and department leaders to see strengths and challenge areas at a glance, with the ability to see top-level views and deep dives into comparables sorted by company size, region, ownership, business model and much more. Publisher Benchmarks is appointment viewing--for digging into performance—each quarter at The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash., says Finance Manager and Treasurer Brandon Zarzana. Zarzana, owner and Publisher Scott Campbell and CFO Doug Ness sit down once a quarter "and talk about where we are, where we've been and where things look." They compare themselves against other independently owned newspapers, as well as how performance internally compares to pre- vious quarters. For The Columbian, "the biggest useful- ness of Publisher Benchmarks is in how to measure (performance within) ourselves," Zarzana says. A big advantage of Publisher Benchmarks is the ability it gives key executives to set per- mission levels on access to data so department and line managers are able to get just the information they need to measure the perfor- mance of their departments. Columbian advertising and circulation managers in par- ticular comb through the data relevant to their departments, Zarzana says. Publisher Benchmarks has proven particu- larly useful for Sandusky Newspaper Group, an eclectic collection of publications. "We're a very diverse group," says Doug Phares, the company's president and COO. "We don't have any two operations that look exactly like each other. We have small dailies and a handful of weekly located in the Rust Belt, the Mountain West, the New Southeast. Metric system: Approaching its fourth year, Publisher Benchmarks measures up BENCHMARKS CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 The 2017 edition of the Key Executives Mega-Conference announces its intentions for its three days in Orlando with its theme: Innovation & Insight: The Business of Publishing News. Business is the key word, as sessions cir- cle back repeatedly to what is working in the newspaper industry—and what shows con- crete, not theoretical, promise for the future. Consider, for instance, the breakout ses- sion presenter Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, The Washington Post's managing editor for digi- tal, has titled "Leveraging the Frenemy." At a time when publishers are increasingly wary of presenting content through plat- forms such as Facebook or Tumbler, Garcia- Ruiz will detail the real-life results of The Post's distributed content strategy. By hitching much of its content to news- paper "frenemies" among social media, The Post's digital audience has more than tripled in the last three years to almost 100 million unique visitors—and lifting it to a place among the world's fastest-growing media companies. Similarly, another breakout session will look at the science behind a traditional strength of newspapers—storytelling—with the goal of getting newsrooms into the busi- ness of successfully engaging their audienc- es. Matt Sheehan, director of stories and emerging platforms at the University of F l o r i d a 's C o l l e g e o f J o u r n a l i s m & C o m m u n i c a t i o n s , w i l l g u i d e M e g a - Conference attendees through the research that reveals why the presentation of content matters in growing audience Right from the start, the Mega-Conference concerns itself with monetizing the things this legacy media does best. In the Thursday, Feb. 23 morning bonus session, Ryan Stephens, who is responsible for global busi- ness development at Deseret Digital Media, leads a workshop on native advertising that draws on three years of experience learning what content engages readers, what busi- nesses are the most likely native advertisers and how content can be best customized for local merchants. And the Mega-Conference will end on a business note, with a presentation by sales motivator Kim Ward aimed at radically improving the "win rates" of sales teams. Ward, director of training and develop- ment for Learning Outsource group, will show the results of a data-driven dissection of the advertising buying decision process— and how it informs a wholly new approach to selling. (One bonus of this session: The first 100 people to show up will receive a free copy of his new book, "The New Selling IQ." ) The 2017 Mega-Conference is the seventh since Inland, the Local Media Association and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association first collaborated on a confer- ence intended to be rich in programming, full of networking opportunities and a fitting showcase for the products and services of the newspaper industry's R&D companies. This gathering in Orlando February 23 to 25 appears ready to deliver again on those promises. The full program and bios of the presenters begin on page 10. newspaper civic leader, grew up 1930s when gangsters were front-page news. as a paperboy and owner/publisher of the Times-Call, the Loveland Reporter-Herald, the Cañon City the Colorado Home- Newspaper. Lehman's varied also included years as a Deputy District Attorney trial attorney, and a Colorado State Legislature. the Press, Lehman personal story and news- spanning much of the the twenty-first centuries sweeping changes in society, technology, communication, management. $15.95 Rolling WITH THE Press A PUBLISHER'S JOURNEY Rolling with the Press Filter Press Lehman By Edward Lehman and Suzanne Barrett ✒ ✒ R N E Y Rolling Press with the A PUBLISHER'S JOURNEY Press Ed Lehman looks back Former Inland Press Association Chairman Ed Lehman has written "Rolling With the Press: A Publisher's Journey," an autobiography of his life as a reporter, editor, publisher and owner of the Longmont (Colo.) Times- C a l l a n d o t h e r L e h m a n Communications newspapers. Written with former associate Suzanne Barrett after retiring at age 85, the book r e c o u n t s h o w h e b u i l t L e h m a n Communications and served the indus- try with activity in several associations including Inland, where he helped establish the Inland Press Foundation. "Rolling With the Press" is available t h r o u g h F i l t e r P r e s s ( o r d e r s @ FilterPressBooks.com) and at Amazon. com. In Orlando, the Mega-Conference gets down to business

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