The Inlander

March 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 March 15 March 2017 | Vol. 31, No. 3 INL ANDER THE Stay engaged. Find solutions. Move forward. At Mega-Conference, making peace with a world that belongs to digital By Mark Fitzgerald If the concept and word "frenemy" didn't already exist, they would have had to be invented for the 2017 Key Executives Mega- Conference. For the message from speaker after speak- er, and from many of the 90 exhibitors at the gathering in Orlando, was that it's digital's world—and newspapers just live in it. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, managing editor, dig- ital for The Washington Post, put the concept right in the title of his presentation: "Leveraging the Frenemy." "All of us have great histories," he told the 600 media executives at the Orlando World Center Marriott. "That has not changed. What has changed is we are in the middle of a communication revolution." A revolution that has succeeded in storm- ing through the gates of legacy media's trea- sury. If the Borrell Associate forecast pre- sented at the Mega-Conference is correct, 2017 will be the first year ever in which local ad spend on digital will surpass that of tradi- tional media, as digital increases 22.4% to $80.7 billion and traditional media declines 6.9% to $62.9 billion. Borrell Vice President of Research Corey Elliott unloaded one survey result after another showing that local businesses are shifting marketing dollars from legacy media—and even from advertising itself— to Facebook, other social media, search and their own websites. In a survey of its SMB panel members, a little more than 50% said they planned to cut spending on broadcast TV, magazines and radio "a little" or "a lot." But newspapers will suffer the deepest cut, with 39% plan- ning to cut a little—and 40% a lot. But there was another theme that threaded through the 2017 Mega-Conference: There's no need to abandon all hope. In fact, there are legitimate causes for optimism. After reviewing survey responses from local businesses from the 62% who are already spending on Facebook that express an extremely high—90%—belief that Facebook ads are effective, Borrell's Elliott said that represented an opening for newspa- pers. "Businesses also say they are going to look for outside help" in digital marketing, he said. "Businesses are sick of reps that don't know anything. As one business owner said, 'If I have to do one more needs analysis I'm going to scream because y'all should know what our business is when you come in.'" Between presentations and the vendors in the Exhibit Hall, the Mega-Conference was a one-stop shop for building digital services capabilities. In a session entitled "Driving Digital $$$ Success," for example, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Lana Champion reviewed how Times-Union Media in Jacksonville, Fla., achieved "tremendous momentum in digital services in the last two years." The keys: Acquiring talent through rigorous hiring processes; manag- ing performance; creating a new and win- ning culture; and continuing education on A craft beer tasting was part of the welcome reception in the Exhibit Hall at the Key Executives Mega-Conference, which attracted 90 exhibitors. KEY EXECUTIVES Mega-Conference Joining together for media solutions MEGA CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 Industry vendors on tap in Orlando All about the Benjamins: THE Revenue Conference THE place to be in April There's a good reason "the" is all caps in the name of THE Revenue Conference, says Mike Blinder, whose The Blinder Group is co-spon- soring the April 26 and 27 meeting with Inland. "This is a chance, maybe the last chance, to meet at a newspaper-specific conference, whether you're in a big or small marker, whether you're a weekly or a daily," Blinder says. While growing revenue from digital will be an important part of the conference, he adds, THE Revenue Conference will return repeat- edly to the opportunity to wielding the continu- ing money-making power of print newspapers. "We have the street cred we've taken centu- ries to build," Blinder says. "This conference is all about how to leverage our credibility, lever- age our audience and leverage our content." THE Revenue Conference will be held at the headquarters of the Austin (Texas) American Statesman, with a program that is all about sell- ing every product, platform and service a newspaper might offer: Print, web and mobile space, social media, digital services, digital video and OTT production, native content, events, niche publications, contests, quizzes and all manner of promotions. "What makes this program unique is we're actually going to care about newspapers," Blinder says. Here are a few program highlights: Print & digital subscription revenue: Building a program for success In this session, print and digital executives REVENUE CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 THE Revenue Conference APRIL 26 & 27, 2017 | AUSTIN, TEXAS P R E S S A S S O C I A T I O N INL AND Growing Profitable Bottom-Line Revenue NOW!

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