Wednesday, April 23, 2014
For more on the 2014 Innovation Mission >>
LM Foundation 2014 Innovation Mission

The 2014 Innovation Mission, sponsored by the Local Media Foundation, will include visits to a fascinating mix of technology and media companies.

Week-long study tour includes visits to New York and Silicon Valley.Innovation Mission

Attendance is limited to first 24 that register.

The 5th Annual Local Media Innovation Mission will take place June 1 - 6.

The focus will be on e-commerce, content strategies, social media, disruptive innovation, and more.

Attendees will cross the country this year with stops in New York City, San Francisco, Mountain View, and San Jose.

Visits to LinkedIn and eBay headline a long list of impressive companies that have agreed to host the IM participants this year.


Who Should Attend

The Innovation Mission is ideal for senior-level media executives including CEO’s, owners, publishers, top digital advertising executives and corporate executives.

Digital Immersion: Attendees are encouraged to tweet, blog and share their top takeaways throughout the week.


June 1 - 6, 2014

Registration Fee:

$4,495 / person*
$1,750 / spouse or guest*
A deposit of $1,500 per person is due upfront to reserve a spot. This amount is non-refundable as we will book air and hotel early to secure the best rates. Final payment is due on May 1, 2014.

Hear from last year's participants

Visit Innovative Companies

Attendance is limited to first 24 that register. 


2013 Innovation Mission Report

High Six-Figure Takeaways from the Innovation Mission

Read the blog that Peter Krasilovsky, VP, BIA/Kelsey posted about our 2013 Innovation Mission report. Krasilovsky writes, "I personally learned a lot about native advertising, digital ad agencies and Twitter ad products. In fact, the report is a field guide to the key things that small publishers (and in fact, everyone) should be thinking about in terms of their digital and mobile transition." READ MORE >>


"This year it was exciting and inspiring to see all 
the new business 
models emerging,
but what 
really made the trip worthwhile, was the five- and 
six-figure revenue opportunities that were
that I saw."
Ben Shaw, Chief Digital Officer, Shaw Media

"I attended the 2011 and 2013 LMIA Innovation Missions which included visits to some of the world's most innovative media and technology companies.The projects implemented as a result of these study tours have resulted in a six-figure ROI to Truth Publishing Company."
Brandon Erlacher, Publisher, The Elkhart Truth

Hear For
Yourself From the Participants!




The 2013 Innovation Mission report covers the top takeaways from the recent six-day study tour that included visits with Facebook, Twitter,Google, Plug and Play Tech Center, The McClatchy Company, The Denver Post, AdTaxi, San Francisco Chronicle, Emmis Radio and more.

"It is 45 pages filled with great information," said Nancy Lane, President of Local Media Association and the Local Media Foundation, and co-author of the report, "Most of the attendees are predicting an ROI in the high six-figures and even seven-figures as a result of attending this study tour. We tried to capture the greatest opportunities for local media companies in the report. It is truly a must-read for top executives in the industry. And for the price of one copy, you can share it with your entire team."

The report focuses on those takeaways with the greatest ROI potential for readers of the report:

  • Hot topics include:
  • Native Advertising
  • How to Develop a Culture of Innovation
  • Expanding Digital Agency Services
  • SMB Commerce Could be the Next 'Big' Opportunity
  • Social Represents a Serious Revenue Stream
  • Cause Marketing - A Huge Opportunity
  • It's Audience Development; Not Circulation!
  • And Much More!


Included in your purchase is a copy of the 2012 report which details how to increase revenue using Google Surveys.

West Coast Innovation Mission Report
West Coast Innovation Mission 2012

The long-awaited report is now available - order your copy today!

Twenty senior level executives spent a week on the road in late May in search of innovation and inspiration. The group was most interested in revenue growth, sustainable business models, creating a culture of innovation and digital growth strategies. The six-day tour included ten meetings with a wide variety of technology and media companies including a full day visit at Google's world headquarters.

The key takeaways from this tour are at the subject of a 30+ page report that also includes some of the action plans that are being implemented by the IM attendees.

"This report is a must-read for anyone charged with innovation at their company", said Nancy Lane, president of Local Media Association and author of the report. "We were inspired by so many during the week-long tour. There should be at least one major idea, inspiration or action plan that develops as a result of reading this report."

Released: August 2012

Formats Available: Electronic Version

Report Value: $359.00

Order Now Icon

Cost: $359.00

To Order Online: Click on the Order Now Button on the right.

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North American Innovation Mission
North American Innovation Mission 2011

The SNA Foundation hosted a North American Innovation Mission May 1-6, 2011. The group traveled to visit some of the most innovative media companies in the U.S. and Canada with a specific focus on new/sustainable business models, revenue growth, digital-first strategies and new content strategies.

This tour made stops in Salt Lake City (Deseret Publishing Company and Deseret Digital), Boston/New England (MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media and Journal Register Company’s new open community newsroom in Torrington, CT) and Toronto (Metroland Media/Torstar Corporation – huge commitment to digital innovation).

Released: May 2011

Formats Available: Printed Copy; Electronic Version

Report Value: $350.00


Order Now Icon
  • Non-SNA Members: $350 (printed copy or electronic version)
  • SNA members: $129 for printed copy; $179 for electronic version

To Order Online: Cick on the Order Now Button on the right.
To Print and Fax an Order: Click here.

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Photo Gallery

Innovation Mission attendees are now back on their home turf, implementing new ideas they picked up during the week long study trip. Many were so inspired by what they saw in Salt Lake City, Boston, Connecticut, and Toronto, they are now planning dramatic changes at their companies.

Click through to our Facebook photo album to share in the visual experience.

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Great Ideas / Articles of Interest
Stay informed, discover a new trend or find out what excellent programs your colleagues and the SNA Foundation are putting to good use. Our web articles lend excellent ideas for your organization. Read on to discover what initiatives could work for you!
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SNA Foundation Announces North American Innovation Mission


For information, please contact SNA President Nancy Lane at (843) 390-1531 or
Exceptional opportunity to visit some of the most innovative media houses in the U.S & Canada -- Reserve your spot now as space is limited

New Business Models; Emerging Content Strategies; Digital-First Initiatives; Revenue Growth

May 1 - 6, 2011

The community media landscape continues to change. New opportunities and new technologies continue to emerge and the busy publisher is often feeling overwhelmed. Print still rules when it comes to revenue share and the digital landscape is becoming more and more fragmented with mobile and group deals emerging in the last six months as “must haves”. And still, a sustainable business model on the digital side has yet to materialize for most.

The SNA Foundation has identified media houses in North America that are making bold changes in their company to adapt to the changing landscape. All of these companies are showing early success and many of them are in the top tier of their peer class when it comes to digital revenue performance. The working tour will focus on four key areas: the most promising new business models (that are sustainable) for community media companies; emerging content strategies with a special emphasis on community contributions; digital-first initiatives (both editorial and advertising) and above all, strategies to grow revenue (in print, online and mobile).

“The SNA Foundation conducted an innovation mission to Norway and Sweden in 2008 and it was an eye-opening, philosophy-changing experience for many of the attendees,” said Nancy Lane, President of SNA and the SNA Foundation. “We believe that this study mission will equal that experience if not surpass it as the innovation that is going on at these companies is incredible. The goal is to help community publishers make big and bold changes at their company as a result of attending this one week study tour. The learning will continue for six months after the tour through a series of monthly webinars for attendees only to share what they have put into practice and to continue the networking and learning experience. It is truly a one-of-a-kind learning experience.”

The tour will start in Salt Lake City with two fascinating meetings including a full day visit at Deseret News Publishing and Deseret Digital. Clark Gilbert, the guru of disruptive innovation, and now President & CEO at Deseret, will host an exceptional day featuring an in-depth look into one of the most innovative media companies in all of North America. Their numbers are enviable; their strategy is bold. There is much to learn here. The day will focus on two key issues: changing the business model and developing lower-cost but higher-quality content strategies. The tour will kick off on Sunday evening, May 1 in Salt Lake with a presentation from Rick Blair, CEO of They are nearly fifty times the size of and contract with over 6,000 “Examiners” described as “credible, local insiders”. They post 3,500+ stories per day and publish in over 225 U.S. cities and the top 5 Canadian cities. There is much to be learned about the use of community contributors; including the screening/interview process and extensive training that is required to make this succeed.

The group will then travel to New England for a series of meetings. In Boston, the group will visit MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media, for a look into the future. They will also participate in a publisher idea exchange with some of the leading New England media companies, focusing on pay wall success stories, self serve advertising strategies for small advertisers and revenue growth. The group will also travel to Torrington, CT to visit Journal Register Company’s just announced open community newsroom at the Register Citizen. While there, the group will also spend a half day meeting with JRC corporate executives learning more about their digital-first strategy with a particular focus on revenue strategies that are working.

Finally, the group will travel to Toronto to visit Metroland Media and Torstar Corporation. Metroland has a long history of innovation. SNA members have been exposed to their ground-breaking strategies for a long time. They are often featured at SNA conferences and no matter what the topic or the conference focus, the reaction from attendees is always the same - they are blown away by the innovative work that goes on in this company. This visit will be a real treat to witness the culture of innovation, learn about new and emerging strategies, discuss the changing business model and see first-hand how North America’s largest group of community weeklies continues to show record growth.

The full program details are available on the SNA web site or by clicking here. The study mission will take place May 1-6. Cost is $2,850 per person and includes air from Salt Lake to Boston and Boston to Toronto, six nights hotel accommodations at downtown locations, most meals including 3 dinners, 5 lunches and 6 breakfasts, transportation during the tour and program materials, etc. Full list of inclusions and exclusions can be found on the web site.

Reserve your place now to take part in this incredible small group learning experience. The tour is limited to the first 30 attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. A $1,000 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your space (and will be used to purchase air and hotel deposits). For more information, contact Nancy Lane at or (843) 390-1531.

Comments (3)

# michealjohn
November 11, 2013 @ 9:34 AM
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# michealjohn
December 10, 2013 @ 6:41 PM
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