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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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Daily Report: SNA Foundation's North American Innovation Mission

SNA President Nancy Lane will provide daily reports from the road while traveling with the Innovation Mission. Eighteen community media executives are taking part in this week-long study to visit with some of the most innovative media houses in North America. The group is focusing on new business models and emerging content strategies.

Friday Morning Report: Selling Video Advertising Packages

Meriel Bradley photo
Meriel Bradley, Executive Producer, The Digital Video Group, Metroland Media.

“Every client in your market should have a video.” These words of wisdom came from Meriel Bradley, Executive Producer, The Digital Video Group, Metroland Media, during one of the major aha moments of the entire Innovation Mission.

According to Bradley, “90% of consumers say that watching a video influences their buying decisions,” and “67% of Canada’s population viewed more than 5.6 billion videos online last year.”

Bradley came to Metroland with a background in TV and video and wowed attendees with a new product that she created called “ShopTalk.”

ShopTalk combines print, video, blogs and QR codes into a packaged buy. QR codes act as a bridge between print and digital experiences and “put product right in the palms of your customers' hands.” The typical ShopTalk package includes a 60 second video; 12 print ads (one per month); and 12 professionally written blogs (one per month). Metroland employees shoot the video and write the blogs (smaller companies could hire independent contractors to do this work). The advertisers are free to use the videos and blogs in other areas as well (on their own web sites for example) although Metroland retains the ownership rights. When readers scan the QR codes into their phone, they are able to view the video.

Metroland Presentation photo
A snapshot of the informative presentation at Metroland Media Group.

The videos are informational in nature and generally do not include offers or deals. “Tips work best,” according to Bradley, such as a recent nursery owner providing tips about caring for hydrangeas.

Packages can be customized further to include multiple videos and more frequent print ads. Some customers are spending $10,000 - $30,000 per year on higher-level packages. The basic package is priced to sell and depending on the size of the print publication, might range from $350/month to well over $1,000.

The packages also include plenty of photos (taken while they are shooting the video) to include as visuals with the blogs. They have launched this product in their York Region (visit and are in the process of rolling it out into other Metroland markets. They believe that the application can extend well beyond retail (health for example) and they plan to roll out other categories yet this year.

Terry Kukle, Robert Brown, and Betty Carr photo
Innovation Mission participants Robert Brown, President and CEO of Swift Communications, left, and Terry Kukle, VP of Business Development at Metroland Media Group, center, with Betty Carr, VP and Regional Publisher at Metroland Media Group.

Innovation Mission attendees were excited about developing a similar strategy back home.

“ShopTalk was an aha moment
for me,” said Steve McHaney,
Co-Publisher/Vice President, Victoria Advocate.

“ShopTalk is definitely one of my top three take-aways from the entire trip” said Brandon Erlacher, Publisher, The Elkhart Truth.

SNA will certainly be following up on this exciting opportunity and will plan to feature more information at upcoming conferences and webinars.

Next Up: Mashing Up Mobile and Group Deals with

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