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Entries for November 2012

The Former Borrell Associates Executive to Start on December 3

After an extensive interview process that included nearly seventy applications for the position, Local Media Association has chosen Peter Conti as their new Sales & Marketing Director.

Peter Conti photo
Peter Conti

Peter Conti most recently served as an executive vice president at Borrell Associates where he has worked since 2001. His primary role there was as a consultant to media outlets and pure play Internet companies, developing and implementing business and marketing strategies for their local online and mobile initiatives. He managed and participated in Borrell Associates’ webinars and their digital sales training initiatives. He also contributed to Borrell Associates’ digital marketing industry reports and was a frequent speaker and keynoter at industry conferences. Before Borrell Associates, he was the director of interactive media for Media General's publishing division. Prior to that, in 1997, he joined Landmark Communications Inc. to develop and manage the highly successful Web site.

Conti received the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB), “2009 Service Excellence Award," for his dedication and leadership in helping educate local marketers and ad agencies about targeted digital advertising. Conti has been an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Business teaching “Global Internet Marketing.” He attended the International Studies program at the University of Lund, Sweden, and holds a bachelor's degree in Radio, TV & Film from the University of Maryland.

“We are thrilled to welcome Pete to the LMA team,” said Nancy Lane, president of Local Media Association. “This hire reinforces our commitment to help the industry develop new revenue streams, find sustainable business models and identify trends that are most likely to succeed. Pete will enable us to help the industry in new and interesting ways. His first project will be to complete our sales certification program including the management and advanced tracks.”

“I am proud to join the team at Local Media Association,” said Conti, “I have long viewed LMA as one of the most innovative and progressive organizations to serve our industry. I am excited by the many opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to talking to LMA members about their needs and how I can help them grow their business.”

Conti will start on December 3. LMA members can reach him at

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Feb. 17-20 at The Roosevelt New Orleans, New Orleans, La.

Program topics have been announced and registration has begun for the 2013 Mega-Conference, sponsored by Local Media Association, the Inland Press Association, and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

The 2013 Mega-Conference brings together the best thought leaders tackling the hottest trends in the industry today for increasing revenue, audience and engagement. This jam-packed program takes on the challenges of transforming from print to digital, exploring new print formats and how specifically to start a digital services agency, and much, much more. Click here for a complete list of session descriptions.

The 2012 Mega-Conference attracted nearly 500 decision makers from about 100 of the largest media companies in the United States and Canada. This makes this conference a valuable opportunity for companies that do business with newspapers to meet with their current customers and discuss their products and services with prospective new clients. Exhibit space and sponsorships are available.

  • Pre-conference bonus sessions will be held on Sunday, Feb. 17, from 2-5 p.m.
  • The conference officially opens Monday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. and runs through Noon on Wednesday, Feb 20.

Plan to attend one of the fastest growing industry events in North America by registering today.

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Local Media Association loves to provide added-value to our members on a regular basis. So in addition to the 24+ free webinars that we will conduct this year as well as the free virtual two-day advertising conference that we added in the summer, we are pleased to issue various research reports and white papers from time to time.

This latest report takes a look inside Groupon. Despite the negative headlines, this disruptive innovator is showing serious growth in North America and is building a business model that will transition past "deal of the day."

Groupon Report

LMA president Nancy Lane and LMA board member Brandon Erlacher spent an afternoon at Groupon headquarters this month along with WAN-IFRA study tour participants from India, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland and Brazil. This report showcases the top takeaways from the visit.

To order your free copy, memebers simply need to like us on Facebook then send an e-mail to with the e-mail address for us to send the report to.

Non-Local Media Association members can purchase the report for $99 by clicking here.

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Keynote: Sold! On Classifieds.

By Al Cupo, vice president, Local Media Association

Presented by Kelly Wirges, ProMax Training & Consulting, Inc

Kelly Wirges of ProMax Training and Consulting brought the energy to the second day of the Classified Multimedia Conference program. Kelly’s 90-minute keynote presentation provided a step-by-step approach to providing excellent service while selling the right product mix for each customer’s specific needs.

  1.)          Create an incredible Customer Experience

Every call should deliver a 5 star experience. Be warm; be welcoming.

You are the company; you have more contact with customers than just about anyone else in the company.

‘Always remember: Customers are not an interruption of your work, they are your work. Slow down!’

   2.)          Deliberately Include Persuasive Communication...

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By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association

Gordon Borrell delivered the keynote presentation to a packed room of 70 attendees this morning. These attendees represented newspapers, broadcast and directories from six different countries.

 Key takeaways included:

  •  Online Ad Production: Online agency/exchange fees ($25 billion), display ad design, app design, online contest/game development, online video production


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Keynote Presentation: Real Estate – Multimedia Packages That Work

By Al Cupo, vice president, Local Media Association

Presented by: Barbara Kleban, Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker

Barbara Kleban informed and entertained conference participants with her fast moving and insightful presentation. Barbara covered everything from local agents compensation programs to actionable suggestions that local publications can implement immediately to gain more R.E. business.

First and foremost, Barbara said that all R.E. agents must be ‘Googleable’, meaning they must show-up on search pages as much as possible. She went on to suggest that local newspapers assist agents by developing a real estate agent directory to assist with their SEO program...

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By Al Cupo, vice president, Local Media Association

Keynote Presentation: Leading Through Change

Presented by: Bill Cummings, former Senior Director of Advertising, Freedom Communications

Bill Cummings began day one of the conference with a fast paced look at how newspapers can embrace the kind of change that will immediately impact their bottom line. As his first slide said: If you change nothing, nothing will change.
Bill covered a great deal of information during his one-hour presentation. The following list represents a snap-shot of the many suggestions he shared with the conference participants:

Creating a Culture of Change
  • Become a purpose driven sales organization
  • Equip all sales people to be able to see value and communicate the purpose to their advertiser for choosing to engage your services.
  • Understand the purpose of a specific advertising product or feature and seek out new advertisers that could benefit from similar results.

“Romance the Customer”...

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Contests Case Study: GateHouse Media – Rebecca Capparelli, Director of Sales Training Development

By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association

Contests Case Study: GateHouse Media – Rebecca Capparelli, Director of Sales Training Development

Contests produce well into the seven figures for GateHouse Media and this category continues to grow. They realized early on that even very small properties could bring in $25 K with a football contest.

Contest strategy: to create chain-wide contests that can be run at every property with ease and simple implementation.

Planning is essential when it comes to contests. When they launch without enough lead-time, it doesn’t produce the best results.

Sales rollout philosophy...

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Strategic Shift in Deals

By Al Cupo, Vice President, Local Media Association

Presented by Aaron Toyton, Director of Digital Business Development, Journal Interactive

Strategic Shift in Deals

Focus on customer service

Grow the email db

Close deals – fill calendar two weeks in advance

Diversify deals mix to attract new customers

Add a dedicated sales staff

Grow presence in market through mobile and social

Personnel Adjustments

2 full-time deals sellers: base plus a percentage of every deal sold.

Bonus if exceeding goals.

Special incentives for other sales people

Promoting phone orders – call center

Dedicated customer service person – some customers know her by name

Marketing & Promotion...

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Sales Focus & Deal Quality

By Al Cupo, Vice President, Local Media Association

Presented by Christine Rice, Vice President Interactive Sales, Barrington Broadcasting Group LLC

Deals Profile
12 websites running deals
27 broadcast stations
14 markets across the Midwest and South
Deals are a perfect fit for these markets with SMB clients
Started Deals in February 2011

Weekly emails to all station presidents, top execs and AE’s with weekly deal specials sold throughout their company

Group Focus: Regular calls with all sites
Local Sites: weekly, monthly and quarterly calls to discuss deals’ reports
Management Team: all revenue reports sent to management and used in follow-up revenue calls with presidents

Weekly Reports - The Data:
  1. Revenue Reports
  2. Deal Category Reports
  3. Deals/Contest Database Reports

All report data used to identify and measure best in class programs

Onsite Visits
Personal visits are essential to maintain local focus
These onsite visits are used to gauge success with all interactive products; Deals category is part of every regular site visit!

Training and role-playing is very important to keeping deals top of mind on each sales call.

Deals training includes...

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The Deals Store Model

By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association

Liz White, Vice President, New Media, The Record Journal, Meriden, CT (Circulation about 18K), presented a case study about their success using the Deals Store model to increase their deals revenue.

Strategy & Success Behind Deal Stores

       Good for advertisers – no out of pocket cost and no risk as usual; receive a lot of additional print & digital promotion

       Good for customers – lots of local deals & big discounts to choose from; creates a shopping mall & browsing experience

       Good for reps – easier to see around a theme; it’s another tool in their kit; their customers are happy with the additional promotion; extra bonus $ for highest revenue deal in each store (in additional to regular monthly bonuses)

       Good for newspaper – new revenue, new advertisers, positive buzz...

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By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association

Chris Edwards, Vice President Sales/Customer Care for Source Media Group/Fusionfarm, shared strategy and success stories in the deals space.
Source Media includes
The Gazette – 55 K daily/60 K Sunday, KCRG TV 9 and their digital agency Fusionfarm.
Monetizing your database:
Build & market it intelligently!
Email is thriving: 88% check email daily; 50% of consumers make purchases as a direct result of email. Email drives more conversions that any other channel.

Tactics for building your database:

  • Give people a reason to opt in – make them an offer, initial, second try, third try…
  • Make it easy
  • Keep them engaged – offers they want; reasons to be interested
  • Be creative & interesting (don’t look like everyone else out there)

How they grew from 0 to over 33,000:

  • Great deals
  • Utilizing site features
  • Leveraging in-house assets & promotions
  • Contests...

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By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association


Matt Coen, president of Second Street and sponsor of the LMA Deals & Promotions Summit, got things started this morning with opening comments:


Why online promotions?

Revenue from online promotions will surpass online advertising starting in 2014 and will double starting in 2016. Online advertising accounts for $40.3 billion dollars this year and will remain fairly flat in the coming years. Online promotions has grown from $16 billion in 2008 to over $35 billion in 2012 and will exceed $50 billion by 2014/2015. (Source: Borrell Associates). 

Merchant success with deals is growing. The majority (62%) made money on deals in the last few months; another 19% broke even; 19% lost money.

Why performance-based advertising? 65% of internet advertising is performance-based (think Google, FB & deals); 31% is impression-based. This model is here to stay.

Be sure to check back often for updates throughout the day. Starting this afternoon, Al Cupo will also be posting live updates from the Classified Mulitmedia Conference. 

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The affects of Hurricane Sandy continue to reach far and wide along the eastern seaboard. Many Local Media Association members from North Carolina to Massachusetts are still experiencing total or sporadic power outages; others are still coping with the massive amount of coastal flooding and wind damage left in the wake of this monster storm. Local Media Association’s monthly newsletter, Local Media Today, printed by associate member AFL Web Printing in Secaucus, New Jersey has likewise felt the effects of Sandy. Thanks to the terrific efforts of AFL, Local Media Today, originally slated to go on press last week, will be printed tomorrow. We encourage you to visit the Local Media Association web site to access the current electronic edition of Local Media Today:

The November edition of Local Media Today features the following association highlights:

  • Reinvigorate Your Bottom Line for 2013: The Local Media Innovation Alliance Advantage
  • Q & A with new Local Media Association Board of Directors Chairman Gareth Charter
  • Industry Updates from the Local Media Foundation

Other articles include:

  • Transforming a media company, through disruption, innovation, and commitment to mission
  • The latest industry news and R & D member information
  • New Borrell Associates research highlighted: SMBs Spend 2.5x More on Digital ‘Services’

Look for your print copy of Local Media Today to be delivered next week but be sure to also check-out the electronic version here.

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