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Entries for December 2011

Listening to the Mike Blinder webinar on how they created $600,000 in 60 days with GateHouse Media you realize that in a nano-second world that spending time researching and preparing for client meetings is more important than ever.

It does take a village when you put together a sales plan for a company as large as GateHouse: 79 dailies; more than 250 weeklies and 95 shoppers plus more than 400 websites. Blinder had a host of GateHouse executives from around the company (and the country) on the webinar to discuss how they’ve been successful with a focused sales approach.

According to Brad Harmon, Corporate VP of Sales & Marketing digital goals for 2012 will be double this year’s percentages of 25-25%. Harmon says “that is very achievable.”

In order to reach these goals it’s important that three things happen according to Harmon: we simplify, standardize and automate. Infrastructure is key. Currently they have 10 digital specialists in the New England area and plan to add many more where there are regional opportunities.

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Membership voted 5:1 to support name change

After forty years, Suburban Newspapers of America is changing its name. Local Media Association was recommended by a committee (including the SNA board of directors and the SNA marketing committee) that represented nearly 30 member companies. It was an intense five month process that included an enormous amount of healthy debate. The membership received ballots on December 1 and when the voting ended today, the motion had carried. In fact, SNA members supported the name change by a ratio of 5:1.

“It’s simple, self-explanatory, direct,” said Jon K. Rust, Co-President of Rust Communications and Chairman of the Board for SNA. “It puts ‘local’ first – just like we do as media organizations – and it shares that we’re not just newspapers anymore, but much more. It also says that we are united as an association, working together to become better.”

In 1971, SNA was formed when a group of entrepreneurial, family-owned newspaper publishers merged three other associations into this new one. The association has always carried the entrepreneurial spirit of those founding fathers with innovative and cutting-edge programs and research. In that vein, a new tag line has also been developed - “Innovate. Educate. Inspire.”

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All SNA delegates (designated voting member for each company) received a ballot on December 1 to vote on a proposed name change for the organization. The SNA board of directors is recommending Local Media Association as the new name.

Many voices were involved in proposing this new name. In addition to the 14 companies represented by senior level executives on the SNA board of directors, another 12 companies were represented on the marketing committee. These companies include: GateHouse Media, Sun-Times Media Group, Journal Register Company/Digital First Media, New York Times Regional Group, Swift Communications, Metroland Media Group, Deseret Digital Media, Borrell Associates, Rust Communications, Wick Communications, ASP Westward, ThisWeek Community Newspapers, American Community Newspapers, Richner Communications, The World Company, Arizona Daily Star, NGM Partners, Holden Landmark Corporation, CrossRoadsNews, The Elkhart Truth, Dow Jones Local Media Group and USA Weekend.

There are many reasons for the proposed name change as you might imagine. The current name confuses people and is not reflective of the entire membership. It also does not account for the digital side of our businesses. As for the new name, "...it's simple, self-explanatory, direct", said Jon Rust, Chairman of the SNA Board of Directors, "It is also powerful: It puts 'local' first - just like we do as media organizations - and it shares that we're not just newspapers anymore but much more." The board has also put forth a new tagline: "Innovate. Educate. Inspire." These words truly reflect the spirit of SNA that will continue under the new name.

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