Once identified with the slackers portrayed in Richard Linklater movies like “Dazed and Confused,” Austin, Texas, these days is better known for the high-tech startups, incubators and venture capital investors that give it the nickname Silicon Hills.
And legacy media is looking to Austin as well: When GateHouse Media was looking to establish its Center for News & Design to provide editing and design services for its 156 dailies and hundreds of community publications, it chose the Texas capital city that’s adopted the motto “Keep Austin Weird.”
The city’s energy is a perfect environment for a conference that announces its goal of revving up newspaper top lines in its very title, Mission One: Revenue.
This year’s Mission One: Revenue will fire up its program laser-focused on generating new revenue from every opportunity—in ways new and unique, and also tried and true—available to newspapers at the offices of GateHouse Media’s Austin American-Statesman for two and a half days between August 15 and 17.
“This is the only conference totally devoted to maximizing newspaper revenue. We’re presenting real-world case studies with actionable ideas that you can take-to-market immediately,” said Mike Blinder, whose The Blinder Group is sponsoring Mission One: Revenue along with Inland, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and the Texas Press Association.
As a glance at the program shows, Mission One: Revenue takes a broad and deep exploration of what makes money for newspapers today.
There are, for example, sessions devoted to the tools that can generate revenue immediately, such as one led by sales guru Ryan Dohrn on closing ad sales deal with just one call. It’s also an example of solutions being put to use right now, Dohrn said, with more than 75 newspapers implementing the sales proposal template.
And there are lessons on strengthening the sales process through changing the culture and habits of newspaper sales teams.
The program is specifically designed to appeal to smaller newspapers, with fewer resources, as well as to metro dailies.
Jim Stevenson, the owner of Spinal Column Weeklies in Highland, Michigan, will show step-by-step how he was able to expand the portfolio of his small-town community papers by creating a publication that was profitable from day one.
And a panel discussion among publishers large and small will present the case studies of newspapers that are reviving an advertising segment once nearly given up for dead—print automotive classifieds and display.
“Regardless of market size and resources, if making money today is part of your job, then Mission One: Revenue is your must attend for 2019,” Blinder said.
See the complete program and biographies of presenters on pages 8-10. Sponsorship opportunities for Mission One: Revenue are still available. Contact Patti Minglin at 630-209-2524.