2017 Annual Meeting

Setting a new standard for association Annual Meetings

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Fittingly, a session on wielding benchmarking for strategic initiatives and revenue growth is the latest addition to the already strong initial program for the joint Annual Meeting of Inland and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

Fittingly, because this first-ever joint meeting—with the Colorado Press Association as a co-sponsor —is raising the bar for association Annual Meetings.

“All the elements of this Annual Meeting—the strong program Inland and SNPA have created, the great number of industry solutions providers it has attracted, and the wide networking prospects it will afford—promise to ensure attendees will come away ready to build their future of growth, right away,” said Inland Executive Director Tom Slaughter.

The just-added benchmarking session reflects the quality of presenters throughout the program who will share their experiences, case studies, best practices—and real-life successes.

Included in the panel is Doug Phares, the Sandusky News Group president and COO who is among the most savvy users of the Publisher Benchmarks tool developed by Inland and Mather Economics LLC. (See article above)

He’ll be joined by P.J. Browning, senior vice president of family-owned Evening Post Publishing Newspaper Group and publisher of The Post and Courier. The Charleston, S.C.-based group is noted for its innovations in revenue stream—which include recently widening its Sunday print newspaper footprint.

Rounding out the discussion on metrics, standards and benchmarking will be Dolph Tillotson Tillotson, president of the Southern Newspapers group of 15 papers and former publisher of its flagship The Daily News in Galveston, Texas.

The panel also reflects a program that mixes the case studies and experiences of media organizations in a wide range of market sizes.

For example, Damien Radcliffe, the former publisher who is a professor of journalism at the University of Oregon and founder of the Kenja media consultancy, will bring the small newspaper perspective to his session, tentatively entitled, “Local News in a Digital World: Life at Small-Market Newspapers and Their Keys to Survival.”

On another side of the media landscape, YouTube’s News Partnerships Manager, Uzo Ometu, will offer strategic insights for distribution, programming and monetization on the video platform in his session entitled, “How YouTube is Partnering with Publishers to Drive Revenue and Audience.” Ometu will come to the joint Annual Meeting with examples of how local news partners have extended their reach within and beyond their markets, and what innovative formats they are using to develop a deeper, more engaged relationship with their audience—relationships that are being monetized right now.

Inland and SNPA are known for delivering practical, actionable information and ideas to their members, and this joint Annual Meeting, Sept. 10 to 12 in Colorado Springs, Colo., continues that service throughout the program. But especially in the session “12 Ideas that Drive Revenue,” that will be led by Tom Yunt, COO of family-owned United Communications Corporation, publisher of the Kenosha (Wisc.) News.

From the 2017 joint Annual Meeting program

Here’s more of the program to expect at the joint Annual Meeting, Sept. 10 to 12:

Meeting the Challenge: The Shifting Nature of Our Business This session takes a 30,000-foot look at the newspaper industry to orient attendees to the challenges and opportunities of this media environment.

Addressing the Media Identity Crisis: Creating & Monetizing Brand Equity Is your brand equity delivering value? Or have your products and services become mere commodities in your market?  Do you know how to put your brand to work in the competitive marketplace? Are you sure you even know your brand? Lead presenter Bob Provost draws on 25 years of media marketing leadership—including Hearst Newspapers and Advance Publications—as well as over a decade as a college lecturer at Siena Business School and Rutgers Business School) to illustrate how a brand at work drives success through consumer preference, revenue streams and brand extensions. This presentation will feature media-specific examples from around the world, and media panelists who will share their firsthand experience.

The Future of Newsrooms: When Change is Not Enough Bill Church, senior vice president of news for GateHouse Media, will lead a deep dive into how newsrooms must be organized—or more correctly, re-organized—to meet the challenges of the digital age. His presentation takes its starting point from the American Society of News Editor surveys showing that despite shrinking staffs, the percentage of supervisors and the overall makeup of newsrooms has changed remarkably little.

What Newspapers Must Do to Keep Public Notices The threat to legal requirements that public notices be published in print has never been more dire. Learn what publishers around the nation are facing - and how they are successfully responding to the siege on printed public notices.

How to Build and Maintain Your Sales Team Charity Huff, who has worked with thousands of sales professionals in local media, will present successful strategies to build a productive sales environment, maintain a healthy pipeline of qualified sales professionals, and reach new customers with compelling marketing tactics designed to make them loyal customers to your newspaper brand.

Recruiting and Retaining Sales People Publishers say this is their number one challenge. Learn how newspapers of all sizes are assembling effective sales teams who succeed in selling across all platforms.

Digital Agencies – Where is the Money? This session is all about what it takes to structure a digital services agency that can thrive in the face of numerous digital-only competitors.

Why Video Is Important Video allows newspapers to be the disruptor rather than the disrupted in their local markets. See how news organizations are producing engaging content that commands the price legacy broadcasters have enjoyed without serious competition.

Circulation Pricing and Elasticity When it comes to subscription and single-copy pricing, one size should not fit all in your market. Learn the science behind pricing that maximizes your circulation revenue.

Hot Tech Companies Meet the startups and re-invented legacy companies that offer tremendous digital revenue potential.

Pay Walls and Digital Subscriptions – Yes or No A look at the specific factors that go into this still-unsettled debate about access pricing.

Using Data to Understand and Grow Your Business Big Data isn’t just for the Google’s or Amazon’s of the world—you’ve got a treasure trove of information right inside your organization. This session shows how to harness the power of data you are already generating.

Efficiency Trends You Need to Know This session looks beyond the “we’ve always done it that way” mindset to demonstrate specific ways your organization can be more effective at jobs to be done.