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Innovations

In Erica Smith's three years as online editor and director of digital strategy for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, change has been intended to make things easier in the newsroom and on the website, www.pilotonline.com. From creating a single app to keep track of a story to cutting the number of steps a reader must take to get a digital subscription, Smith wants the digital product to be accessible to readers and comfortable for the newsroom staff.

Digital

"Newspapers have been trying to play defense for a long time. From classifieds to inserts to our core users migrating to digital, our industry has been in protection mode," says Vince Johnson, publisher of The Item in Sumter, S.C. "Video allows us to play offense."

Content

Richmond's growing reputation as a prime "foodie town" now has a new newsletter to keep score on what's new, interesting and delicious.

Subscribers to Richmond Dines, the Richmond Times-Dispatch's latest email newsletter, will be treated to restaurant reviews, dining news and updates on beer, wine and more in the Richmond area.

Public Notice

The Public Notice Resource Center has published an eight-page set of "Best Practices for Public Notices" that addresses the need for newspapers to use both their print and digital resources to inform the public and protect the public record.

Revenue generation

Publishing a recipe card a day made nearly $1,000 a month for The Times Leader in Martins Ferry, Ohio, and readers called if it was left out. The concept was simple: Sell a 2 x 1 ad that runs along the bottom of a 2 x 5 space, and fill the rest of the space with a recipe. The size is small enough to clip and save like a recipe card, with the advertiser as the sponsor.

Contests

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, BH Media Group's newspapers are finding success with their Cutest Couples contest. This contest and others are helping the papers and local businesses collect hundreds of email addresses for future promotions.

House ads

This column by Publisher and CEO Terry Kroeger was published May 5 in the Omaha World-Herald

Dear Readers,

I want to tell you a story. Don't worry. I'll keep it short.

This story is about you and us and how we're in it together, thick and thin. It's the story about our local newspaper and our community. We have been here for you in some form since 1865 – even before Nebraska was a state.

It's a story that at its most basic level is one of freedom. The stories we tell keep us all free by holding leaders accountable, by informing our community about what matters, and recording Omaha's history. Our stories also entertain, enlighten and inspire, forming the fabric of our community.

We can tell this story best because our storytellers – our employees – are part of the community, too. We are your friends and neighbors.

Display advertising

The beauty of the SMART-Flap is its unusual index tabs for a newsprint supplement. By processing two webs in different special widths and a staggered fold, the first four pages are narrower than the following pages. The two visible 3cm-wide tabs on the right-hand edge offer various categorization and additional ad options.

Classified advertising

No, you're not dreaming. It's an ad for kitchens hidden inside a fake classifieds page – thanks to a nifty 3-D effect applied to the text.

Advertising inserts

A renewed emphasis on a print-and-deliver single-sheet insert program has earned The Telegraph in Macon, Ga., about $29,000 per month in the last year.

Circulation

These T-shirts just might bring a new subscriber to The Tidewater News. In addition to the shirts that are sparking conversation in the community, you'll find links in this article to the paper's radio and TV commercials.

Native advertising

The Post and Courier launched a native ad program a year ago. In this 13-minute video, Publisher P.J. Browning and Brad Boggs, senior digital director, share useful tips on getting editorial buy-in, training sales staff, what categories are working, how native should be packaged and what results to expect.

Millennials

The Charlotte Observer is publishing a daily newsletter aimed at Millennials that is pulling in an audience that advertisers crave. Millennials won't read their father's typical newspaper stories here. Instead, they're finding pieces full of voice and personality that speak to them.

Cost savings

You're the general manager of three small newspapers in north Florida, two of them much smaller than the third. It would be easy to cut costs by closing one or both of the smaller papers, each with circulation in the hundreds, not the thousands. Just shut one or both down, give their subscribers the larger paper instead, and hope they don't resent it too much. That's not what they did.

Research

As this readership series concludes, we look at common results that publishers have found and the importance of planning before you embark on a study.

Newspaper operations

Rohit Rathore wants to take automation in the newspaper industry to a new level by incorporating robotics and artificial intelligence into largely repetitive business functions.

This cutting-edge technology is rapidly emerging as a game changer in financial and insurance industries and offers significant benefits to the media industry as well, Rathore said. He said that if it is applied diligently, the result would be dramatic cost savings ranging from 40 to 80 percent for newspapers and the opportunity to reduce or eliminate outsourcing, especially outsourcing overseas.

NIE

A little hummingbird wants gum and can blow big bubbles. Artie Knapp's short stories are free to SNPA member newspapers.

Ethics

By establishing itself as a trusted source for political chatter, The Post and Courier hopes to unearth tips that lead to substantial stories.

Event marketing

In the summer of 2016, Austin360 (the entertainment brand of Statesman Media, Austin, Texas) launched a live video concert series – STUDIO SESSIONS. The goal was to combine the skills of the company's video staff (editorial and commercial working together), put its renovated in-house video studio to use, bring audiences together around music (Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, after all) and sell sponsorships.

Reader rewards

In return for offering something special to newspaper subscribers, the 150 businesses that are Press Pass sponsors with the Kentucky New Era receive advertising packages of varying levels. The packages range from a listing in promotional ads up to color ads in both the New Era and the newspaper serving Fort Campbell.

Design

The Sumter Item has introduced a new look that features two nameplates (for vertical and horizontal layout options on the front page), as well as a five-column grid for ads and editorial. In a few weeks, a new look is coming to its website, as well.