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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

On Monday, The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com premiered the first episode of the new series "Where NOLA Chefs Eat," hosted by Todd Price, the paper's award-winning dining reporter, and filmed and edited by video journalist and frequent Where NOLA Eats collaborator Frankie Prijatel.

Content

Throughout this year, journalists at The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) and The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.) will examine the concept of safety and security in the Triangle and throughout North Carolina by looking beyond the traditional lens of crime. The papers are inviting readers to be part of this process.

In launching the project, the papers asked readers: "What keeps you up at night? We're listening, and we'll use your comments and input to report on real risks, hold leaders and politicians accountable – and explore how we can become our own best watchdogs."

Public Notice

Sign up to receive a free monthly newsletter on public notice issues and download a two-page flyer on "Why Public Notice Should Remain in Newspapers."

These resources will help you keep up with important issues regarding public notice across the country.

For example:

A bill that would have eliminated the newspaper publication requirement for foreclosure notices in Indiana was narrowly defeated recently in a vote taken immediately following a committee hearing.

Revenue generation

The five newspapers in BH Media's Alabama Group signed up 77 new advertising accounts in about six weeks last year through an in-house sales competition called "Let's Play Takeaway."

The goal is to win new accounts away from competitors and regenerate inactive accounts. Advertising representatives compete among themselves for prizes ranging from $75 for the person bringing in the second-highest number of new accounts up to $500 for the salesperson who generates the highest amount of new revenue.

The competition is about to begin its third year.

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

For the do-it-yourself employer, GateHouse Media's self-serve recruiting ads have proven to be convenient and popular. For GateHouse, they've proven to be lucrative.

GateHouse impressed people at a recent SNPA P2P (Publisher-to-Publisher) video conference on classified advertising with this number: projected revenues of $1.5 million for 2019.

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

The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., is getting into the horse racing business, acquiring the ownership rights to Steeplechase of Charleston.

P.J. Browning, publisher of The Post and Courier, said at a Thursday announcement at The Dewberry that acquiring the event helps the media company to diversify its portfolio and invest in its community.

"It makes good business sense for all of us here to pay attention to the ways in which Charleston residents and visitors alike embrace our unique events," Browning said. "Thousands of people attend festivals around town each year, and there's every reason that this can and should happen with Steeplechase."

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.

Niche products

Generations is an 8 ½ by 11 glossy magazine that is intended to look like a magazine, not like part of a newspaper, says Brenda Bennett, regional sales manager for the SCNI newspapers in Conyers, Covington, McDonough, Jackson and Jonesboro, Ga. "I think the key to the success of the book is that we're reaching outside of our media markets and looking for stories and travel ideas and food, and it also helps to have a major retailer in the mix."

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.