Break-through innovation happens when you target non-consumers 2/25/16

By Cindy Durham, SNPA assistant executive director

Break-through innovation tends to happen when industries focus on non-consumers, the judge for the inaugural Mega-Innovation Award told publishers during the closing session of the Key Executives Mega-Conference.

Contest judge Michael Maness, innovator-in-residence at Harvard Business School, said: "If you focus on people who aren't using anything that you do and build a solution for them, that tends to be a solution that gets adopted by other people. So, you want to be focused on segments in your communities where there's no heavy consumption."


Local news goes Over-The-Top 2/24/16

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Streaming video on Over-The-Top platforms, Calkins Media Incorporated newspapers are now also "micro TV stations."

In just a couple of years, the Bucks County Courier Times in Pennsylvania and its sisters newspapers in Calkins Philadelphia Region have incorporated OTT channels into their routine operations, said Emily Dresslar, director of strategic partnerships for Calkins Digital. Calkins ABC-TV affiliate stations have adopted the technology as well.

"The key was not bringing on a whole new video team, which is the route some newspapers have gone, but transforming our newsrooms so that photographers became videographers, and reporters became print reporters as well as video reporters," Dresslar said. "A couple of years ago what we wanted didn't exist in the market, so we built it ourselves."


A culture of innovation 2/24/16

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

The Oklahoman Media Company is always willing to try something new.

"We have tried to create a culture here of ongoing innovation," said Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman. No single strategy is more important than another, and all employees are expected to contribute and improve.

The result is a dozen or more innovations over the last several years, not just one or two. The core goals are to increase audience and engage readers through news, advertising, digital, a TV studio, social media or the giant video screen on the side of the newspaper building in downtown Oklahoma City.


Innovation for all sizes 2/24/16

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Forsyth County News Publisher Vince Johnson says that when he came to the paper a couple of years ago, it had a rule about social media. Only one article was posted to Facebook each day, at 6 a.m.

In his entry form for the Mega-Innovation competition, Johnson noted that rule officially died on Jan. 20, 2014. Since then, the paper has increased its social media following by more than 1,000 percent.

That's just one example of how the Forsyth County News, described by Johnson as "wildly traditional" not so long ago, has changed.


Proving that print advertising works 2/24/16

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

What started out as a way to bring lost advertisers back to The Dallas Morning News turned into a new AH Belo company dedicated to pay-for-performance in print.

"It's an answer to the marketplace that says, 'We want pay-per-action.' And it's driving brand new business back into the newspaper," said Richard Jones, president of Proven Performance Media.


Newsreps applies for membership 2/2/16

Newsreps, which connects Smartphone users with news companies, has applied for membership in SNPA. The Newsreps technology allows Smartphone users to simply respond to tasks through the app or send in their own sightings directly to their local newspaper.

Newsreps offer news companies – not only increased customer engagement – but a platform that lets Smartphone users provide the newspaper with user generated news.


SNPA Board of Directors approves four new members 10/6/15

During its meeting Monday at the News Industry Summit, the SNPA Board of Directors approved four new members: Guarantee Digital, HubCiti, McGrann Paper Corporation and NTVB Media.


Guarantee Digital and NTVB Media apply for membership 9/29/15

Two companies that do business with newspapers have applied for membership in SNPA: Guarantee Digital and NTVB Media.


Meet the NEX GEN class of 2015-16 9/1/15

Read bios of 2015-16 NEX GEN participants.


Weeklies no more 9/1/15

By Jane Nicholes

In two south-central Georgia towns about 31 miles apart, newspaper readers wanted the same thing: more than one printed edition a week, please.

That's what Boone Newspapers Inc. found out when it recently bought the Cordele Dispatch and the Americus Times-Recorder. Starting Aug. 22 in Americus and Aug. 29 in Cordele, readers got their wish.

As of this week, both papers now come out on Wednesdays and Saturdays instead of only on Fridays. And executives in both places, General Manager Chris Lewis in Cordele and Publisher William Hand in Americus, use the same word to describe community reaction: "excited."