|Good week for newspapers at the Statehouse
It was a good week for press interests in the State General Assembly.
On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee voted to preserve a provision requiring publishing of a newspaper legal ad concerning notice of certain tax rates. The proposed bill would have allowed the notice to have been put on web sites instead of in a newspaper. The provision was a small part of a massive bill updating how county treasurer offices operate.
Thank you letters have been sent to the entire subcommittee: Sens. Wes Hayes, John Courson, John Land, John Matthews and Larry Grooms.
We received word Wednesday that the sponsor of a House FOI bill that would have allowed police to withhold incident reports plans to let it die in subcommittee.
Rep. Chris Murphy of Summerville told his hometown publisher, Ellen Priest, that he had made the decision because of the lobbying newspapers did with sponsors to withdraw their names from the bill. The bill once had 36 sponsors and it now has only 22.
"Thanks to all who helped fight back this bill," said Bill Rogers, SCPA Executive Director. "This was an awful bill and it could have gained momentum. I can't overstate the importance of local publishers getting involved."
The bills to remove the newspaper tax exemptions on newsprint and circulation were not sent to a subcommittee this week, which means it will be two more weeks until they can come up again.
"Time is on our side on fighting the removal of our exemption," Rogers said. "However, this battle ist still coming, whether this year or next."
Results from the member newspaper survey on the impact of removing the exemptions are coming in. As of today, 40 publishers have submitted their survey results.
"Publishers -- if you haven't sent yours in, please do so by Friday at the latest," Rogers said. "This will give us important ammunition to use in our fight to keep our exemption. We need every newspaper to respond."
The House adjourned debate until April 3 on the FOI bill by Rep. Bill Taylor of Aiken. The bill would limit copying costs, bar research costs and set a 30-day time limit for release of a document. A last-minute amendment also removed the exemption for Legislative working papers.
"There are predictions the bill will get out of the House... we'll keep our fingers crossed," Rogers said. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Rose.
PALMY Ad Awards entry deadline is April 6
Next Friday, April 6, is the deadline to enter the PALMY Advertising Contest, which annually honors the best newspaper advertising in South Carolina. This contest recognizes and promotes individual efforts by advertising staffs of South Carolina newspapers, encourages creativity in advertising sales, layout and copy writing, and fosters excellence in newspaper advertising, which in turn produces maximum results for newspaper advertisers. To view the ad contest rules, entry form and tags, click here.
If you have any questions about the contest or need clarification on the rules, please call or email Jen Madden at (803) 750-9561.
Ad Basics set April 19
SCPA's next Ad Basics workshop will be April 19. If you have new sales people on staff, sign them up to learn the essentials of ad sales! This popular quarterly sales training workshop is designed for newspaper ad sales employees with less than a year's experience. Alanna Ritchie, Ad Director for the S.C. Newspaper Network, will conduct this full-day workshop. A veteran of weekly and daily newspaper sales, Ritchie will help attendees understand sales basics, including selling against the competition, dealing with objections, closing skills, basic design and consultative selling. The cost to attend is $45 and lunch will be provided. Attendees will also receive the Ad Basics notebook, which contains a wealth of helpful information that Ritchie has collected over the years.
Publisher and Managing Editor
What do you like best about your job?
As hokey as it sounds, it is actually the motto of our paper: promoting the power of community. So the best part, whether through advertising, stories, sponsoring youth sport teams, sponsoring drama productions, or sponsoring events, it is putting all the resources of the newspaper together to really promote our community and those who live and work here. Seeing our paper viewed as integral to our community confirms that we are working hard to meet our mission each and every week.
What would you say is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
The proudest moment was watching a person read the very first issue of the paper in a doctor's office waiting room.
How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
The future is great for those who stick to their mission and make wise business decisions. If we believe in the value of our products and communicate that successfully to our readers and advertisers, then they will believe it too. If we fear other mediums or try to become like them, then we devalue our product and the future will not be great. I highly recommend reading this. While we do have a website for The Daniel Island News, we rarely use it to break news and we spend very little to update it on a weekly basis. Our newspaper is more profitable than at anytime in its history and I expect it and the newspaper industry will continue to get more profitable every year, providing we deliver our advertising and news products with sound underlying business and ethical decisions.
What's your favorite SCPA member service?
My favorite service is having Jay Bender and Bill Rogers available on the phone or by email to answer legal and other newspaper management questions as they arise. I contact them frequently with questions and always get prompt responses.
Any big plans coming up?
On the personal front, my biggest plans involve raising my children. My oldest son is graduating from high school and going to Hartwick College in New York on an academic scholarship, where he will be a member of the swim team. My youngest son is graduating from 8th grade and starting high school and my daughter is ready for her senior year in high school.
Professionally, I am excited about several new advertising promotions we are doing to promote our small business community. These include print and video productions that will make a profit. My business motto: never do anything as a loss leader. If it isn't profitable from the start, do something else that is. Also two great business books that have heavily influenced how we run The Daniel Island News are: Small Giants and Good to Great.
National Archives works with Web company to streamline FOIA requests
Would streamlining FOIA requests save you time and man hours? The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently implemented a comprehensive solution that can also help you effectively track, monitor, and resolve your FOI requests. Want more details? Read more here.
The self-service website and integrated case management tool was designed to accelerate the time it takes to report and resolve FOIA disputes while fostering improved communications with FOIA requestors and other agencies.
|Didn't cops get the photos-OK memo?
Ian Van Kuyk, a Temple University junior studying photojournalism, emerged from class earlier this month with a straightforward assignment: Take pictures at night.
Van Kuyk's professor had armed him with a Nikon D40 digital camera and the knowledge that he had the legal right to snap photos anywhere within the public domain.
Van Kuyk, 24, ended up getting a crash course on what happens when police don't want to be photographed, he said.
He and two of his neighbors say a [Philadelphia] police officer forced Van Kuyk to the ground, jamming his face into the sidewalk, and handcuffed and arrested him after he began photographing a March 14 traffic stop on his block.
"I was within my rights. I wasn't doing anything wrong. The officer began pushing and shoving me," Van Kuyk told the Daily News. "I told him, 'I'm just taking a photo. I'm a photojournalism student.' He got angry. And he just grabbed me and took me to the ground. He kept saying, 'Shut up. Stop resisting.' "
Police say Van Kuyk's arrest had nothing to do with his picture-taking. "The officers are fully aware of the First Amendment right to take photographs," Lt. Ray Evers said Monday.
The incident has incited the 7,000-member National Press Photographers Association and raised questions about whether all Philly cops are adhering to a memorandum, issued by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, saying that civilians have a right to record or photograph cops in a public space.
His memo followed a Daily News story in September about incidents in which cops wrongly arrested bystanders for using cellphones to record arrests.
"The only intent Ian [Van Kuyk] had was to take a picture," said former photojournalist Mickey Osterreicher, an attorney representing the photographers' association. "Did this officer miss the memo or something?"
The Post and Courier debuts new-look website
Earlier this week, The Post and Courier launched a new-look website.
The new design coincides with the introduction of a new SAXOTECH content-management system, which allows journalists to seamlessly deliver news across all platforms -- mobile, social, the web and in print.
Go to postandcourier.com to visit the website.
Overall, the site is less cluttered, better organized and features a more impactful display of photos and video.
The homepage features a carousel of the day's top stories, and a horizontal and streamlined navigation bar -- including an index of the entire website.
There also are changes reflected on the story level. When appropriate and available, stories will feature Google maps, photo galleries, Twitter feeds, embedded videos and links to related content. New ad positions have been worked in.
Responses have been very positive.
Owner of T&D to roll out paywalls in 2012
Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises, which owns The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg, plans to roll out paywalls in most of its 52 markets by the end of the year.
Mary Junck, Lee’s chairman and CEO, said during the company’s annual stockholder meeting earlier this month that reception of its digital subscriber program at six newspapers in Montana and Wyoming has been positive, with the number of page views and unique visitors continuing to grow. She added that the paywalls had hurt digital ad revenue at the papers.
Rick Santorum says cursing at reporter shows he's 'real Republican'
Rick Santorum on Monday wore his angry tirade against the media Sunday as a badge of honor, joking that his use of a curse word in an exchange with a New York Times reporter showed he's "a real Republican." Speaking on Fox News Channel this morning, Santorum claimed he was being harassed when he said it was "bull----" how Times reporter Jeff Zeleny was, in his view, distorting his comments during a campaign rally in Wisconsin while discussing healthcare reform.
Newsreaders' recall and engagement with online and print newspapers
An academic study presented at the AEJMC annual meeting tested whether reader engagement (recall, amount consumed, credibility) towards news stories varies by media type (print v. online).The results reflect prior research that shows print subjects remembered more news stories than online subjects and suggest that the development of dynamic (multimedia) online story forms in the past decade have had little effect toward making them more impressionable than print stories.
Of the survey group, which averaged 22 years in age, 76.9% reported that their main source of news is the Internet; 19.2% primarily use printed newspapers for news; 17.3% primarily use television, and 7.7% primarily use radio.
A statistically significant finding shows that readers of printed newspapers recalled significantly more news stories than online news readers.
A second statistically significant finding shows that readers of print newspapers remembered more news topics and article main points than online readers. However, no significant difference was found between online and print news readers in the recollection of headlines.
Although print news readers tended to read less of a news story than online readers did, no significant difference was found between the two groups as to amount of news stories recalled.
Although readers of online news sources tend to give slightly greater credibility to the stories they read as compared to those who read printed newspapers, the difference was not significant.
To read more of the results of this study, click here.
Borrell: Digital benchmarks by the numbers
The digital gauntlets for 2012 were thrown earlier this week as analyst Gordon Borrell laid down the numbers for local media to hit. Borrell dropped some benchmarks in the form of a “digital dashboard” that might provoke pangs of fear at some local media companies and instill steely determination in others.
- Operating profit margins -- 5%-10%
- Share of local online ad spending -- 15%. Borrell noted that this goal may take three to five years to achieve and that 30% is the maximum in any DMA.
- Online revenue from print advertiser -- 45%
- Inventory sell-through rate -- 100%. This benchmark has a sister: dollars lost to unsold inventory -- $0.
- Revenue to Budget -- 100%
- Local businesses that are current legacy clients -- 40%
- Email address of adults in the market -- 80%. With each email address worth $10-$15 in annual revenue, Borrell said building the list is essential.
- Average online revenue per digital-only rep -- $120,000-plus. Borrell advises that digital reps should be making two times their total compensation, depending on market size.
- Average online dollars per legacy rep -- 10%. Borrell said that 5%-10% of legacy reps’ sales budgets should come from digital sales.
On the lighter side: Texas society writer by day, stripper by night
Jim Romenesko reports that Houston Chronicle society writer Sarah Tressler moonlights as a stripper, reports Houston Press's Richard Connelly, who hears that her newsroom colleagues aren't pleased. His source says it's "because she barely bothers to conceal her identity and they're worried about the reaction from the 'ladies who lunch' when they inevitably find out that they've been hosting an active stripper at their benefits. And furious because she "flaunts" her "stripper money" around the office in the form of expensive designer clothes and handbags. And furious because the Chronicle staff feels like she's just using them as fodder for a future roman a clef."
With an inherently local ad base, publishers can take the mobile lead
With mobile advertising experiencing 10-20% growth year-over-year, focus can be the big challenge for most people involved in the mobile space. With expansion is going to come diversification, as increasingly niche long-tail approaches will add depth to a field that till now has been in its infancy. Mobile advertising is currently largely national or online brands and products -- especially with the explosion of ads in games advertising for other games. Local advertising makes up only a small percentage of mobile ad buys, and there's little sense in this. Yet it's not going to be local businesses themselves that correct this imbalance -- it's traditional local media publishers who are going to need to lead the local-mobile charge. Why should publishers promote mobile advertising?
|Decisions at Gannett, ESPN raise questions about which rights journalists should be free to exercise
Earlier this week, editors and publishers at several Gannett papers said staffers who signed a petition calling for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's recall violated the company's ethics code and would be disciplined. ESPN, meanwhile, dropped a ban on staff posting photos of themselves wearing hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin. Both instances raise the question: What rights should journalists be free to exercise? Reuters' Jack Shafer said Gannett staffers should be free to sign recall petitions, and he criticized the company's response. "I suspect that what really irritates the Gannett bosses," he said, "is not the deed but the visibility of the deed." He went on to ask: "Instead of suppressing the political lives of journalists, why not allow that which is now covert to become overt and give readers more information to assess coverage?"
|A gem of an idea
"I believe it's important to talk in terms of a prospect's interests," Tim told me. "So I'm always looking for ways to translate the principles of advertising into examples that my advertisers can easily understand. Sometimes it's a matter of using something from an advertiser's business or hobby. Just look at it from their perspective. "One time, I was working with a jewelry store owner who was waffling on what to do with his advertising IF he decided to run in my paper. During one of our meetings, I mentioned that I had done some research on the Four-C diamond grading system -- and asked him if he would like to see how that related to newspaper advertising. He readily agreed, because after all, that concept was directly related to his business. Then I talked about each one of the four -- Carat, Clarity, Cut and Color -- in terms of advertising." Here's how Tim translated diamonds to ads: