The National Newspaper Association (NNA) held its 131st annual convention Oct. 5-7 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There were 250 community newspaper owners, publishers and senior staff in attendance.
The theme of the convention was, “Innovation Starts Here.” Newspapers appear to be embracing all aspects of this slogan.
There were four general sessions and five sets of round table discussions that pushed this group to greater heights in print and website offerings. Some topics included:
• Strategies to boost advertising sales in print and digital
• Consumers’ media choices, strength of the new media and paths to long-term financial viability
• Choosing profitable digital products
• Maximizing video revenue
• Leveraging newsroom resources with school partnerships, sister newspapers and internships
Exhibitors provided community newspapers with a variety of solutions for newspapers and digital improvements, including:
• “SWAT” teams that assist newspaper staff with print and digital sales
• Editors using syndicated content and photos to enhance their food and lifestyle sections and websites
• Several web platform services that allow newspapers to drive new sources of revenue
• Incorporation of social media “ad blocks” that allow publications to provide ongoing feeds from their local advertisers’ Facebook pages
Newspaper publishers, editors and managers who attended the NNA convention were eager to grow their community newspapers. In many cases, this consisted of a business being passed down for generations; a business engrained in its community, city governments, schools and local businesses. These professionals were engaged and keeping the hometown spirit alive and well.