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Press+ Connecting content with commerce

March 26, 2012 in Distribution, Experiments, Resources, Revenue

Journalism has always depended on modest payments by consumers, and the industry must re-adopt this model as it becomes clear that online advertising revenue alone does not sustain robust, independent journalism at newspapers, magazines, or online publications. Everyone, from readers to reporters, is facing the consequences as news organizations of all kinds are forced to cut back…

Press+ powers targeted e-commerce strategies – such as metering, segmented content, and topic-based packages – that will convert your most engaged readers into paid subscribers without turning away casual visitors.” Source: MyPressPlus.com/publishers

“Press+ is an RR Donnelley company that is pioneering flexible, sophisticated e-commerce solutions for publishers – and easy-to-use, time-saving services for readers.

Press+ was founded by three veteran digital-media leaders: Steven Brill, founder of The American Lawyer magazine and Court TV; L. Gordon Crovitz, a former Wall Street Journal publisher; and Leo Hindery, Jr., who has led the San Francisco Chronicle, AT&T Cable and YES Network. Under their leadership, the company launched Press+ in 2010.
It’s all about helping publishers around the world reclaim their business on the Web.” Source: MyPressPlus.com/about

Easy to use index: Find emerging practices, publisher techniques and revenue forum how-to tips

March 21, 2012 in Blog, Community, Distribution, Revenue

Journalism Accelerator

Publishers taking part in the recent JA forums on increasing revenue to news sites created a dynamic conversation. And since it was on JA’s forum platform designed with a shelf life, all that shared knowledge is still available for you. Both threads – on local and on niche news sites – generated around 300 comments, with nearly 50 participants over the couple day run. The threads are well worth a read. Here we have organized and indexed much of the conversation to surface the richness of these ideas, insights and hard earned experience so it’s easy for you to peruse by topic.

Read what you need now; come back when you are looking for something else. And remember, one of the greatest resources here is the people who were involved. Just click on anyone’s name to find out more about that person, including how to connect.

The aim of our double-header forum was to create a record of some of the knowledge that news publishers have built up, many working several years in a disrupted market. The focus: how to make money in the new world of news. We divided the two-day conversation into two streams, local news and niche news sites. If any consensus emerged, it is this: Know your audience first. Then figure out which of the many possible sources of revenue works to engage them. Read the rest of this entry →

Part 1: Emerging practices from revenue forum bundle local and niche publisher secrets for success

March 21, 2012 in Blog, Community, Distribution, Revenue

Emerging practices across revenue streams

Sustainable Journalism Forum -- Visit Page for Day 2

Check out some of the participants who joined in to share their take. The sum of the parts offered in this emerging practices module surfacing over two days of top notch conversation.

Click on a headline to see the comment in context of the full conversation. Want to see more comments from a particular participant, see a person’s website, or follow them on Twitter? Each name links you to that person’s JA profile, with background info, expertise and ways to connect.

Also check out How-tos of Business Basics, culled from the same two-day forum, Philosophical Discussions in the thread and Quoteable Moments for a chuckle or a moment of inspiration.

Revenue streams topic index

Advertising: Beyond the basics

Mix ads with other
We pursue (1) Advertising – it’s the gateway for small business (2) Sponsorships – medium companies and organizations can sponsor entire content channels such as Environment; (3) Ancillary business services, principally photography and websites (two things we’re already doing to publish the news site). Key insight: one revenue stream alone will not support your hyperlocal. – Hal Goodtree, Cary Citizen Read the rest of this entry →

Part 2: How-tos from revenue forum bundle local and niche publisher tactics for sustainability

March 21, 2012 in Blog, Community, Distribution, Revenue

Sustainable Journalism Forum -- Visit page for day 1

Check out some of the participants who joined in to share their take. The sum of the parts offered in this how-to module surfacing over two days of top notch conversation.

How-tos of basic business practices

Does managing a sales staff stretch your comfort zone? What are all the different products you offer? How much do you pay for paper clips? The content here distilled from the recent JA forum on increasing revenue, where publishers running local and niche news sites shared what they’ve learned about being small business owners.

Click on a headline to see the comment in context of the full conversation. Want to see more comments from a particular participant, see a person’s website, or follow them on Twitter? Each name links you to that person’s JA profile, with background info, expertise and ways to connect.

You might also enjoy Emerging Practices around a range of revenue options from advertising to underwriting. Philosophical Discussions surfaces deep thinking in the thread and Quoteable Moments offers smart one liners capturing some of the sentiments of publishing in this disruptive time.

How-tos topic index

Business models | Tracking demographics | Finding good freelancers | Doing or managing sales | Staying sane | Saving money | Selling new ideas

Part 3: Memorable quotes from revenue forum reveal perspective and promise

March 21, 2012 in Blog, Community, Distribution, Revenue

Quotable Moments

Quick takes, capturing earned insight from publishers day-to-day discoveries shared in the JA’s two-day forum on increasing revenue. Wise quotes from these experienced folks, to inspire a conversation or words worthy of taping on your office wall. Want to respond? Click on the first few words to read the full comment in context, patiently allowing the page to render and deliver you in line, on point.

To free the conversation up to evolve over time, the forums remain open, so you can add your thoughts to the comment thread as the topics tackled continue to unfold. Or if you would rather go direct to a dialogue. Find background and ways to connect with any of these publishers. Just click on a name and jump to that person’s JA profile. You might also want to check out Emerging Practices around a range of revenue-accekerating options from advertising to underwriting, How-Tos of Basic Business Practices, or Philosophical Discussions, all distilled out of the two-day JA revenue forum. Read the rest of this entry →

JA sustainability forum deconstructed: Publishers dish revenue models, tactics and cautions

March 15, 2012 in Blog, Community, Revenue

Journalism AcceleratorYou’re starting a news site to fill a community need. Or you’ve been running one for years; now you want to stabilize income, maybe expand. The recent double-header JA forum on increasing revenue to news sites aimed to capture and share the invaluable running-a-business know-how that news publishers create through their work every day.

The two-day conversation discussed first the needs of local, then of niche news sites. Here we distill both rich comment threads to showcase publisher experiences and emerging best business practices in three key areas: partnerships, advertising, and other sources of revenue.

A hat tip to Cary Citizen publisher Hal Goodtree for this pointed forum takeaway: “One revenue stream alone will not support your hyperlocal.” Seems obvious, maybe. But how do you get to seven different revenue streams, like Oakland Local? Or develop a reputation for training that pays your investigative reporting bills? Or use social media consulting to bring in ad revenue?

A recent survey of Investigative News Network and Block by Block members found that publishers put sixty percent of their budgets toward journalism and less than twenty percent to generating revenue. “That mix does not bode well for creating financial stability,” writes Janet Coats, manager of The Patterson Foundation’s New Media Journalism Initiative. (Full disclosure: The JA receives TPF support.) So what does?

The ideas and experiences shared over two days of intense conversation in the recent JA forum on increasing revenue offer many insights into building financial stability. The takeaways fit into three overarching themes, each central to business success: partnerships, advertising and non-ad sources of revenue. Dig into what interests you now, come back later for more. The conversation threads also remain open discover more insights and add your experience. Read the rest of this entry →

Niche news publishing: “No one shoe fits all.”

February 29, 2012 in Blog, Craft, Experiments, Revenue

Journalism Accelerator

Little shoe big foot -- Journalism Accelerator Forum

Image credit: Lars Christensen - Fotolia

Go deep, not wide, in content and audience. That’s my quick overall takeaway from today, Day Two of our forum on sustainable journalism. Today’s conversation focused on particular opportunities for niche sites.

Let’s start with this question, and a thanks to the Oregonian News Network’s Cornelius Swart for posing it:

Who if any have done or understood the demographics of their audience before they launched their projects. Of those out there in the niche world, who has done a media audit since they launched? Are people just pricing products and seeing if they take off? Do people have a sense of audience/customer base in terms of income and consumer habits/values?”

That’s still open to answer on the forum threadBased on comments throughout the conversation, niche news sites have particular opportunities to build tight relationships with their audiences – and that is key to bringing in revenue. Rusty Coats put it this way: To monetize deep content, own the master narrative.

That is, become the voice of authority (through your coverage, of course) on a subject matter – and work diligently to hone that subject matter so that it isn’t too horizontal. Deep coverage is vertical. Readers and underwriters appreciate the focus – and that helps weed out who is NOT your audience or underwriter community.” Read the rest of this entry →

Niche Perspective: Publisher forum February 29th examines revenue, collaboration and syndication

February 23, 2012 in Blog, Community, Craft, Revenue

Journalism Accelerator

On Wednesday, February 29th, Day Two of the JA forum on sustainable journalism highlights the practice of niche publishing, one name for specializing in a particular subject matter or a certain type of reporting. Their experiences reflect many common issues local publishers know well.

This is a forum for publishers, businesspeople, and others interested in increasing the revenue of digital news sites. It’s a moderated online conversation, designed as “call and response” – we’ll hear two publishers’ stories, add reflections from a couple of business experts, and invite you to jump in.  Read the rest of this entry →

Local Perspective: Publisher forum February 28th explores news, revenue and place

February 22, 2012 in Blog, Community, Revenue

Journalism Accelerator

On Tuesday, February 28th, Day One of the JA forum on sustainable journalism kicks off with the stories of two local news sites. The publishers have experienced different successes and challenges, but share at least one goal: build a product that serves the community and pays for itself.

We’re bringing together a balance of publishers and business experts to trade information and knowledge about increasing the revenue of digital news sites. The forum is an online conversation designed as “call and response” – we’ll hear stories of a few publishers then invite other people with relevant experience to share insights, offer suggestions and challenge assumptions.  Read the rest of this entry →

2012: The year of the prosperous publisher

February 8, 2012 in Blog, Craft, Experiments, Revenue, Technology

Journalism Accelerator

Year of the sustainable publisher dragon

...the Year of the Dragon is one of high risks and high returns — a year during which the financial crisis will finally see some light... (self-proclaimed Chinese astrologer Joseph) Chung explains that this is a “Water Dragon Year,” which means a higher flow of communication between people.
(Image by Jim Nix of Nomadic Pursuits on Flickr.)

2012 is the Year of the Dragon, if you go by the Chinese calendar. What will define this year for news publishers? In January we pointed you to some thoughtful – and entertaining – predictions for 2012. But prognostications can only take us so far. Hearing directly from publishing pioneers which trails need blazing, and which may be better off less traveled, is where our work begins this year. To fine tune the JA focus for 2012 we spent January identifying how to support the most critical needs publishers face now, in a way unique to the JA service model.

To do this, we turned to a group of talented people with a wide range of experience in news and information. All of them are familiar with the JA’s conversation and information exchange products, having joined our early pilot project, participated in a more recent forum or generously granted us an informational interview (or two) over the past year.

This time, we asked them to identify what they see as the most urgent challenges in publishing right now, and the greatest opportunities to support publishers’ work. Suggestions and ideas the group raised will guide our priorities for 2012, with fresh insight to help shape our upcoming forum on business models for publishers. That kicks off later this month on February 28 and 29. Many thanks to The Seattle Times’ David Boardman, Anne Galloway, editor of VTDigger.org, CEO of the Investigative News Network Kevin Davis, BXB founder Michele McLellan, policy expert Steve Waldman, business coach Joe Michaud, and RJI Fellow/ The Patterson Foundation’s New Media Initiative Manager Janet Coats. Read the rest of this entry →