Written by Steve Harrison | FCPNY President
Genesee Valley Publications
It’s always fun to write a follow-up article after a great event … and what a great event it was for all of us who attended our Free Community Papers of New York Super Conference March 18-19 at the Turning Stone Casino & Resort in Verona. Our speakers were some of the best in the biz, with Diane Ciotta getting our conference off to a great start with her “Accountability Drives Ability” session that gave us all a good kick in our complacency pants. How mundane our “same old, same old” response can be as it leads us down the path of mediocrity, when a simple “Why not me?” conversation, accompanied by a positive role model, can elevate your desires and aspirations. And then there’s the power of committing that goal into written words. It works, and it’s gratifying to check off or give yourself a passing grade regarding your listed/written/”I can do this” goal! Of course your goal can be personal as well as professional, but the power of the pen is mighty when you decide what you want to focus on.
It was also great to have Tim Bingaman with us. Mr. Circulation Verification Council (CVC) had some news regarding our upcoming audit reports where CVC auditors will be asking a little more of us regarding our website visitors. That is important info that the media buyers want to know regarding our publications. How much more of, and how different, an audience we as an industry are reaching is what they want to know. We’ll also have the ability to ask a few more questions regarding our own marketplace survey and even customize a few of the questions. Tim’s CVC board of directors is comprised of ad agency members and media buyers, so when they say they want something more from Tim’s audit report, it happens!
Thanks to Dan Alexander from Denton Publications for sharing his Taylor Kimbrell, whose topic was, “Getting Alternative Revenue Out of Your Digital Products.” Dan has committed an expert to all things digital, and it is paying off, as conversations with clients are encompassing more of what Taylor and the Denton ad reps can do. The four-legged sales calls are key and, of course, Taylor’s expertise is welcomed. Taylor’s message to us was welcomed as well!
“I wanted to bring cool” to the free paper industry were the words of Al DiCroce when describing his mobile app initiative that All Island Media proposed at our publishers’ forum at the conference. Cool it was. Simple it is. As you know, smartphones are geo specific and, as such, can be a great tool for searches on the Internet. What Al’s app does is simply let our customers advertise their offering and, through the magic of the app, allow the user to find the store and redeem (if necessary) a deal, but more importantly allow us to continue to bring buyers and sellers together. It’s a pretty simple idea and, through the help of Kyle Tanouye from Milan Marketplace, Inc., they have designed a very good option for any of us considering a mobile application for our publications and advertisers.
Also presenting was graphics expert, Ellen Hanrahan. Her talk, “Quick and Effective Small Space Ads,” helped our attendees deal with space reduction challenges that we face nowadays. Her handout material was very beneficial to all.
Now to the awards! Cecil B. DeMille would have been proud of the outstanding production of our graphic awards ceremony. As usual, hats off and huge kudos to Bridgette Stewart and Karen Sawicz for their show of shows … and, of course, to our winners. We really do pull off some rather creative gems in a very short time. What a service we provide our advertisers, and what delightful scenery we provide our readers. Thanks to everyone for all your entries and, more importantly, all your hard work on behalf of your advertisers and your industry!
And, of course, a big thanks to our entire FCPNY staff—some even retired—who came back to help our gala. To Dan Holmes and Erika Perez, well done!
My article would not be complete without a word regarding Community Papers Advertising Network (CPAN for those of you who love acronyms). As you might expect, there is yet another incentive for selling our wonderful statewide classified circulation where you can win a $500 Visa gift card. You probably have the latest promotion in an email, but you can also access it on our website, FCPNY.com. Make it part of your day to have a five-minute conversation with “just one” business in your circulation area that could use all the eyeballs CPAN delivers.
Also, in an effort to help you promote CPAN, we’ve put together a brochure that you can download and customize. This marketing piece can be used to promote the CPAN classifieds, display ads and inserts. Feel free to customize it with your publication’s logo and phone number. Again, it can be easily accessed at FCPNY.com with a link right on the home page with its own icon labeled “CPAN Customizable Brochures.” It’s easy, and it puts your entire staff on the same page regarding CPAN.
Gone to the “Mall” lately? Another valuable member benefit is AdMall, where you can get valuable statistics on your market, glean useful buyer preferences for your advertisers and download some easy-sell co-op advertising. And the best part? It’s free thanks to FCPNY. Use it because we don’t want to lose it!
Finally, the new title of our FCPNY newsletter is “imPRESSions.” Our thanks go out to Maureen Stockdale from Metro Group, Inc. In her explanation of her entry, she stated, “this name could reflect print, web and creative.” We had several entries for our “Name the Newsletter” contest, but we’re not done yet. Next up is a logo. Stay tuned … that contest is next.