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Archive for the ‘Complete Community Connection’ Category

Boston_Globe logoI had a twofold reaction to Thursday’s news that the Boston Globe was trying to reinvent itself:

  1. Another fucking newspaper reinvention? How many times have we heard this?
  2. I hope it succeeds. Someone has to.

If you don’t want to read my whining/ranting about previous reinvention failures, skip to the “why I’m optimistic” heading, where I share my optimism for the Globe’s project. I am optimistic, but I need to share that frustration, too.

Why I’m frustrated

In both reactions, my thoughts turned to the American Press Institute. The current incarnation of API is helping the Globe, and I’ll address that in the optimistic section. And I was heavily involved in an initiative by an earlier version of API to lead reinvention of the newspaper business.

A decade ago, API developed a blueprint for newspaper reinvention (we called it a “Blueprint for Transformation”). Seriously, we published that advice in 2006, the year newspaper ad revenues first started to drop, by a tiny 1.7 percent. Ad revenue has dropped every year since, often by double-digit percentages and the Newspaper Association of America hasn’t even bothered to report the figures for 2014 and 2015. Those annual reports usually came out in April, and the most recent revenue report on the NAA website was published April 18, 2014.

I worked for API on the Newspaper Next project, and my colleagues and I presented those principles and techniques of reinvention more than a hundred times to newspaper audiences around the globe, from one-hour overviews for press associations to two-day workshops for specific newspapers and large newspaper companies. We produced at least three N2 reports, one of which I wrote.

Newspaper executives who proclaimed themselves eager to reinvent their organizations applauded our message and spent thousands of dollars (we charged $11,000 plus expenses for a one-day workshop) sharing the message with their staffs and executive teams. But their cultural and organizational inertia was so powerful that they took only tentative partial steps that didn’t come close to reinvention. (more…)

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When I was in France last month for the New Media in Russia conference, Oksana Silantieva interviewed me about the Complete Community Connection. I told her the concept for a new business model for news remains valid, but the details would need to be updated since I first proposed it four years ago. We also discussed my suggestion for a new business model for obituaries.

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Newspaper Next did not succeed in transforming the newspaper industry. But it transformed the career of this journalist.

N2 attracted great curiosity in the newspaper business five years ago today with the release of its Blueprint for Transformation report.

For the next year or so, the American Press Institute project was the talk of the newspaper business. My API colleagues and I made more than 100 presentations to  several thousand executives, sales reps, managers and journalists at industry conferences, seminars and workshops.

As someone who spent most of two years trying spread the N2 message and issuing the N2 call for transformation, it pains me to look back five years later and say that we didn’t bring about any significant lasting change. (more…)

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Alan Mutter documents the no-longer-surprising fact that newspaper advertising revenues continued to fall for the 20th straight quarter in the first three months of 2011.

This decline comes at a time when the economy has been growing for nearly two years, turning around declines in broadcast, magazine and online advertising. Mutter closes: “Clearly, newspapers need new ideas. They need to develop a broad array of targeted content and advertising solutions to serve diverse audiences across the web, mobile and social media.”

Actually, newspapers don’t need new ideas. They need to unshackle themselves from their old advertising-and-circulation model and start serious pursuit of the dozens of ideas already presented for developing new revenue sources. Here are some ideas (not all mine and not new here, but not yet in wide use, at least by newspaper companies): (more…)

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I led a discussion of community engagement today for the Conference on the Newspaper Business at Yale, a gathering of college newspaper publishers, ad managers and financial managers.

I discussed the Complete Community Connection and mobile-first strategy.

I told them that young people are still getting jobs in this business (I hired a bunch last year). Even though lots of newspapers and other news organizations have cut jobs, others like TBD, Bloomberg Government and Patch have been hiring journalists. I recommended my advice for pursuing jobs in digital journalism.

Below are my slides from the presentation:

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Today I’m a discussion leader for the American Press Institute’s Digital Delivery seminar. The morning program I’m involved in is The Battle for Local: Crowded, Competitive, Hyperlocal. I’ll be mentioning several resources for the seminar participants, and I’ll share them here.

Of course, I’ll be discussing TBD at some length.

Of course, I will be talking about the Complete Community Connection. (more…)

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I just posted on TBD: Jim Brady leaves TBD.

He’s a great friend, journalist and innovator. Sorry to see him go.

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Entrepreneurial journalists make a mistake if they think advertising is their only potential revenue stream.

Our entrepreneurial journalism class at Georgetown University will focus tonight on exploring possible ways to make money beyond display advertising. I doubt that many organizations would want to pursue all these possibilities. Particularly if you’re a small organization or an individual, you will need to pick your shots carefully and decide which have the most potential and which are worth the time and money it would cost to try them. Some of these opportunities are tailored for the sole proprietor. Others work better for a larger organization or at least for an entrepreneur or team with specialized technical skills.

Here are some revenue streams we will discuss in class: (more…)

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It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.

With apologies to Charles Dickens, who wrote one of the greatest leads of all times, that is the theme for my presentation leading off an APME NewsTrain seminar at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth this week. (The two-day seminar breaks the group in half, with each half following a different track each day, so I will open the same program for a different group each day.) The seminar organizers asked me to give a big-picture overview of the changing media landscape for the frontline editors who will be attending. This is a blog version of that presentation.

It was the worst of times. I won’t spend much time on this, because everyone at newspapers (my primary audience at the seminar) knows how bad things are. So I’ll just review quickly: (more…)

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These are slides and links relating to my Oct. 2 presentation on the Complete Community Connection for the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association:

You can read more elsewhere in this blog in my posts on the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection, on mobile-first strategy and on resources for journalists using Twitter. The slides are below:

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Mimi has been after me to change the name of my blog. So starting today, with the launch of TBD, my blog becomes The Buttry Diary.

I’m still hopeful that many news organizations, including TBD, find and demonstrate the value of the Complete Community Connection. Pursuing the Complete Community Connection was the right title for this blog when I adopted the title last year. And I’ll be pursuing the innovation ideas that started there in my role with TBD. But I’m ready to move to a new blog name and I like the initials of this one.

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When I posted Newspaper charges for reading obits online: double-dipping on death, I invited Ernie Schreiber, editor of the Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era, to respond. I posted his response as a separate post, because I think it’s fair to give him his say uninterrupted. But he raised points that demand or merit a response on my part. So I respond here, republishing his email to me again in full, this time with my commentary interspersed:

Steve,

It’s disappointing to learn that when you left the newsroom, you left behind fairness, the bedrock of credibility in our profession.    As you well know, an ethical journalist reaches out to the subject of a story before publication of that story, not afterwards.  And an ethical journalist does not engage in silly name calling. (more…)

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