The organization is making major strategic changes – and more are on the way — as it seeks to strengthen the revenue power of its members, who represent a big chunk of the embattled digital local news industry.
SeeClickFix has used 21st-century technology to fix 2,666,448 issues (and still counting) in municipalities and other jurisdictions around the country. In this Q & A, CEO Ben Berkowitz talks about how the company he founded eight years ago has forged partnerships with 300 governments and other entities.
One emerging group that might be able to help publishers answers tough questions is the nonprofit group STAR Communities, which “works to evaluate, improve, and certify sustainable communities.” The company helps cities and counties “achieve a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well being for their residents.”
Does Central New Jersey’s New Brunswick Today represent the future of local news? The local site has made inroads in its community, supporting itself with a “three-legged stool” combining reader memberships, foundation support and site advertising.
Messaging apps would be the ideal medium for U.S. dailies to capture committed readers in the emerging era of the “New Localism.” The big advantage of chat apps is that publishers can send questions and other “push” notifications to subscribers that promote high levels of engagement.
“I’m learning that the success we have in Charlotte isn’t scaleable to other distinct geographies,” said founder Ted Williams. “I’ve become convinced that the key to financial success for an organization like ours is providing a high degree of advertiser customization and customer service. “
Revenue SVP Esfand Pourmand wants the group’s 17 dailies and 57 weeklies to maximize their revenue potential. To do that he knows they also have to enrich “user experiences” across multiple platforms.
In 1989, Marc Wilson’s Montana news bulletin board put editorial content into the hands of other local-news publishers more quickly, abundantly, and cheaply. Today, Wilson’s TownNews.com serves 1,600 newspapers — big and small, daily and weekly — as well as pure-plays and other digital publications
Kenny Katzgrau talks with us about what he calls the “growing divide” between publishers, like local newspaper groups, who pitch advertisers with the scale of big numbers of pageviews, and independents, who emphasize value.
In September, Renee Levine and her husband Josh launched their hyperlocal parent-recommendations site in the New York City suburbs of Westchester County, N.Y., Fairfield County in Connecticut and North Jersey. Here, Levine talks about the birth of ParentNation and why the company is building their content strategy around crowdsourcing.