Bringing audio to life 2/2/18

The rise of audio (particularly smart speakers) is the most important new trend in the local news ecosystem. Do you want to learn how to create content, build audiences and make money on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant/Home and Apple Siri/HomePod? Come to the Mega-Conference, Feb. 26-28 in San Diego!

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Top events that make dollars and sense 2/1/18

Newspapers hold a unique position in their markets to deliver data-driven events that develop new and deeper connections in their communities, with packaged solutions that bring in big dollars!

At the Key Executives-Mega Conference – Feb. 26-28 in San Diego – hear from a panel of newspaper industry leaders about unique and innovative ideas that you can take home and make work for your business.

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Big data: What drives performance for advertisers 1/23/18

Gannett's USA TODAY NETWORK has been digitally transforming alongside its advertising clients. And, Proven Performance Media has been working with local publishers to engage, sell and fulfill pay-for-performance campaigns at the local level.

At the Key Executives Mega-Conference, Jeff Burkett, vice president of ad innovations with USA TODAY NETWORK, and Richard Jones, president and owner of Proven Performance Media, will share their insights on what drives performance for advertisers across categories and platforms.

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Facebook meets the press 1/22/18

Learn more about Facebook's shift toward high quality news next month at the Key Executives Mega-Conference. Alex Hardiman, head of news products for Facebook, will be discussing how the company is collaboratively building news products with publishers through the Facebook Journalism Project.

The Mega-Conference will be held Feb. 26-28 in San Diego.

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Grow your customer engagement to annual commitments 1/15/18

Come early to the Mega-Conference and take advantage of a bonus workshop that runs all Monday morning, Feb. 26 – focused on growing your customer engagement to annual commitments.

This bonus session will focus on how to successfully sell the combination of print and digital solutions in the "Real World" in 2018. It will specifically demonstrate how to gain greater credibility with any small- or medium-sized business owner by learning how to "speak their language" and make the right sale for better long-term relationships.

The Mega-Conference will be held Feb. 26-28 in San Diego.

Presenters are:

  • Mike Centorani, co-founder of Sales Transformation Now
  • Julie Foley, director of affiliate success, Second Street
  • Liz Crider Huff, director of affiliate success, Second Street

They will be examining best practices for selling unique solutions for engaging readers, connecting them to customers and managing a consultative sales team in the real world.

This bonus session, which runs from 8:30 a.m. - Noon, is open to everyone who is registered for the Mega-Conference ... at no extra cost.

Centorani said: "Participants of this session will walk away with 'Real World' sales approaches and strategies they can use immediately." He said, "Two of the most common objections salespeople hear is: 'I want to think about it' or 'I'm not interested.' This session will teach salespeople the true reasons why they keep hearing these objections and specific ways to win these same types of potential clients over by taking a completely different sales approach."

Huff is encouraging publishers to send their sales executives to this workshop. "Learn learn how to engage your audience, grow and monetize your email database and drive measurable results for your advertisers," she said.

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Mega-Conference to examine what motivates new subscribers 1/8/18

A major new study of nearly 4,500 people who recently subscribed to their local newspaper shows in unprecedented detail what motivates new subscribers.

At the Mega-Conference next month, learn about the consumers' path to subscription, what factors make them willing to subscribe, and what actions trigger their final commitment.

Jeff Sonderman, deputy executive director, and Gwen Vargo, director of reader relations, both of the American Press Institute, will explain the most important approaches to growing subscribers, and facilitate the attendees sharing their own questions and experiences with subscription marketing.

"The customer's journey to subscribing is not short or straight," says Sonderman, "but it need not be a mystery either. By studying thousands of people who had just decided to subscribe to local papers, we've learned a lot about what motivates their purchases, what they want from the product, and how publishers can more effectively generate these new subscriptions."

Vargo said, "Whether publishers are working with a fully developed print and digital subscription strategy, or are just starting to focus on subscriptions as a revenue priority, they will find the research and recommendations valuable. This interactive session shares not only these significant research findings, but also translates these findings into actionable insights to support your subscription acquisition strategies and tactics."

The Mega-Conference will be held Feb. 26-28 in San Diego.

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Industry leaders to share strategies about investing in newspapers 1/3/18

A panel of top industry leaders, innovators and investors will share the strategy they are taking with their investments, their priorities and concerns for 2018 at next month's Key Executives Mega-Conference in San Diego.

The Mega-Conference will be held Feb. 26-28.

Panelists will include:

  • Penelope Muse Abernathy (moderator), Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Mark Adams, CEO, Adams Publishing Group, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Mark E. Aldam, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Hearst, New York, N.Y.
  • Jeremy Halbreich, chairman and CEO, AIM Media Management, Dallas, Texas
  • Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO, The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, and CEO, A.H. Belo Corporation

    "How do you decide when and where to invest? That's the primary question confronting newspaper publishers or owners, whether they are purchasing companies or investing in papers they own to increase their value," says Penny Abernathy. "Our panel of industry thought-leaders will discuss their own investment strategies and expectations of what they will receive in return."

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Positioning newspapers for a new relevance in the digital economy 1/2/18

Attendees at the 2018 Mega-Conference will learn from marketing guru Andy Cunningham a new framework for positioning that will help answer the two most difficult questions our industry faces in the digital age:

  • Who are you?
  • And why do you matter?

Repositioning an old industry for a new relevance is possible. Come to San Diego Feb. 26-28 and learn how. The first 150 attendees in the room for this session on Feb. 28 will receive a copy of Cunningham's book titled "Get to Aha!"

Her book lays out the step-by-step framework that she will be presenting in her Mega-Conference workshop. This framework is designed to help companies determine their precise position in the marketing landscape, using her DNA-based methodology. "Then and only then," Cunningham says, "can you create a branding and marketing strategy that will build market momentum and crush the competition."

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Cunningham is CEO of Cunningham Collective, a marketing, brand and communication strategy firm that helps companies get traction in the market. She says, "Newspapers are like railroads – an old paradigm facing a new audience. If the railroad industry positioned itself in the transportation business, it might have thrived in a new era. Can newspapers make a shift before it's too late?"

She said, "Positioning a company for a new relevance in the digital economy may seem like a daunting task; but definitely doable. Here's what's required: an inventory of relevant assets; a new look at positioning with consideration of corporate DNA, category, community, competition, and consideration of context; and finally a decisive list of criteria for a new position."
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Why young people are betting on journalism 12/18/17

Where will the next generation of journalists take the profession? During an opening day session at the 2018 Mega-Conference, see how both journalism schools and their students are preparing for a world that is rife with uncertainty. The Mega-Conference will be held Feb. 26-28 in San Diego, Calif.

USC Annenberg has been revamping its curriculum and encouraging its faculty to take more risks with the courses they offer. One of the key challenges is to find ways to experiment with creating journalism in untested formats – new data visualizations, content made for chat apps, wearables and so forth. The students are leading the charge, questioning some of the most fundamental conventions of the profession.

At this "Journalism of the Future" session, journalism students will describe why they are drawn to a profession in such a state of flux and describe how they see their careers unfolding.

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More than 3 dozen sessions! 12/15/17

Between general sessions and breakouts, attendees at the Mega-Conference in February will have more than three dozen sessions to choose from – offering an array of professional development opportunities. To benefit from it all, you'll need to bring your team!

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