OCNA Member Success Stories
While it's been another week of turmoil and concern, many of our members are finding creative ways to connect with their communities and bring in much-needed revenue.
Here are some examples - perhaps they will spark a new idea for you, or simply reinforce what you're already accomplishing. At the very least, it's a little bit of good news.....
"The Review is DOUBLING UP HARD on selling our digital website products and including two shares on our very busy FB page. We regrouped and sell placement by the week and not by the view. It is easier for our advertisers to understand, it seems.
During the past 30 days, we have had more than 108,000 engagements on our FB page (post clicks which go through to our website story from Instant Articles), post likes, or comments."
They put the presentation on the power of Community Newspapers to music and posted it too, along with a funny take off on the toilet paper rush.
Louise continues: "I recorded a robocall to check in on our readers and let them know about our e-edition being open to all and that just two clicks were needed to read it -- in case of a print interruption -- that it is there for them.
INCREDIBLE positive response and good wishes. If people miss the call, THEY CALL US BACK TO SEE WHY WE CALLED !!!
I think that the people who read local news and care about it also GET IT. They know what we are up against, especially in these times.
PLUS: We emailed all of our subscribers -- even the ones with the print-only package -- to invite them to try the e-edition -- in case of print interruption -- as we are preparing for everything.
If it helps, we can offer colour ads at the b/w price."
The Ridgetown Independent News
"We met with our local councillor last Friday who is sponsoring a colouring contest with prizes in our paper to help keep children busy and entertained while at home. Entries can be scanned and sent electronically, mailed or dropped off through our mail slot. He has offered to do this for up to the next six weeks, (if we last that long).
We have been in contact with the local municipality and offered a 15% discount for any virus related ads.
Through contact with our MP's office - he visited our office last Friday (maintaining a safe distance) and is placing a half page ad we are currently working on with his office"
Christine Elliott normally runs a small ad every other week or so. Offered an incentive to do so, this week she ran a full page four colour ad. http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/current-03-26-2020.pdf
"Just a win I wanted to tell you about: Wednesday, at the end of a news conference with the public health officials and municipal leaders, I asked them to remember newspapers are small businesses and will be affected by this crisis as well. And then, I used Pam and Charlene's info about the 55+ demographic as our target and added in the information about crap internet in our readership area. They took it in, and I expected little.
They booked two pages for the issue coming out Wednesday!
Keep talking about our demographic - we're reaching the people public health needs to reach!"
Dave Burket, Publisher
The Voice of Pelham
"We're adding a Quarantainment section (I release that into the wild--may it flourish) to give readers something to do besides watch bad Netflix. Short stories, more puzzles. Also switching to all or mostly black pages (depending on how cooperative GM is) to save a fair whack on printing. And I likely won't be paying myself for awhile."
Hamilton Mountain News
Their sales person promoted the fact that their upcoming issue would be all about COVID-19 news, safety, resources and links to all local government and public health offices and services. Their issue is chock full of paid ads:
How did Ryan do it? Here's what he says:
"I really just made the calls… and ensured that all the local City of Hamilton Councillors, MP’s, and MPP’s were aware and I played up the fact that Hamilton area residents are very hungry for information on the local situation and they will be looking for our local community papers for all the information they can get. Media wise we are in the footprint of Toronto Radio and Toronto TV… so I played up our local News team and the COVID 19 theme for all our papers, and communities we serve.
Started with emails… then also made sure to follow up with personal call, and give them ad content ideas. If it was not for the calls I would not have had the same success… because many of them did not know what they might say. Funny thing is the City of Hamilton… at this point has not sent out a single ad message in our market… so the councilors did a great job of communicating to their wards."
The Manitoulin Expositor created an ad for their local OPP, who are now running a full page ad for the next month about domestic violence. Unfortunately, domestic violence increases during times of crisis. You can view the ad here. Dave Patterson has offered to supply you with the InDesign documents to create your own ad(s) to sell to your local detachments. Dave is at email@example.com or 705-368-2744
John Hueston had a brilliant thought: that all grocery store aisles should be one-way during these COVID-19 times. That simple adjustment to traffic flow would alleviate the problem of meeting someone head-on in a narrow aisle, and being unable to keep your two-metre distance (some people just keep walking toward you).
John is working on communicating this to grocery store management, but it could be a great idea to bring to your local grocery - and create an ad to communicate the idea to the community.
I interviewed our local mental health promoter last week...wrote about all of these things, published the article on our website, shared it twice on Facebook and it's in this week's print and e-edition.
Could do same with Blood Donor Clinics.
Check to see if there are funds to support these efforts. Ad*Reach is also investigating.
The Glengarry News
The Glengarry News will be publishing directions for making your own face mask. Note that there is not currently an officially approved DIY face mask, but many people feel more comfortable wearing one, and some healthcare facilities are asking for home-made mask covers. Check with your health care expert before picking a pattern to use.