Local focus remains a winning media strategy


More than 180 circulation, audience development, and membership services executives and business partners met in Las Vegas last week for their annual meeting.

Print and digital media executives from the West Coast gathered to hear industry leaders discuss issues and opportunities relating to business transformation, digital engagement, revenue enhancement, and the industry legal landscape.

While the internet has affected the print model across the nation, local community newspaper/multimedia outlets have thrived by combining a strong online presence with a print product for readers who prefer the touch and feel of a local newspaper.

Local newspaper websites always garner the largest audience of their local competitors as they are trusted as reliable news sources, said CWCMA executive board member Russ Briley.

In Santa Clarita, two local surveys found that The Signal’s multimedia products “are the number one local news resource. We always double and most often triple the stated unique website visitors of our closest competitor in our area,” said Briley, The Signal’s executive vice president of community relations and audience development.

Participants at the meeting, members of the Cal Western Circulation Managers Association (CWCMA) and Northwest International Circulation Executives (NICE), represent media outlets in ten western states and Canada.

In the past, media companies were reluctant to share information as they competed for subscribers, Briley observed. That’s changed as digital platforms have transformed how customers get their news.

This shift has resulted in greater collaboration and sharing of ideas, strategies and tactics among media outlets. “Now in any given market it is not uncommon to have your products printed and delivered by your competitors,” he said.

CWCMA, established in 1919, has members in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Utah. NICE, with members from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and Western Canadian Provinces, was founded in 1924.

ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen spoke at the conference. Next year’s conference will again be held in Las Vegas.

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