“If you want to generate enough money to support a content play, you’ll have to redefine yourself as a marketing company, not a ‘media’ company…”
-G. Borrell

The words above, come from an interview with Gordon Borrell appearing in the Nov 2, 2017 posting on StreetFightMag, you can catch it here. None of the article, or the remainder of today’s post here is an indictment of newspapers. It’s really more a gut-check for all of us, and a look in the mirror of who we are. The over-arching theme from Mr. Borrell is that local businesses (SMB’s) are devoting less ad spend to newspapers than ever before (less means less, it does not mean NO ad spend), and much more to digital marketing services.  Here are some eye-opening numbers emanating from the 2018 forecast for SMB marketing.

  • 10.5%-the approximate % of local ad spending that newspapers and their associated websites captured in 2017, nationally, (just 10.5%!)*
  • 26%-the % of SMB’s planning to decrease their ad spending on newspapers in 2018, nationally, (more than 1/4 of all local SMB’s.)**
  • 63%-the % of SMB’s planning on increasing their online ad spending in 2018, nationally, (nearly 2/3’s of all local SMB’s.)**
  • 75%-the % of overall marketing spending that SMB’s will dedicate to NON-ADVERTISING channels in 2018, (3/4’s of all SMB marketing dollars.)**
*BIA Kelsey Research
**Borrell SMB Survey-2017

This does not point to a simple shift from one type of display ad to another, (print to digital.) While targeted online display (banner advertising) will benefit from a low price barrier and a glut of offerings, it still ranks behind other advertising channels such as SEM and Social Media when it comes to effectiveness and ROI. And don’t forget that even more of the shift will be going to digital services. If 75% of total marketing spend is going to dedicated to non-advertising, that means it is going to support local business operations with services or methods such as websites, social media management, SEO, and promotions. That last one…promotions…while they also include advertising campaigns bundled into the promotional package, the budget allocation becomes a non-ad category because SMB’s lump everything involved in a promotion into one big box, labeled PROMOTION.

So, I’ve heard all this before. What does this really mean to me?

Our own local businesses have spoken. How they are going to allocate their budgets is pretty much a forgone conclusion. With whom they spend those budgets, may not be. And today, if we allow ourselves to be defined solely by our local newspaper mastheads anything we offer is presumed to be newspaper-specific.

Don’t believe me? This has already been recognized within the industry…

  • Hearst Newspapers brand themselves as Hearst Media Services
  • Gannet Newspaper titles fall under the USAToday.com Network brand
  • Portland (Maine) Press Herald, a previous workplace of Michael Blinder and myself), is part of MaineTodayMedia
  • DigitalFirst Media is the corporate (and go-to-market) brand for mastheads such as Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and LA Daily News
  • One of Gate House’s recent acquisitions, the Jacksonville Times-Union, goes to market using Times-Union Media as their introduction
  • And similarly, CNC’s own Wilmington Star News leads with StarNews Media

All the newspapers above remain intact and as vibrant as any in the US. But their go-to-market message is about marketing and networks and an over arching digital capability. It’s not just about the name, what’s behind it is just as important. But it’s about the total package.  Newspapers are not wrong, they are not bad. They simply have a different weight and role in marketing solutions today than they did previously. And our conversations, our focus, our overall brand should reflect that. Our local markets need to see and hear that from us to know that we are aligned with the changes in their business plans.

Mr. Borrell’s recommendation is that we re-define ourselves as a provider of services…marketing services. Much of what we have to offer local businesses falls squarely within the non-ad category. This doesn’t imply we are not providing advertising opportunities, it only says that those opportunities are merely one arrow in a quiver filled with sustainable and emerging marketing options. How we define ourselves with every phone call, every visit, every email is another chance to reinforce our overall marketing services capabilities. And every time we position ourselves as the local newspaper first, we are vastly limiting our overall value to the local business community.

Every touch we make today and going forward is an opportunity to change how the market thinks about us. Every touch is a chance to help a local business solve a problem that might extend beyond a printed page. And every discussion we have is one that can truly lead to an opportunity to TRANSFORM our service and relevance to our communities.


Quote(s) of the week

“If you sit back & spend too much time feeling good about what you did in the past, you’re going to come up short next time ”
Bill Belichik 
“Many people spend more time in planning the wedding than they do in planning the marriage.
– Zig Ziglar

Your MOM Knows Best 

  • BTB (Before The Blog) editions of the MOM online newsletter are now available on the About page, available from the menu in the upper right hand corner.
  • Check the menu in the upper right, it’s an easy access for reports and contacts that you will need to keep handy. These will be updated as we go, but you should be able to find links, names, and phone numbers that you need on a regular basis. Depend on MOM as your in-house directory.Your MOM knows all!
  • Want to follow MOM to be the first to hear about weekly updates? Just follow MOM and you’ll receive an email notification every time a new update of MOM is published. If you are a WordPress user and are logged in, just click the Follow button in the admin bar. If you are not a WordPress user, or are logged out, just click the Follow button in the lower right-hand corner of your blog’s home page.
  • Give MOM some feedback, rate any post, or leave a comment.
  • And your MOM is everywhere, available on ALL devices…desktop, mobile (Android & iOS), and tablet.
This is your MOM, at least at work that is.



UPDATE! ENC Front Page (STICKY NOTE) Sales Blitz

  • ALL SALES HANDS ON DECK CONFERENCE CALL TUESDAY 11/21, 8:45-9:15. (Check email for details.)
  • We have 13 appointments set at this time for the Front Page Note sales blitz. That is an ok start as we are a couple of weeks off. But to take the pressure off everyone at the last minute, PLEASE continue to set appointments. Remember, the pricing set for this sales blitz is available ONLY for that week only. This means that if you want to offer high value, including the Front Page of the daily newspaper on the dates the customer wants, along with a short-term, high impact digital campaign at the same time, you must set the appointment. And if you want THE DATES that are right for the customer, the appointment has to be set before someone else has access. THIS PRICING IS NOT AVAILABLE BEFORE OR AFTER THIS SALES BLITZ!
  • Remember the dates for the sales blitz are Dec 4 thru Dec 8. If customers are only availble on days where a Weeks representative is not going to be on site, go ahead and set the appointment anyway. One of us will be there to insure the customer gets the best service and the best pricing.
  • All scheduled appointments should be made on the official scheduling calendars. Links to these calendars and instructions for calendar use are located on the drive here.  

NEW! Local Media Workshops coming in January!

We will again be hosting Michael Blinder for us “updated” small business seminars. This year look for more on social media, and packages that will be more digitally focused than ever.  Local businesses will begin to see more about this with an email campaign right after Thanksgiving, following up with social media. All MMSE’s will have collateral for email and hand outs.

Also, this year we will have local Chamber of Commerce’s in several communities as sponsors, so our communication will be stronger than ever!

  • Wilmington-Jan 17 & 18
  • ENC-Jan 29 thru 31

 ENC Sales Calendar

  • Access the section and event sales calendar online, here.

New ThriveHive Holiday Packages

  • Collateral on the new ThriveHive Holiday packages can be found on the ThriveHive training site. They have also been downloaded to our drive and are available here. You will also want to check out the guidelines for selling and delivery of these valuable assets, here.

NEW-Social Management Packaging

  • ThriveHive has improved the Social Management packages making them fit the way that local businesses have been requesting. While the previous packages can still be closed thru Nov. 30, you should no longer be adding them to proposals, instead moving over to the new packages. (Note: I personally closed on one of the old packages last week and will be carrying through with that sale so it’s ok to move forward with the expiring packages if you’ve already included.) Collateral on the new Social Packaging is on the TH training site, and also downloaded to our drive, here.

Presentation Templates-EZ2 yuze!


New GateHouse One-Sheet Presentation Form

  • As announced in the October Roll Out Webinar, GateHouse has prepared a template for a one-sheet presentation. Multi-slide power points don’t work for all businesses. This new format includes all the salient touch-points of a great marketing campaign discussion. Please access this from the GateHouse Media Portal.
  • You can also access the Word version of this presentation here




Q4 Presentations




New Member of the Team

  • Please welcome Angela (Angie) Bialas to the ADOPS TEAM, joining us as an MMSS, based in Jacksonville but serving all of ENC Media Group. Her email address is abialas@jdnews.com and her desk number is 910-219-8419


  • Please make sure you are using the most updated digital ticket . And make sure that when you save it to your computer that it doesn’t look like this EIO-ENC (1). Nothing, no letter, number or symbol,  should be following ENC. If it does please rename it to reflect that.

Holiday Deadlines

  • ALL ads for Thursday will need to be finished and approved no later than 3pm…the same for Friday.

Rich Media

  • ALL RICH MEDIA CREATIVE must be approved 48 hours in advance, and allow 48 hours for rich media ad creation. Any advertising submitted with a shorter turn-around simply cannot be fulfilled. We really do not control this here, it is the same for all GateHouse Media sales operations.

Digital Advertising Deadlines

  • We are unable to rush digital ads…with the holidays coming please keep all of this in mind so that things run smoothly for you. Again, this is not something that we control locally, GateHouse Media has thousands of ad campaigns coming in daily, we simply need to work within the timelines we currently have. Thanks.

Digital Reports

  • Campaign reports and monthly O&O audience reports are available on the drive. You can access them by selecting the AdOps page from the menu in the upper right hand corner of MOM!

Events & Promotion

Check out this week’s Pie Chart of the Week for more on PROMOTIONS!


VIP Big Game Sweepstakes

National Prize-Tickets To The Superbowl!!!

Local sponsorship of the GateHouse Pro Football Hall of Fame

VIP Big Game Sweepstakes

  • Multiple Sponsors
    • Presenting Sponsor (just one)
      • Sponsorship value of $22K for only $4,730
    • Co-Sponsors (multiple opportunities)
      • Sponsorship value of $12K for only $2,530
  • Both sponsorships are billed in December and January
  • Both include OnTarget campaigns and local O&O
  • Both include additional promotion including FB posts and email blasts to our registered database
  • Both include custom marketing campaigns
  • Local businesses can sponsor a chance to win tickets to the Superbowl!!!

Check out the presentation deck here.

ENC Live is…encmedialive.com

Access this site for all up to date information regarding upcoming events. We will be adding information about the Local Media Workshops very soon.

Upcoming ENCLive events

  • ENC Home & Holiday Gift Show  December 15 & 16, 2017
  • ENC Bridal & Special Event Expo  January 21, 2018
  • ENC Local Media Workshops, January 29, 2018
  • ENC Local Media Workshops, January 30, 2018
  • ENC Local Media Workshops, January 31, 2018
  • ENC Jacksonville Home & Garden Show  March 10 & 11, 2018
  • ENC New Bern Home & Garden Show  March 17 & 18, 2018


Pie Chart of the Week

Non-Advertising Spend…Where Will It Go? 


Remember, 75 cents out of every marketing dollar spent by local SMB’s will go into the “non-advertising” bucket. So, what constitutes non-advertising? From a high level, promotions makes up a pretty large piece of it, nearly 2/3’s in fact.

Aren’t there advertising campaigns tied to local promotions?

Absolutely, how else are you going to have a successful promotion. But when local business commit to a “promotion” THAT is the commitment, the ad campaign is part of the overall promotion. And therein is the way we go to market with our promotions. Smart businesses know that they are able to take advantage of these campagisn when sponsorgin a promotion.

And this is why PROMOTIONS continue to be a growing concern of our local marketing services efforts.


Click on the graphic for a larger view. You can also copy this for use in presentations.

NEW on MOM-Google Infographics from ThriveHive

Take a look at the ThriveHive training site under Resources for a peak at the entire gallery of Google Infographics.  (These are the kind of graphics that make me look smart…and I can use all the help that I can get!) This gallery will be dynamic, more added as they are available. For now, there is a wide variety of business categories available.

Infographics are great cool ways to get the point across. Check out the entire gallery, download the one(s) that fit your customer discussions and presentations.



ENC Media Group Brochures


Just in…we have new ENC Media Group Sales Brochures that are available for all sales personnel. These great new brochures provide an overview of ENC Media Group, print and digital. As we continue to brand ourselves as a regional marketing powerhouse, this will help explain the overall capabilities and reach of our local properties, ENC Media Group, ThriveHive, and GateHouse Media.

These brochures will be available at all properties, and if you need more, let us know.




…the new norm

November Digital Webinars from ThriveHive and GateHouse

  • Don’t forget to access the rebroadcast of the GateHouse and ThriveHive November Rollout webinar, from the TH training website, under What’s New. Lot’s of great reminders of 2017 product roll outs that are proven!

Author: David Prizer

Digital media executive and thought leader, emphasizing local and small business strategies. 20 years of experience in metro and community markets. Still watching Seinfeld reruns and holding out for a Cubs-White Sox subway series in my lifetime.

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