Training, training, training…sometimes it seems like the changes impacting our business is demanding training every day. That’s the way it’s been for a while now.  We cannot get away from it, learning new products and processes is part of the job. But is that enough? Is the training put in front of us going to get us where we need to be? The answer is simply NO!

What do we really need to know?

That is a question raised recently here, and one that we will try to answer. We need to be aware of the marketing environemtn, prdominently digital, that actually drives some of the products coming to us. When local businesses in  our markets hear that Facebook is changing how it will prioritze sotries from our own sites in its news feed, or their neighboring business owners say that Google is priotirizing mobile sites in search results that will hurt their desktop rankings, they very well may turn to us. It’s only fair to expect that their local marketing experts would be aware of these types of developetns.

Saying “I don’t know” and being ok with it.

Nobody knows everything. and the “what do we really need to know” concept is well aware of that. Personally, in today’s world, I am not sure if I can recite from memory my office phone number or fax number. I always default to my mobile number anyway, and seldom use fax. I simply don’t always memorize everything, because most information is so easy to reference via mobile devices, an there is so much of it. Therefore we don’t know everything. We should be aware of breaking developments, but we always don’t know the details. Again, we can access that almost immediately. On the other hand, we should know our rates and prices, deadlines, and capabilities. And in a pinch, be able to access this detail immediately.

Taking the blinders off.

When we say “take the blinders off” that simply refers to being aware of changes in the digital and marketing industries that local customers hear about that impact the world in which they live. It does not mean that our current training focus is inadequate. It simply refers to the fact that everything we need to know is not going to be within our training documents. Some of it is information that professionals in this business should be aware of. And in a pinch, be able to find out with a handy mobile device.

MOM to the Rescue

Starting in this week’s posting of MOM, we will have some new features. 

  • Good To Know-Each MOM will carry links to stories/features about changes in how our media and marketing services may work down the road. These are not opinions, they are issues and impacts that our local businesses are seeing and hearing, but are not part of our product training. Whether it’s a feature explaining the latest Google algorithm change, how ad-blocking software is affecting ad delivery, or changes in the number of characters on a Twitter post, it’s likely to have an impact on our customers and the way we work with them down the road. These things are “Good To Know.” This is just MOM’s way of helping expose us all to ongoing changes that are not contained within the training updates we are receiving regularly.
  • 5 Minute Quiz-MOM’s 5 Minute Quiz (5MQ) returns with today’s posts. Each 5MQ is intended to identify things we should know, and provide an opportunity for each of us to take our shot at it. Everyone will have until Tuesday at 5 PM to provide their input and answer the 5MQ. (Yes all responses are recorded!) Then on the Wednesday morning webinar we will have a brief review of answers, with discussion. This is nothing more than a way to point out things that we can and should be on top of, and a way to help all of stay that way.
  • Training-As always, MOM will try to update everyone on training opportunities available. Remember, training is ongoing, it’s not a “one and done.” If anyone has any questions about the training, or questions about products, the ThriveHive training team is very responsive. And if you want to know anything outside of that, feel free to respond to MOM. Everyone can follow MOM, and offer input with ensuing discussion.

Remember, nobody knows everything. Being able to say “I don’t know” and being ok with that is just that, it’s ok. Just be able to know where the information can be found, and access on your own.


Quote of the week

 “The dumbest people I know are those who know it all.”
-Malcolm Forbes

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! Local Media Workshops-RSVP’s Top Priority

  • Venues are set
  • Social media marketing has begun
  • Email marketing campaigns have started
  • Marketing has also begun in our own digital and print media
  • Newsrooms are pitching in with stories about these events
  • Handouts/invites are prepared and available to all for distribution
  • Attendee lists are here: StarNews Media and ENC Media Group

Now it’s up to our sales teams!


  • Jan 17, 2008, 4:00-5:30 (Real Estate), Hampton Inn – Medical Park
  • Jan 17, 2018, 8:30-10:00 and 12:00-1:30, Hampton Inn – Medical Park
  • Jan 18, 2018, 8:30-10:00 and 12:00-1:30, Hampton Inn – Medical Park


  • Jan 29, 2018-Kinston, 11:30-1:00, Hampton Inn – Kinston
  • Jan 30, 2018-Jacksonville, 8:30-10:00 and 11:30-1:00, Courtyard Suites by Marriott – Jacksonville
  • Jan 31, 2018-New Bern, 8:30-10:00 and 11:30-1:00, DoubleTree by Hilton – New Bern

All attendees must register here: http://www.LocalMediaWorkshops.com

Remember, all attendees must register in advance on the page noted above. This same page will be linked to all promotion. The ENCLive website also features news about the events! One sheets and postcards are being prepared.

This is NOT selling attendees, this is simply doing them a favor, by letting them know we are having a seminar. THERE IS NO OBLIGATION TO PURCHASE ANYTHING! These workshops will provide direction, with no obligation from attendees. Let the workshop do the work!

Internal Sales Calendar

  • This is an INTERNAL calendar, to be used for scheduling sales activity and planning. Customer facing calendars are being prepared quickly. This is a “live” calendar that is available 24/7, via all devices. This is a great tool that will enable access to sales dates, deadlines, and future scheduling. Show customers what will work for them for the entire year, not just next week.

UPDATE! The 70% Solution

  • Sell thru report for CNC sites is availble, check the AdOps page from the upper right corner menu of this blog.
  • Early month reports tend to show variances caused by incomplete orders set in GateHouse AdOps, these variances will correct with the next week’s edition.

UPDATE! Tablet Reimbursement Policy

As you heard in our Q1 Kick-off meeting, MMSE’s at ENC Media Group and StarNews Media are now eligible for reimbursement with th epurchase of a standard iPad or iPad Pro. Our goal is to support, develop, (and yes even brag about) the most elite sales team in the GateHouse network. Insuring that we all have state-of-the-art tools is just one step towards that goal. Explanation of the policy and the required Reimbursement Form are now on the CNC Sales Folder. Please save this entire folder to your Drive for future reference.  Here’s a couple of quick details on this policy.

  • This is limited to standard iPad and iPad Pro models only at this time. In “non-technical” jargon, iOS is a very stable, consistent, secure and robust platform that will support all of our efforts. If additional tablet models meet the same requirements we can have those added in to the policy as well, but for now, we are limiting only to these models.
  • The Tablet Reimbursement Form should be completed and submitted along with a copy of the receipt for approval. Your manager will submit all approved documents to HR, then it will be submitted as reimbursement through payroll.
  • All MMSE’s will be expected to utilize the tablets in the field and as a part of their regular responsibilities. However, the tablet itself is the property of the individual making the purchase…it is yours!
  • Several apps will be required for download through the Apple Store, but to my knowledge all are free…(i.e. Google Drive, Gmail and Google calendar if you prefer, etc.)
  • Any/all presentations prepared in PowerPoint can be saved in PDF format and can be downloaded onto the units for view. (Limiting transitions, graphics, etc. is best practice for customer view anyway.)



NEW!-January Digital Updates from GateHouse and ThriveHive

This is an extremely important set of updates, there will be a recorded session but everyone is asked to register for one of the sessions below.

Choose one:

  • Jan 25, 2018 1:00 PM EST
  • Jan 26, 2018 10:00 AM EST

Register on the GateHouse Media Training website


2018 ThriveHive Winter Solutions Academy

Join the Training Team for a series of live webinars to learn individual solutions and ask questions in a virtual classroom.  You can attend a single session or all.  When you register you’re automatically enrolled in all the sessions. Register for these important updated training sessions @ the ThriveHive training website. 

Webinars are scheduled for Thursdays at Noon Eastern / 9 am Pacific starting February 1st and last for about an hour.  If you can’t attend one of the live sessions, you can access the On Demand Academy from the Training site.


Monthly O&O analytics reports are available for all CNC sites (SNM & ENC)

  • O&O audience reports for December 2017 now available, here. All monthly reports, each month, are available on the drive, and from the AdOps page of this blog, (upper right hand menu) any time of day or night, on any device. These reports include users, pv’s sessions, demographics, source, etc.

O&O advertiser campaign reports now available for all CNC sites (SNM & ENC)

  • Ad Campaign reports are available for ENC and for Wilmington O&O campaigns from the AdOps page you can find from the upper right corner menu of this blog.

ENC Front Page Note Calendar

Please make sure that all tickets are in the system by December 29th. At that AdOps will transfer orders over to the O&O Calendars that we use on a daily basis. There you will find your reservation and the ticket number. If the note has been ordered it will be highlighted as usual and if your Digital reservation is highlighted that means that we have your SBB/Interscroller copy and it is good to go.

Going forward please check the calendar weekly to see what is coming up for you. We try to send out reminders but just like you sometimes we miss things.

We also have a new extra contact for reservation on the sticky note calendar, O&O calendar , Front page strip calendar  Please continue to contact Digital Ad Coordinator Jennifer Fryer, or AdOps Coordinator Tina Gilmore for all reservations on calendars, but you may now also contact Angie Bialas, (abialas@jdnews.com #8419) for the same.

UPDATED! Digital Reports

  • Check the AdOps tab on MOM’s menu for all reports, available 24/7 via any device!
  • Monthly O&O Website Audience Reports are available for all CNC. StarNews reports are available here as

Events & Promotion


NEW!-2018 is here and we are already behind!

Still available…

  • Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes
  • Tax Prep Sweepstakes
  • College Hoops
  • Honeymoon Giveaway
  • Home Improvement Sweepstakes

Alissa will be reaching out about prospects for these promotions… get your lists ready! Or reach out to her about anyone you have in mind!


Valentine’s Day

Over $18 Billion is spent for Valentine’s Day! Let’s help our advertisers get a good chunk of that!

Valentine’s Day Promotional Opportunities (all have great valued marketing packages!)

Valentine’s Day Staycation Giveaway

  • Who wouldn’t mind a night away without all the travel? This is great for local advertisers looking for an audience that like to go out, have date nights, couples (married or dating), or parents.
  • Presenting sponsor gets lead generation as well
    • Available for each property

Valentine’s Day Photo Contest

  • People love to share photos and see others. Audience is wide ranging – photo entries could be with a spouse, significant other, pet, or kid.
  • Lead Generation, Exclusive sponsor
  • One available per property

Valentine’s Day Quizzes

  • High engagement and fun for the audience
  • Great to grow social media awareness
  • Good idea to offer a prize to generate leads
    • Examples: What TV couple are you? Test your V-Day knowledge.
  • Can give a coupon to anyone that does a quiz to increase chance of foot traffic

Floral Giveaway

  • Flowers is one of the top items people buy for Valentine’s Day
  • Great coverage for a florist to promote during one of the biggest holidays for them
  • Lead generation

Jewelry Giveaway

  • Another item highly purchased during the holiday
  • Audience to target couples, men/husbands, all income levels, mothers, working individuals
  • Great brand awareness and time to promote an item they want focused on during Valentine’s Day
  • What Should I Get My Sweetheart? Quiz
  • Target a wide audience
  • Social media driven – promote sharing on social media
  • Increase brand awareness and also promotes items people can purchase at the advertiser’s store
  • All options for outcomes can be items from advertiser’s store.
  • Can send a coupon to all participants to entice consumers to go to store to purchase the item that was the result of the quiz

Collateral will be available by EOD Monday, January 15th in the drive: Here


Example: (This would be a great package for a retail jeweler) Quizzes, jewelry giveaway, and Staycation giveaway. They get leads, social media awareness, and opportunity to get more people in the store during the time up to Valentine’s Day

CRM Campaigns

  • All Promotions will have campaigns in Sugar CRM. The titles will go as “CNC 2018…..” Be sure to link any opportunities to those promotions
  • When entering an end date for an opportunity, be sure that you use the deadline for the promotion.
  • If you have questions, contact Alissa

UPDATE! 2018 Honeymoon Giveaway

We are giving away a cruise to a lucky couple! What bridal advertiser wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!


Basics about this promo:

  • 1 Title Sponsor, 4 Co-Sponsors
  • For ENC and Wilmington
  • Audience is brides planning their weddings
  • Promotion will be displayed at the 2018 Bridal and Special Events Show in January

NEW! 2018 Home Improvement

This may not be a cruise but lucky winners can win brand new products for their home!

Basics about this promo:

  • 1 Title Sponsor, 4 Co-Sponsors, multiple Basic Packages available!
  • Category Exclusivity for sponsors (i.e. only one mattress store, one light store, one painter, et.c)
  • Will be shown during the 2018 Home and Garden Shows in New Bern and Jacksonville in March
  • For ENC and Wilmington
  • Audience is homeowners, renters, people looking for home improvement

Check out today’s Pie Chart of the week for 2018 Home Improvement spending forecast!

2018 College Hoops Challenge

With thousands of people watch March Madness… why not give our advertisers a taste of that audience?!

Consumer Side

  • High Engagement
    • Over 17 Million viewers for NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship
  • Participants make a bracket. Can re-enter on 2nd and 3rd round if bracket busts
  • Prizes for consumers: PS4 Pro, $1 Million cash prizes, and FatHeads

Advertisers Win too!

  • Each advertiser gets paired with a team
  • If team makes in each round, they win more advertising
    • Round of 16 – Eighth Page Ad
    • Round of 8 – Quarter Page Ad
    • Semi-Finals – Half Page Ad
    • Runner Up – Full Page Ad
    • National Champion – Double-Truck Ad

NEW! Ultimate MVP

  • Additional sponsorship available
  • Advertiser gets a great marketing package AND (2) NCAA Tickets!
  • They also get a team on the College Hoops Challenge Bracket


Ways to suggest use of tickets:

  • Incentive for their employees
  • Run an in-store promotion to give away to a lucky shopper
    • We can run a promotion to give them away for them
    • Great lead generation
    • High engagement
    • Increase social media awareness
  • They can use the tickets themselves to attend the exciting games in Charlotte, NC


Basics about this promo:

  • 1 Slam Dunk Sponsor, 4 3-Pointer Sponsors, multiple Lay-Up Sponsors available!
  • Large Audience engaged in promotion – they have a chance to win big ($1 million in cash prizes, PS4 Pro, and Fatheads)
  • Advertisers can win big too – National Champion will win a DOUBLE TRUCK!
  • Available for all properties of CNC

And that’s only the beginning!

  • 2018 Tailgate Giveaway
  • 2018 Tax Prep Quizzes and Sweepstakes
  • 2018 Valentine’s Day Staycation Giveaway
  • Anything you can think of!


Upcoming Shows…

  • StarNews Media Local Media Workshops, January 17 & 18, 2018
  • Bridal & Special Event Expo – January 21st
  • ENC Local Media Workshops, January 29, 2018
  • ENC Local Media Workshops, January 30, 2018
  • ENC Local Media Workshops, January 31, 2018
  • Home and Garden Show, Jacksonville – March 10th & 11th
  • Home and Garden Show, New Bern – March 17th & 18th


Pie Chart of the Week

 2018 Local Ad Spending-Real Estate Services

REALTOR spending has not been print focused for a while now. And they continue to gravitate to online channels with nearly 80% of the ad spending forecast for online in 2018.  Social media is one of their mos often used channels, especially for individual agents.

  • Online-78%
  • Newspapers-6%
  • Direct Mail-4%
  • Local TV-3%
  • Other print-6%

Here is a larger version of this pie chart.


ENC Media Group Brochures

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.

StarNews Media brochures and regionally focused Coastal North Carolina Group brochures are currently in the works. Look for them in Q1!



Good To Know

  • Facebook is making changes to the news feed. In an attempt to elevate the “social” aspect of the site that FB claims is being drowned out, it sounds like posts from businesses, publishers, and brands will be subordinated to those from social friends. Local businesses might be hearing that posts from our newspapers will no longer be seen on FB, fearing that our social media services will be less effective. It really means that news publishers will have to change how they use FB, as will local businesses. See more here from the NY Times.
  • Google’s mobile-first indexing starting to default to mobile sites to determine search ranking. Google is slowly rolling out a new indexing algorythm that will look at mobile sites in determining search ranking. This means that a poor mobile site might hurt the organic search ranking of local business sites. This will not cause a sudden change, but might start to impact ranking gradually. Local businesses may feel they are already ok with their current sites. (ThriveHive sites will be just fine.) But not all will. More on this here from SearchEngineLand.
  • Google Chrome will start blocking ads on Feb. 15. In an effort to improve the quality of display ads on the web, the Coalition for Better Ads, a consortium of trade associations and companies, is sharing best practices to improve user experiences. Chrome says it will start blocking ads on Feb. 15 that do not comply. Our local customers need to know that GateHouse and ThriveHive are on top of this and have been monitoring the quality of display ads for a while. This is just one of the reason why all OnTarget ads must go thru an audit before going live. More on the story here. 

 5MQ (Five Minute Quiz)

Here is MOM’s Five Minute Quiz for today. Just offer your best answers, and we will review the results on the Wednesday Webinar. (Wilmington team, you will be occupied with your Local Media Workshops on Wednesday, please take the quiz anyway. We will provide feedback and results to y’all vie email.)

This week’s 5MQ

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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