Kicking off this year’s Best of the Best in our Coastal North Carolina markets, marks a number of changes in how we are going to market with this special publishing event. It also is dawn of a new brand in each of our respective markets. We have discussed several of the changes already. It’s important to note here how these changes will impact our efforts, our media, and our local markets.

  1. This is absolutely the biggest community engagement event of our entire year for our media properties. The addition of the nomination round, is an opportunity for every member of our communities to express their support of local businesses. It will be very important that we help local businesses understand just how important this round is. In order for any business to even be considered one of the Best of the Best, they HAVE TO BE ON THE BALLOT. There are no write ins beyond the nomination round.
  2. ENC has added almost 100 sub-categories to the voting ballots compared to last year. There are more opportunites for businesses to be named a finalist in Best of the Best. That means ENC sales team will need to be reaching out and touching more new businesses than ever before. Our local business communities deserve this, and every single local business deserves a chance to campaign for their respective sub-category(s).
  3. In Wilmington, we have much more advance notice than ever before…and a firm schedule that will allow all local businesses an opportunity to participate. We can reach out and touch every business in our reach for their chance to campaign for their spot(s) on the ballots.
  4. There will be a significnatly increased marketing effort to the community about the changes in this year’s Best of the Best. This marketing effort will be seen vividly by all local businesses. That will remind them just how big Best of the Best reallly is to the local community.
  5. And the events that are tied to Best of the Best make this a virtual community block party. We will not only be publishing the Best our communities have to offer, but we will be celebrating it LIVE. This is entertainment, this is celebration, and all togetther it is much bigger than anything we have ever produced in any of our local markets.
  6. This year’s Best of the Best is the launch of a new consumer brand in our respective markets. This brand, Best of the Best Jacksonville, Best of the Best Kinston, Best of the Best New Bern, and Wilmington’s Shore Picks will be part of the presenece in our respective markets 12 months of the year! Winners and finalists of this year’s events will be featured on our websites all the way through until next year’s winners are chosen. And 2018 finalists will be able to take advantage of unique Winner’s Rewards opportunities available only to them. Best of the Best will resonate for the entire year.
  7. Last, and definitely not least, Best of the Best offers a real opportunity to speak to NEW businesses, or local SMB’s whom we may not see regularly. Best of the Best nomination round packages provide the very best “call opening” we can ever create. So this is our chance to start constructive conversations with more SMB’s for which we can provide services…just another reason why Best of the Best has year-round impact.

So as we move forward with Best of the Best in our markets. we owe it to every business owner to make sure they are aware of the opportunity. Our regular customers will obviously want to be involved. But evey business owner dserves the chance to stake their claim. Remember, all sales materials are available now, and will be updated if needed. Good luck to all, and let’s make 2018′ edition, the Best of the Best of the Best!

Quote(s) of the week

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

― Abraham Lincoln

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.


NEW-Priorities (4 priorities for the week)

  • Discover Mags
  • ThriveHive-2 NEW sales this month
  • New Business Development (100 in 100)…something to fit with every initiative!
  • Best of the Best

UPDATE!-100 Businesses in 100 Days

We are on our way…congratulations to ouor newest 100 in 100 Days sellers, Betty Beaudreau in New Bern and Alissa Garfinkel in Jacksonville! Check the scorecard here. Sales guidelines are located here.

UPDATE! Internal Sales Calendar-WILMINGTON & ENC

  • This is an INTERNAL calendar, to be used for scheduling sales activity and planning. Customer facing calendars are being prepared quickly.

UPDATE! O&O Sell-thru…70% Goal

  • and are both showing up at 70%+ sell thru this week…congratulations! Starnewsonline is not far behind. Nice job. Sell thru report for CNC sites is available, check the AdOps page from the upper right corner menu of this blog.



NEW!-April Digital Updates from GateHouse and ThriveHive, register today!

The April Digital Updates from GH and TH will take place on Thursday April 26th 1pm EST or Friday April 27th 10am EST. Make sure you make you register on the ThriveHive training website.

NEW!-Total Website Plus Includes New Added Features

With the entry price point, clients can now have 1000 email contacts in Guided Media Platform (GMP), instead of just 500. The modest rate of $5 per month for 500 extra contacts is still an add-on clients can self-service purchase through the GMP with their credit card Drip Email Marketing is no longer $5 per month! It is included with every Total Website Plus investment. Please review on the GH/TH training website

UPDATE!-Are You Using Your iPad?

This week! Have a presentation ready for practice. Training still ongoing.



Events & Promotion

UPDATE-B.Y.O. (Build your own) Promotion

Want to add a sweepstakes to any ad campaign? Want to help a local business add to their database of customer leads? Want to provide a great branding campaign to a local business? This is an easy way to add great marketing exposure to any current advertiser’s program, for a fraction of the cost. And it also results in a $1000 promotion! (Available to any $500/month or more advertiser. )

We will create a quick sweepstakes for any existing advertiser, that will result in a $2,500+ marketing campaign. Total cost to the advertiser is $1000. Why not start out with a Wood Ducks ticket sweepstakes? Or have your client add their own give away (min. value $100.) We will add in promtional media that includes the following:

  • Targeted Display
  • Quarter Pages
  • Facebook Post
  • Logo on ads
  • Email to our registered database
  • Logo recognition on all promotion
  • Database Opt-in

Let’s take a look at your up to date CNA and we will create a great sweepstakes that will turn a $500 campaign into one valued at $2,500!


  • Batter’s Up ENC Power Hitter Promotion-Wood Ducks Tix (Live in New Bern and Jacksonville, still open in Kinston.)
  • Memorial Day Photos
  • Mother’s Day

Design your own…just ask!

Promotions in CRM

  • All Promotions will have campaigns in Sugar CRM.  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

Look for more on the following…

  • Best of StarNews Varsity Awards
  • New Bern Home & Holiday Show
  • 2019 New Bern Bridal Show



ENC and StarNewsMedia reports are available on the drive

  • ENC and SNM Campaign reports
  • ENC and SNM Monthly O&O Audience reports
  • GateHouse inventory availability (all sites)
  • ENCO&O  Rich Media Calendars
  • ENC Front page sticky note calendars

See the Reports page, from upper right menu of MOM!


Pie Chart of the Week-Funeral Service Providers

Funeral Homes are an excellent example of targeting their ad dollars.


While 43% of their spending is devoted to digital, making up the largest segment of their budgets, that is slightly under the average for all SMB’s in the market. The 2nd and 3rd most popular channels are Local TV and Newspaper. These media channels tend to be consumed by an older audience, exactly the primary target for this business segment these days.

  • Online-43%
  • Local TV-22%
  • Newspapers-20%


Bud digging deeper into the online channel, this category provides a surprise that is not seen very often. The largest amount of their online spending is devoted to listings search. This means that these businesses REALLY need to be found when someone is searching. So it makes sense that SEM is #2 in their online demands.

  • Listings Search-30%
  • General Search-29%
  • Targeted Display-23%
  • Online Video-14%

And another surprising fact about local funeral homes in our markets…their average annual ad spend per employee is a significant $5,399.

What does this mean to me? Print alone won’t cut it for this business category. And the solutions we create that will resonate the most, will be robust. 

These facts and images were included in a recent presentation for a 2-location funeral home in our market. If you’d like to see it, give me a shout.

 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

  • Digital ad prices continue to rise. Our own cpm’s are very much in line with the market across the country. While our own inventory is premium and targeted resulting in higher cpm’s overall, those cpm’s continue to increase as do those across the country. Read the whols story, here at eMarketer.
  • GateHouse make a non-newspaper acquisition, focusing on the auto industry. GateHouse recently purchased all the assets of Online Automotive Solutions, a tech-enabled video, data and auto-focused inventory solutions provider. OAS has been a technology partner to recognizable media names  such as, Chicago Tribune Company, and Sun-Sentinel Publishing Company, as well as direct to a large number of auto dealers. This purchase shows the importance of the auto vertical to GateHouse, as well as the importance of investing in strong ad tech solutions. More on this on the GateHouse Media website.
  • GateHouse closes on the Palm Beach Post. With a circulation of 80,000 daily/102,000 Sunday, the Post will be a strong addition in the fast growing Florida market. More on this on the GateHouse Media website.

 5MQ (Five Minute Quiz)

Taking a break…back next week.

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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