OK, so things are tough for many of our communities right now coming out of Hurricane Florence. And that can also be said for many of us as well. Taking care of family and home make up priority #1 for all of us. And then there’s “Back to business,” right? Except for now, it’s not back to business, as usual. There is going to be little “business as usual” for many of our local customers. So when we can turn our attention back to the business sides of our lives, we may want to look at how we can do the most good, and how our customers can be effective as well as beneficial to the community.

I’m no expert here, which is why this week’s “post-hurricane” edition of MOM turns to a more published source on the subject of how to market during and after a natural disaster. You can check out the entire piece at Hunt Interaction.

First of all, local businesses still have business to run, customers to contact, and a future to look to. We do as well. While it’s not business as usual, it is business. You should check out the entire posting noted above for a more authoritarian perspective. But here are some quick tips on how we need to get back to our business.

  • Empathy and humanity are watchwords for how we conduct our business.
  • Some of our customers may have some emotions tied to the recent weather related events and how it impacts their business. We need to expect that.
  • We may see some changes in how our customers purchase and/or plan their marketing.
  • Be aware of our own customer’s situation and resources available to them at this time. Are they able to access their data, is their store open and accessible, do they have access to their current customers, etc. 
  • Most importantly, listen to what is going on in our communities. Help our customers understand those issues.
  • Go out of your way to help alleviate concerns of our customers.

We have jobs to do, our company is still a leader in digital marketing services for local business. So we will be expected to do our jobs, and letting local businesses know the best way they can stay in business, the best way they can grow their business and the most effective marketing tools to use. Frankly, our customers will expect that of us. Doing it with empathy and humanity is our focus in the short-term. The success of local businesses in our markets is, and always will be, our focus long-term.

Quote of the week

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

— Mike Tyson

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 navigation up top, it’s an easy access for reports and contacts that you will need to keep handy. These will be updated as we go. 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-Digital Pipeline Review…Ongoing. 

Don’t be surprised to receive emails regarding specific digital opportunities in sales pipelines on a regular basis. This is part of an ongoing effort to insure that we can all respond to customer’s business needs in a timely fashion. Here’s what you can expect.

  • 28-day (for forecast closes) digital pipeline is pulled and posted on the drive…daily. This will show the number and status of all digital opportunities
  • Pipeline is reviewed to see what we all can do to help support sales teams and customers to come to agreement quickly with prescribed solutions.
  • The review will also tell us where we are in the SITRW process to support efforts from opening, to CNA, to solutions, presentation, and close.

If you receive an inquiry, it’s just part of an overall effort to help our total effort!

NEW-CNC Web Traffic Sees An Active Audience As Hurricane Florence Comes to Town

All four CNC websites experienced large increases in audience during Hurricane Florence. These numbers prove the worth of our local coverage as local and national users accessed our pages to learn the latest updates. Here’s the unofficial numbers using 7-days during the height of attention to the storm vs. the prior week.

Online audience comparisons, 7-day period, Sept. 10-16 vs. Sept. 3-9

Note: this traffic is testament to the great work done by the newsroom. It’s not all local, in fact much of it is not local. But it shows how our local content is in demand.

UPDATE-ThriveHive Deploys Strategic Accounts Team Regionally, Added Support for Verticals

GateHouse and ThriveHive are reinforcing their support for specific business verticals with the announcement of the Strategic Accounts Team. This team brings added knowledge and expertise to our sales focus. Their mission is to grow our digital revenue and grow your active account bases. Jackie Olson from ThriveHive will be the Strategic Account representative for our region. This team will be a point of contact for opportunities that lie within high impact business segments. These are clients with the potential of spending $3,000+ month or more in digital solutions. Categories of special focus will be:

  • Higher Education
  • Healthcare
  • Real Estate Firms (not independent agents)
  • Lawyers
  • Home Services (with a fleet of 8+ vehicles): HVAC, Plumbers, Pest Control,
  • Landscaping
  • Financial Institutions (i.e. Banks, Credit Unions, Loans)

We will immediately be reviewing top 25 accounts in all markets to determine strategies to improve digital performance…for customers and for you.  Word coming soon. 

The process for engaging Jackie and this team will be simple and is outlined here, just for guidance.

UPDATE-Digital Rate Card changes for Wilmington and ENC.

New digital rate cards are available now. Please access the new rate cards and keep them close for access. New cpm’s and base campaign minimum’s are in effect immediately. The new rate cards are available here.

IMPORTANT UPDATE-Coastal NC Promotion Intake and Set Up Forms (Wilmington & ENC)

Please pay close attention…use these forms at will, depending upon the sales stage you are at currently.

  1. PROMOTIONS INTAKE FORMthis is a form you will want to reference BEFORE you have made a sale, (if you want help putting together a promotion, pricing, etc.) Just fill this out with a little customer info and we will do some of the leg work for you.
  2. PROMOTIONS SET UP FORMthis form should be completed AFTER the sale. When you complete this form, we should have all the information available to start setting up the promotion.

And remember, almost all of our promotions are very focused on digital solutions!

Both of these forms are easy to find, please bookmark them in your version of My Drive. We will also make sure they are linked to MOM on a regular basis.

UPDATEGH Presentation Template

All presentations to follow the GH template, immediately please.

  • REAL presentation is available here to view how this template, and ready-to-use ThriveHive slides can be used.
  • Please note that these have been introduced and are available on the GateHouse Media Portal. Effective immediately, all ENC and SNM presentations should follow the GH template, both design and content flow. These are designed to follow the Sales Transformation steps and touch points, following the format will help guide us along the way. Please access these templates regularly. (Caution-if you download to your hard drive, be prepared to access again for any changes and/or updates that may occur from GH.)

UPDATE-ENC and StarNewsMedia reports are on MOM (Including Campaign Reports)

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

  • 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


NEW-Registration Is Open for October Digital Rollout

Please register for the October Digital Rollout  Webinar on the ThriveHive training website. Dates and times for this webinar are Thursday October 25th 1-2:15pm EST and Friday October 26th 10-11:15am EST. You need only attend one webinar.

And don’t forget, the recording of the September rollout  is also available on the training site.

UPDATE-Monthly Digital Dives…”Java with Jen!”

Starting in October we will be holding an extended Wednesday sales webinar, 9 to 10 focusing on specific areas of digital products and how best to apply with local businesses. You will receive NEW login instructions for these sessions, that will supersede our regular webinar log in’s. (Future invites are forthcoming.)

These sessions will be interactive, led by Jen McKay from GateHouse. And we are using Zoom, so you will need to have your digital camera’s in operation. If you do not have a separate digital camera, please have your laptops open in front of  you. Using this will help our engagement and provide y’all with much better opportunities to take to the field.

First session…information to come.

UPDATE-GateHouse Sales Training Center

Well no, this is not “new”, but you may not have accessed these pages yet. This is the GateHouse Sales Training Center where you can find links all training materials, web pages and training decks for just about anything we need to know. Need to know more about OnTarget, this is the place. Need to know more about working with Google Apps, you’ll find it here. Need to know where past monthly update decks can be found, this is the right place. Bookmark the Training Center, this is the FIRST place to access when you have a question about a product or tool we have.

UPDATE-Google Digital Sales Certification

Congratulations to everyone for passing and/or renewing your Google Digital Sales Certification. Now it’s time to upload your certificate in the GH LMS. Instructions for how to do this are here.

Please make sure you upload your certificate.

Good To Know

(Impress your friends, your clients, and your MOM…you may not know it all but you are trying.)

  • Amazon is now in the advertising sales business…big time! And you thought you only had to worry about Google and Facebook? It looks like Amazon is becoming a power-player in ad selling. While their share of the U.S. digital advertising pie is only around 4%, that still places them #3 behind the duopoly. And this is only going to be getting stronger with forecasts placing Amazon Advertising Services ahead of their Web Services for revenue in 2021. The competitive stakes are rising, and our digital acumen in the field with local businesses needs to do the same. Check out the story here on SearchEngineLand.
  • Not every digital tactic works for every client. And that is exactly what we have said several times before. Take for example, geo-fencing. Who wouldn’t want to target their customer’s location to steal away customers? Wanting that to happen, and making it happen are two different things. And who better to hear this from, than a competitor? In this blog posting from True Measure, a digital services company  partly owned by the McClatchy Co., when to use, and when NOT to use geo-fencing is discussed. There’s wisdom in this lesson from a worthy competitor. See more on this at
  • CTR and conversions don’t matter.  Huh? But we thought those were the only things that mattered? Not according to Google. And while this really speaks specifically to Search, it’s good to take some of this advice from Google. In the end, the customer’s sales are the most important goal, and bearing for a successful campaign. Using ad campaign metrics to describe success to a client looking to see more $$ just doesn’t ring true. Use your judgement here, but also take to heart this advice from Google. Read more about this at SearchEngineLand.

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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