The company that publishes The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer will send a ballot to subscribers Wednesday asking them to choose which of 50 local charities will receive “$1 million in free advertising in The Plain Dealer, Sun News and on cleveland.com.”
The company’s press release says “the 20 agencies receiving the most votes will get editorial exposure during the holiday season, valuable free advertising throughout 2014 and funding from donations contributed by the community.” The advertising will be in print and online, Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Shirley Stineman tells Poynter in an email.
The remaining agencies will get free advertising, and “Everyone who votes will be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 10 iPads.”
The Orange County Register announced a similar program at the beginning of 2013. The program’s “business rationale doesn’t detract from the community value of the program; it just makes it much more affordable for the Register,” Ken Doctor wrote at the time.
A $12.4 million program may cost a fifth of that. It’s a good example of smartly using supply and demand. Consider, for a moment, all the remnant (non-sold digital inventory) stacking up for publishers (and everyone else) around the web. Why not embrace that space with a golden-envelope-like, pro-community digital ad program?
Here’s the full release:
NORTHEAST OHIO MEDIA GROUP ANNOUNCES $1M CONTRIBUTION TO LOCAL HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE AGENCIES
Cleveland, OH – August 26, 2013 – The President of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, Andrea Hogben, has announced a new charitable giving initiative for the community. The Good News Giving program will donate over $1 million in free advertising in The Plain Dealer, Sun News and on cleveland.com to 50 health and human service agencies in the Northeast Ohio area. Good News Giving is a new, expanded program that will replace the former Holiday Spirit community campaign.
Plain Dealer subscribers will receive a ballot in their home-delivered newspaper on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, giving them the opportunity to vote for area human service organizations that have applied for participation. Visitors to cleveland.com can vote online. The 20 agencies receiving the most votes will get editorial exposure during the holiday season, valuable free advertising throughout 2014 and funding from donations contributed by the community. The next 30 agencies will receive the free advertising packages. Everyone who votes will be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 10 iPads. Winners will be announced on Thanksgiving Day.
The agency receiving the most votes will receive the Northeast Ohio Media Group Readers’ Choice award for valuable service to our community. The winning agency will also receive an additional $10,000 donation from the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
“This unique program supports the important work of 50 local agencies that provide a wide range of critical health and human services to our neighbors in need,” said Hogben. “The Northeast Ohio Media Group is committed to supporting our region, along with the help of our loyal readers who will have the opportunity to select the organizations that they feel are most vital to Northeast Ohioans. We hope that this initiative will encourage the entire community to participate in and contribute to this worthy cause.”