Mayoral candidate endorses himself in ad on alt-weekly’s cover

Cleveland Magazine

This week’s Cleveland Scene carries a wraparound ad for mayoral candidate Ken Lanci. The four-page ad goes over the Scene’s actual cover and includes an endorsement of Lanci — who has said he’d consider buying the Scene — from “The Lanci Tribune.”

In Cleveland Magazine, Erick Trickey wonders “shouldn’t a rebellious alt-weekly avoid a sleight-of-hand that suggests a millionaire political candidate can buy its endorsement?

What sort of political coverage of the mayor’s race will Scene offer up now? “Premiere edition,” declares the “Lanci Tribune.” Will the paper bite the hand that feeds in the next issue? Or keep quiet about the mayor’s race?

Trickey’s criticism is “pretty boring,” Scene Editor Vince Grzegorek says in an email to Poynter. Read more

From left, Doug Jackson of Shared Vision Marketing, Jeremy Caplan from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, and Harry Lin with IMDb, give advice on startups,

Media entrepreneurs: Five myths can stop you before you start up

Let’s begin with this sobering statistic: nine out of 10 startups that get funded will fail.

Reliable and comparable numbers for news-related startups aren’t available, but it’s a good guess that any journalist thinking of venturing out on his or her own faces huge odds.

Three experts urged attendees at an Online News Association session Thursday to avoid five myths that can derail any news enterprise before it gains traction.

Myth #1: I’ll make money through advertising!

Harry Lin, head of business development for the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), an Amazon subsidiary, said the amount of traffic required for a website to pay the bills through advertising is “ridiculous.” More often than not, he said, startup sites end up running network ads, and after the network and ad agencies take their cuts, the sites are left with 25 cents per 1,000 page views. Read more


Newspapers’ ad consortium with Yahoo reboots

An early attempt to boost digital advertising at newspaper organizations by cross-selling local advertising with Yahoo will be attempting an update and relaunch over the next several months.

The goal remains to use the local sales force of 700 participating dailies to sell retail ads to an expanded audience including those who go to an aggregator like Yahoo as their gateway to finding news.

But much else has changed since the partnership started in 2008, Chris Hendricks, digital chief at McClatchy and Rusty Coats, the consortium’s executive director, told me in a phone interview:

  • The partnership is shedding the dated official name of The Newspaper Consortium for The Local Media Consortium.
  • Yahoo remains as a partner, but not an exclusive one. The consortium hopes to add other significant digital players by the end of the year, Hendricks and Coats said.
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Ad campaign: Florida has more newspaper readers than alligators

National Newspaper Week begins Oct. 6, and its organizers have released 37 state-specific ads celebrating the Daily Miracles. Most take a fact about the state they serve and compare it to statistics about newspaper readers, such as Louisiana’s “Who dat? Dat’s Louisiana’s newspaper readers filling the Superdome 36 times!

Here are some of my favorite ads from the series. Click to view bigger versions. Read more


Business concerns left Washington Post magazine’s education issue with only one education story

The Washington Post

Pressure from The Washington Post’s business side bumped two stories from the Post Magazine’s Aug. 11 education issue, leaving it with just one story about education. The business people objected to two planned stories, Erik Wemple writes:

One was on college drinking by reporter Jenna Johnson; another was an interview by reporter Nick Anderson with the outgoing College of William and Mary rector about whether Virginia’s public universities would get with the times on benefits for gay and lesbian couples.

Johnson’s story ran in a later edition of the magazine; Anderson’s ended up in Metro. Read more

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Monocle EIC: ‘All good journalists are good salespeople too’

Digiday | LinkedIn | iMediaEthics

We absolutely never, ever use the term native advertising,” Monocle Editor-in-Chief Tyler Brûlé tells Alex Kantrowitz about his publication’s embrace of branded content.

If the company’s infrastructure blurs the church-and-state divide between editorial and sales, it’s by design. Editors accompany ad directors on sales calls. “I’m of the opinion that all good journalists are good salespeople too,” Brûlé said. While the ad team discusses pricing and tries to close the business, editors give Monocle’s potential clients insight into the publication’s editorial calendar and explain the reasoning behind certain editorial decisions.

The payoff? A campaign for Samsung “brought in roughly one million dollars and native ads can, depending on the month, account for up to one quarter of Monocle’s total revenue,” Kantrowitz reports. Read more


A mid-year question for newspapers: What ails national advertising & can it be fixed?

Gannett kicked off the second-quarter earnings season for newspaper companies Monday, and the mixed results contained a glimmer of potentially good news for the industry.

National advertising for Gannett’s U.S. publishing was up for the quarter compared to the same period in 2012 — a modest 2.1 percent, but still up. And that may or may not translate to broader industry-wide improvement in a very troubled category.

Asked by analysts what drove the turnaround, CEO Gracia Martore said on a conference call that the biggest factor “was the strong team that we have put in place over the last year at USA Today, where the vast majority of our national revenue resides. I think it is just doing a terrific job … especially (presenting) the continuing value of our print product.” In short, Gannett could be a special case. Read more

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hand with money

Edelman’s new report suggests an ‘ethical framework’ for paid content

Edelman | Forbes | PRWeek | New York Times | The Atlantic

A new paper by public relations firm Edelman takes on the ethical issues of paid content in an attempt to start a discussion about developing guidelines for this type of content

Chief content strategist Steve Rubel interviewed 30 media companies for the report, released Tuesday, to develop what it calls “an ethical framework” for promoting paid content.

Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici summarizes that framework a list of “ideals” that should get the industry talking. Those ideals include disclosure, an opportunity for feedback, and a “non-porous organizational divide between those who produce and place sponsored content and those who work directly with journalists.”

Rubel told PRWeek’s Sarah Shearman that many companies use their own guidelines when creating paid content, and there is no industry-wide standard. Read more


Upworthy, NYT experimenting with new ad formats and revenue models

Digiday | Fast Company | Nieman Journalism Lab

After a dramatic increase in traffic in the last few months, news aggregator Upworthy has begun to experiment with some new advertising models to turn those eyeballs into dollars. Digiday’s Josh Sternberg explains:

Upworthy is running an ad program with Skype to distribute advertising videos. For example, here’s a Skype video Upworthy shared of Denis, a man who came to the U.S. from Uganda and couldn’t return. He uses Skype to remain in contact with his family. At the bottom of the post, Upworthy tells its readers the following: “We were paid to promote this ad, but we only do that for things we think are actually Upworthy.”

Upworthy is also selling category sponsorships. For example, in a category of, say, global health, Upworthy would assign a “curator” to find related content, and a sponsor would underwrite that piece of content.

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Research reveals ‘key to viral videos’

Harvard Business School

People share videos of ads when doing so makes them look good, according to research by Harvard Business School assistant professor Thales S. Teixeira.

People watch a lot of things online that they would never share with anyone,” Teixeira tells Carmen Nobel.

After comparing the sharing behavior with the emotional responses and personality tests, Teixeira found that the main motivation for viral sharing was egocentricity—the viewer’s desire to derive personal gain from sharing the video. In this case, the potential gain comes in the form of improving the viewer’s reputation among friends and family, for example. Thus, it behooves advertisers to create videos that not only will make the product look good but, if shared, will make the viewer look good, too.

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