It has been a busy and exciting week for me at the Journal Register Company.
Not only did the last of the Flip video cameras get delivered and on time to all of our reporters we also showed early on we know exactly what to do with them.
Across our chain, staff members drove ever more multi-platform offerings creating compelling content not only in print but in online as well. Up in Pontiac, Michigan, Reporter Shaun Byron, of the Oakland Press, chasing down a breaking story at City Hall, caught the Mayor and his problems not just in his notebook but on video as well.
Down in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Editor Phil Heron and his team worked the new news ecology of web, video and print (and they will be using mobile just as soon as I can get that platform funded) to drive the audience to their stellar coverage of a tragic train accident which killed two teenage girls.
The community needed to know what was happening and Phil and his crew rose to the challenge. The incident occurred around 10:30 am. Phil’s team at the Daily Times got the story up on the web and started to use Twitter to alert the community on what they had. They continued to do this throughout the day adding videos and photos from the scene and then at the end of the day put to press a compelling read on the day’s events.
The Daily Times’ online audience more than tripled. The Daily Times newsroom fulfilled their mission of not only covering the story but getting that story out to as many people in the community as possible.
On the advertising side, Maggie Ashley, ad director at the Trentonian in New Jersey, used the Flip videos to drive sales. In some cases, her sales team upsold existing clients by as much as 28% in revenue for videos the ad department created for clients. In other cases, brand new clients advertised in the Trentonian by buying online videos. In a tough advertising environment, Maggie and her team used multiple platforms to increase advertising revenue from existing clients and earn new dollars from new clients. That’s impressive.
This week I toured some of our properties in Ohio and Michigan. I was very impressed with the people I met who are putting out our online and print products in some of the toughest markets in the U.S. I was inspired by their energy and enthusiasm. In some cases, surrounded by shuttered steel mills and auto plants, our employees come to work everyday determined to improve not only their lives but their communities as well. They made me want to work even harder to deliver the technology and training needed to transform our company into the modern, multi-platform company it needs to be.
I am happy to tell you our Editorial and Sales awards programs will be put into place shortly where we will both recognize and reward our fellow colleagues who are making a difference in these areas. As well, in two weeks we will bring about 75 of our key editorial staff together to discuss how we must change our content offerings to make them both more relevant and vibrant on the platforms of our customers’ choice.
I am grateful that you are taking me up on my offer to email me with your thoughts. Many of you have asked me for more details on my thinking on how newspaper companies must change. You can find some of that on our corporate site at www.journalregister.com. You can also find my December address to the World Association of Newspapers annual congress held in India last year at this link http://tinyurl.com/yh8n5up. While that speech deals with my old company –impreMedia – it does detail how a newspaper company can move profitably into the future. Have a read.
In the last four weeks I have solicited the top priorities for our company from our senior leaders as they see them. I also made sure that every publisher, editor and sales director received a copy of Jeff Jarvis’ book What Would Google Do? Now I am asking you -What Would You Do?
Give me the one thing you would do to significantly improve the Journal Register Company. As always you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you know, I am determined to run this company in an open and transparent manner. Not just with our staff but with our communities and the media industry as well. To that end, I have started a blog where I will be posting these emails. You can access the blog at https://jxpaton.wordpress.com/.
You can also find me at http://twitter.com/jxpaton.
Until next time, John.