Beyond the Horizon


All Hallow's Greetings!

While driving to San Francisco recently I was struck by how many billboards had company names that meant absolutely nothing to me.  Do you recognize any?

  • Squirt.org
  • Mongo DB
  • Pendo
  • Aimmune
  • Brighterion
  • Mercari
  • Rakuten
  • Edmodo
  • Natera
  • Iovance
  • Trinet
  • NanHai
  • Pega
  • Ooyala
  • Contec

In some cases, I searched for and found these online and still couldn’t tell what the hell they did!

Which got me to thinking about newspapers and some of the exceedingly bizarre names they have and how one might react upon seeing them for the first time?  I’ve removed the market name and bet nobody reading this will know all of these>

  • Jimplecute
  • Times-Picayune
  • Avalanche-Journal
  • Johnny Come Lately
  • Plain Dealer
  • Commercial-Appeal
  • Mosquito
  • Daily Camera
  • Ripple
  • Siftings-Herald

If you didn’t know, would there be ANY WAY to tell these organizations provide the vital and needed news and information helping to protect and connect their communities? 

Not a chance!

So, consider this modest suggestion: Pretend we’re starting from scratch - let’s get back to our roots!  

We need to tell everyone who we are and what we do and, perhaps, most importantly, WHY what we do matters!  (Plus, the consequences if we don’t succeed?)

We will suffer if all we do is “speak” to our current readers and website visitors or any existing users of the ever-increasing portfolio newspapers offer.  That simply won’t cut it.

Newspapers (or newsmedia, if you prefer!) will have to promote (egads!) to non-users. 

Even scarier, such promotion will have to explain our compelling and unique value proposition so consumers will consider a trial.  (Shudder – that means you’ll have to create excellent retention strategies for both consuming and advertising customers)

You’ll have to host Town Hall meetings – regularly! 

To be fair, you’ll have to clearly explain ALL sides of any issue with a “what it will mean” emphasis.

Your focus must be on all things COMMUNITY.  If a national, state or international story is published or aired, it really must have a “how it impacts us” angle.  If it doesn’t, don't run it.

Your sales department must be able to evaluate, solve and execute against any marketing objective a local merchant requires.  Repeat, “ANY!”  That does NOT necessarily mean you have to provide every possible marketing solution via an internal solution – in many cases you’ll seamlessly offer a “white label” answer provided by a valued 3rd party.

In addition to those Town Hall meetings for the entire community, the same type of meeting should happen for your advertisers and prospects.  Regularly.  You must become the Go To marketing expert in your hometown.

On top of all those (I could go on) “To Do” list items, you must do them ALL with pErsOnAlity.  Yep, users must “see” and “feel” and interact with the humans-behind-the-scenes making all this happen.

Why must we do all these things?  Because if we don’t, Democracy falters!  Do NOT think this is a fully comprehensive list.  There’s more where this came from and I have a sneaking suspicion you could add dozens more, as well, so let me hear ‘em.

Happy Halloween to everyone!


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