An Audience Development conference that's designed to get your circulation pumping


The Audience Development & Circulation Management Conference--co-sponsored by Inland, Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and the Texas Press Association—is shaping up to be a must-attend for all executives and managers responsible for growing the reach of their print and digital products.

Who should attend this conference? Audience development professionals, circulation managers and executives, audience engagement specialists, those tasked specifically with sustaining and increasing print growth—in short, all those responsible for advancing newspaper growth across multiple platforms.

The conference host is a leader in newspaper growth strategizing—The Dallas Morning News. The media company is opening its new state-of-the-art offices to conference participants, fostering a spirit of innovation in an environment that reflects the pace of change and opportunities in our industry.

Among the session focused on audience development success and presented by executives who led that success is “The 10 Essential Ingredients to Grow Digital subscribers.”

Curtis E. Huber, senior director/circulation & audience revenue for The Seattle Times, describes the session this way: “I’d define and explain each (ingredient) and offer thoughts on the strategies, tactics and/or organization structure to address them.”

Look for Huber to provide a scorecard so conference participants self-assess their organizations’ capabilities and gaps.

Kevin Rehberg, the vice president of news media client development for the Alliance for Audited Media will review publisher successes in leveraging and monetizing their quality audiences.

At this session attendees will learn which media buyers are the most active users of their AAM data. Reherg will also provide other analytics specific to the conference attendees.

Among the case studies will be publishers who boosted their buyer engagement by an average of 43%.

At the Audience Development conference, Seyfarth Shaw LLP partner Camille Olson will address a perennial hot-button issue—with new developments every circulation executive and manager need to know.

Her session—“Independent Contractor Status: New Tests & Challenges for Newspaper Relationships with Independent Carriers”—takes off from an important California court decision.

“In 2018 the Supreme Court of California revised its test for employee status — requiring California newspapers, for the first time, to prove that independent newspaper carriers are not performing work within the usual course of the newspaper’s business,” Olson said. 

This factor, she noted, is also required for independent carriers in New Jersey and for other state laws.  It’s also relevant to virtually all analyses of independent contractor status under federal and other states’ laws, Olson said.

“These changes, the focus on the growth of ‘gig’ workers, recent legislative initiatives, and significant litigation against newspapers has increased the risks of the newspaper industry’s longstanding, widespread practice of using independent carriers and distributors, requires a renewed focus by both operational leaders and newspaper executives in analyzing their daily practices, contracts and operational models.”

Who needs to know about these developments? Olson said she is encouraging publishers, compliance officers, and legal, HR and circulation managers to attend the conference for concrete recommendations on enhancing their existing practices.