Mission One: Revenue

From SMS to the business of ‘sin,’ finding new revenue is this conference’s mission


Mission One: Revenue is a conference on a, well, mission. It’s designed to help newspapers find more revenue from sources unexplored and streams hiding in plain sight.

Consider the mostly unexplored revenue sources. One session’s title sums up one of those revenue streams well: Booze, Pot &

Gambling: Digging New Dollars From Debauchery!

This session stems from the fast-growing “vice” market as more states legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, sports betting moves beyond Las Vegas to local casinos, and craft beer and spirits become ubiquitous while marketing their local roots.

Executives from newspapers that are already generating new revenue from their local “sin” businesses will explain exactly what it takes to profit from this market.

Mission One: Revenue—held June 11 to 13 at the offices of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and co-sponsored by Inland, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and The Blinder Group—will also include sessions on how to get new revenue from mainstream local businesses.

One way is by offering local advertisers effective branding campaigns that build their businesses long-term. Again, newspapers already making money from this concept will explain how they make their local SMBs understand that they need to invest in ongoing, multi-platform branding campaigns. One bonus for newspapers: Selling branding can open up new advertising categories—with new full-year contracts from the very beginning.

Most every newspaper understands that their local SMBs are using email to market to their customers. But not every newspaper sales team understands how to help these local businesses launch effective email marketing. During a session July 12, top target marketers will reveal what works best with case studies of media companies making money from their consultations right now.

Case studies are at the heart of much of the Mission One: Revenue agenda.

One session looks at how a weekly publisher in small Michigan markets generates sustainable revenue, and was able to launch a new weekly that was profitable from its first issue.

Another session—Coupon Marketing On Steroids: A Case Study—shows how coupons, delivered in print, by TMCs, websites and email, can generate revenue from non-traditional advertising categories.

Mission One: Revenue participants will go home with sales and marketing materials that can be implemented immediately. One example is the Present, Competitive and Dominant (PCD) proposal template being deployed by more than 75 newspapers in markets of all sizes across the nation.

Some of the conference is devoted to getting more revenue from legacy sources, such as automotive, real estate and help-wanted. The lesson from these sessions will be that newspapers need not give up these categories as dead.

A good example is the entertainment category, where movie theatre and concert ads have disappeared from many papers—mostly because the content and digital listings for movies and music has also disappeared.

Mission One: Revenue’s final session—That’s Entertainment! That’s an Untapped Revenue Source!—makes the case, buttressed by the real-life success stories from innovative newspapers, that bringing back entertainment content and upgrading online calendar listings can generate hundreds of thousands in revenue annually, simply by aggressively chasing these local dollars the way newspapers once did.

Mission One: Revenue has assembled a lineup of speakers as outstanding as its agenda. Among them: Mike Blinder, the president and founder of The Blinder Group; Phillip Beswick, the CEO of The Media Audit; Rebecca Capparelli, the vice president of promotions for GateHouse Media; and Ryan Dohrn, the founder of Brain Swell Media.

Also Stacey Hill, the executive vice president and COO of the News-Press & Gazette Company; Mike Martoccia, the director of sales for Wehaa; Bill Ostendorf, president and foundr of Creative Circle Media Solutions; and Jim Stevenson, the publisher and owner of Spinal Column Media in Highland, Michigan.