| NAA mediaXchange is the largest annual gathering of industry executives in North America, offering unprecedented networking opportunities that combine an exchange of information and ideas with programming designed to generate results. The conference is designed to provide valuable ideas and insights to help newspaper professionals grow audience and revenue for their print and digital products. Sessions highlight leading-edge thinking about media strategies, successes in product and revenue development, new ideas and innovation inside and outside the industry, and tactics and techniques to employ in print and digital.
Newspaper innovation is ‘a way of thinking’ - #NAAmXc11
By Fernando Valdes
The "Newspaper Labs Brewing Innovation" session featured a look at how some newspaper companies are fostering creativity internally.
Ron Adams, vice president of national digital and print advertising for the Philadelphia Media Network, talked about the company's eight-person "MediaLab."
"It is a way of thinking, not just a good art department," he said.
MediaLab combines technologies to provide campaigns that deliver results by incorporating clients' names throughout the newspaper in a very subtle way that delivers results.
Tribune 365 does not have a formal innovation lab, said Brent Hardesty, the company's vice president of digital sales, marketing and retail sales development. However, Tribune does have eight diverse media companies around the country. Hardesty said these test ideas; successful ones are implemented in other markets.
For example, the Los Angeles Times developed a front-page ad for the 2010 movie "Alice in Wonderland" starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. The idea was costly but it created a big splash and Tribune was able to replicate it in other markets.
Both Hardesty and Adams said their companies have been trying to enter the world of social media. An issue is how to measure it, they noted. MediaLab hired a person dedicate solely to social media.
"Clients overall know they want to be part of it, but don't know exactly how to get there," Adams said.
>> View and download speaker presentations from the Newspaper Labs Brewing Innovation session. (NAA Members Only)
Fernando Valdes is a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Find out more about Fernando and other students reporting live from NAA's mediaXchange here.
Mar 28 2011, 04:22 PM
About Amanda Knowles
Amanda Knowles is Web & Social Media Manager at the Newspaper Association of America. Before coming to NAA, Amanda spent four years working in print journalism, both at the college and professional level. She has worked as a copy editor and news page designer for two daily newspapers in northwestern Pennsylvania, The Erie Times-News and The Meadville Tribune. Most recently, she collaborated on The American Observer, the online magazine edited and produced by graduate journalism students at American University in Washington, D.C. Amanda believes strongly in the secure future of the newspaper, and is excited to be a participant in the movement to integrate traditional print media into the burgeoning digital world.