By 2017, it was clear to Janine York that she had to act.
“Our newspaper is our core product, but we knew we needed to expand,” says York, the advertising director at the Missourian, a twice-weekly newspaper in the small town of Washington, Missouri, about 50 miles west of St. Louis.
So she was a willing audience when RJI Fellow Mark Nienhueser came to her with the idea of partnering with the press association and Amplified Digital to sell digital ads and web building and social media page-building services.
“It gave us the opportunity to go to our clients and say, ‘This is what you need to be doing to reach the audience you need to reach.’ ”
They were already doing some web development, but the price inside the Nienhueser-crafted partnership was actually lower than what they’d been charging independently.
A well-priced digital offering has not prevented tough months in the advertising business, but it has given the sales staff one more valuable product they can use to attract and retain clients.
“It gives us an offering for our clients who had already cut their budgets, and we were able to hold onto those dollars,” York says. “Some have upped their spend. We’re working with banks, and we can sell them digital advertising across their entire region, which goes outside of our readership area.
“I don’t think we’d be at the level we are now without this partnership. I know we wouldn’t.”