This holiday season The Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette have introduced what we hope will become part of our community’s holiday traditions.
During the weekend of December 1 and 2, we invited members of our community to visit our offices for holiday fare including cider, cookies and popcorn, and best of all, a photo with Santa Claus. Tied with local holiday festivities, our new “Our Gift To You” event is designed to bring friends and family together for some holiday warmth.
With our partners fromEmpire Hyundai and Diman Regional Vocational Technical School, who helped build our “set”, we were able to deliver a festive holiday environment and fun for local families.
In today’s editions of The Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette we published the photos of more than 100 smiling kids visiting with Santa in our new “Our Gift To You” extra (click here to view a copy).
Readers can purchase photos and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Herald News/Taunton Daily Gazette Holiday Fund. Donate today! 100% of your donation is distributed to local charities.
Our community focused HN/TDG Holiday Fund charity drive kicked-off last night with a gala event generously hosted by Monte Ferris and the good folks at Venus de Milo. It was an extraordinary and inspiring experience and one whose momentum we hope to build from toward the best fundraising drive we’ve had.
In partnership with the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry for three years, the Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette have raised more than $310,000 for local families in need during the past 11 years. All funds raised assist local families through The Salvation Army who distribute clothing to families in need; and Citizens for Citizens who assist children during the holiday season. The Holiday Fund helps make this possible.
We are truly inspired by the generosity of so many local residents, families and businesses who so actively participate and contribute. Thank you, all.
Over the years the Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette have strived to continually meet the changing needs of our local advertisers through diversification of our product portfolio. What was once a company that offered a product line limited simply to print display advertising within our newspapers, we’ve evolved to a company offering a wide array of multimedia product solutions.
Today we still offer our tried-and-true print display advertising products, but we’ve augmented those with specialty publications and direct mail business solutions; a wide array of digital media solutions including online display advertising on local and regional websites including geographic and behavioral targeting and re-targeting; advertising networks; web site development; social media marketing; search engine marketing; search engine optimization and reputation management; among a host of other print and digital marketing solutions. As well, we offer cause marketing, event marketing, and promotional partnership opprotunites, to name but a few.
Today our company offers what is a most robust value proposition to local business. But this broad portfolio of products also lends complication in the communication of that value proposition.
In response, we have joined with our area GateHouse Media colleagues throughout Eastern Massachusetts in creating an exciting new sub-brand to clarify our product offerings, simplify communications, and solidify our position in the marketplace as the leading provider of multimedia product solutions to local, regional and national business.
The Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette are pleased to introduce Wicked Local Media Solutions.
This dynamic new approach will help us to streamline and organize our product portfolio under a single brand directly affiliated with our core newspaper brands, but as well, signal to business less familiar with our newspapers the diversity of our products and services.
Our products will be categorized within the Wicked Local Media Solutions brand as Digital Solutions; Print Solutions; Direct Solutions; and Live Solutions. This approach enables us to continue to diversify our product and service line-up in lockstep with customer needs and technological innovations without adding further complexity to our market messaging. New products and services will neatly align within these existing categories.
A key additional component of our strategy is to assist our direct sales team in overcoming perceptions that may persist in the marketplace of us simply being “the newspaper.” Not all may be aware of the dynamic changes our company has made toward multimedia diversification and through this new branding strategy we will seek to overcome these historic and myopic perceptions with a dynamic new positioning and brand. We are indeed the newspaper, but we’re so much more.
In support of our exciting new strategy, you will begin seeing this branding aligned with our core newspapers across all of our B2B marketing channels including sales collateral, social media, trade show signage, business cards, e-mail programs and more.
If you’d like to weigh in with your opinion about how we’ve chosen to address the marketing of our complex product line or would like to learn more about any of our products and services, please leave a comment here or drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.
As always your contributions and participation in the discussion are most welcome.
During the month of April we held our Employee Update Meetings here at The Herald News, Taunton Daily Gazette and O Jornal. These are meetings when we periodically gather employees to update them on how we are performing financially and operationally, share with them our key upcoming operating priorities and initiatives, and answer their questions about our company and our strategic path.
Our Spring meetings went remarkably well. Our employees, as always, were fully engaged and enthusiastic about our progress and direction. Their questions were thoughtful and insightful, and they offered input and recommendations toward further improving our plans. Exactly as we had hoped.
We shared a very ambitious 2012 plan that promises to further accelerate our company’s multimedia transformation and improve our relevance to our audiences and business clients. We shared seven (7) key drivers, or areas of focus, for our 2012 planning including: Revenue growth, revenue diversification, digital evolution, audience development, product improvement, employee engagement, and productivity. We also shared an outline of the key initiatives that will support these areas of focus. We have an ambitious plan including: Accelerated social media diversification; a build-out of our online marketing services business; improved and modernized customer service operations; a reporter mobilization strategy; development of our e-books product line; a significant rejuvenation of our online automotive platform; an innovation of our advertising pricing and packaging models, and so much more. I look forward to sharing details of these programs in upcoming posts. Stay tuned.
In addition to sharing our performance and operating priorities, this season’s Employee Update Meetings took a bit of a different course. Our management team felt that it was important to provide context to our plans through the articulation of a mission and purpose statement. Our multimedia company, like others, is undergoing significant transformation as a result of technological innovation and changing consumer habits. In such a transformative and disruptive environment, it is critically important to provide employees with a base, a set of core beliefs and principles, that can help to define decisions for them. Either providing context for decisions that I or our management team may make, or to guide their own day-to-day decisions in the performance of their own jobs.
In addition, we feel strongly that a company with values resonates with stakeholders. Employees want to work for such a company and customers want to do business, as well, with a company that stands for something. Articulating these core values and principles for our employees was a first step in communicating for all what our company stands for.
As an introduction to the meetings, we shared this video to lay the groundwork for our overall messaging. Employee Meeting Intro Video
In this spirit, we articulated the following Mission Statement for our company and our employees:
“We believe that journalism speaks for the individual, checks abuses of power, stands vigilant in the protection of democracy, the public’s right to know, and freedom of speech and of the press.
We are committed to our duty to providing the tools necessary to the informed practice of citizenship and empowering and uniting the public in the cause of promoting good government.
We always endeavor to inform and empower members of the community; enhance democratic values; and act as a watch dog on government administration and officials; all while cognizant of our position of advantage and its consequent obligations.
We publish our news in a bold, fearless and independent manner adhering to the highest ethical and professional journalistic standards; independent in all things, indebted to none.
We never compromise our editorial independence or integrity, nor tolerate censorship of any kind. Our news is always of the highest quality, authoritative, informative, enlightening, objective and useful.
We provide provocative news stories, credible investigations, and dutifully record the history of our community and its people. We are fundamentalist in our belief that a community must know itself in order to act in its own best interest.
We serve as a community platform for opinion. We are committed to providing a voice to the people, providing exposure to a greater number of diverse perspectives, and fostering the public discourse that is essential to a functioning democracy.
Our own expressed opinions provide an independent perspective, are sensitive, challenging and intended to provoke active and constructive discussion and debate.
We believe that honest and transparent dialogue leads to direct empowerment of the people, improved responsiveness and accountablility from public officials, and improvement in the quality of life for all residents.
We believe that the best means to acheive our mission is to build an economically strong and enduring company. We pursue our business interests with honesty and integrity through a relentless focus on continuous improvement and delivering value to our stakeholders.
A company dedicated to its financial stability and prosperity stands strong in its independence and is well positioned to deliver its community service obligations.”
These concepts aren’t new to our media organization or to our industry. Much of the mission is borrowed from entities we respect. The important idea for us was the articulation of our purpose for our employees to provide context for our decision making and to help guide their own. This mission hopes to assist our company toward the realization of self-organizing behavior that drives the speed of our organization and value for our customers at every touch point.
We also felt it important to condense these concepts for our employees into a memorable and actionable statement that captures the essence of what it is we do. “Engage. Inform. Empower. Repeat.” is our charge, every day. A to-be ubiquitous statement of a few simple guiding principles, a common point of view, a set of core beliefs built around a common vocabulary, that will drive complex, but coordinated behaviors throughout our organization.
We seek to engage our community, as well, in helping us to fulfill our mission and community service obligations. In coming weeks we will be reaching out to our market to panel a Community Advisory Board to work with us to guide us in the fulfillment of our purpose. If you have an interest in joining us, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to provide further information.
Here at The Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette we’ve worked hard over the last five years toward developing an inclusive and participatory management culture that emphasizes input and contribution shared freely across all of the functions of our business. For sure, each of our managers have day jobs: Our editor is responsible for ensuring that our content is relevant, timely and useful; our operations director is directly responsible for managing our manufacturing vendors to ensure the highest quality output and that our distribution operations are operating effectively; our advertising director is responsible for effectively marketing our multimedia products and services; and on it goes across all of the functions that comprise our value chain and business.
But when our management team comes together as a group, we strive to emphasize an “ownership model” where we approach the whole of our business as active owners. Our team feels free to share insight and input into any and all of our operations, and each welcomes the input without defensiveness. It is truly an egalitarian approach that enables our business model to be entrepreneurial, innovative, and adaptive, and to grow through the contributions of all. It is quite easy in most businesses to hunker down into a silo mentality, where operational defensiveness leads to atrophy and stagnation…Not here. We welcome the constructive contributions and participation of all, and use that input to constantly improve our business.
We invite our circulation director to provide his experience and perspective on content. We welcome our editor to assist on rate and pricing strategy; we encourage all of our team to contribute their input toward the betterment of our overall business. We’ve created a dynamic and inclusive culture that values input from all. We’re all owners and take responsibility for our collective success. I couldn’t be more proud of the culture we’ve created, the contributions all have made to our progress, the professional maturity of our leaders, and the advances we’ve made in rejuvenating our business through the contributions of all.
On Friday we announced the promotion of our Editor-In-Chief Lisa Strattan to the role of Associate Publisher. This is, no doubt, an important professional step for Lisa and a well-deserved recognition of her contributions to our success. Lisa has truly embodied our culture of ownership and has made countless contributions, across all areas of our business, toward the improvement of The Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette.
As importantly, this organizational change is a statement about our commitment to the full engagement of all of our managers toward our success. Lisa does a terrific job of running our news operations, but has never limited herself to that. She has eagerly transcended the classic editor role and enthusiastically, and respectfully, contributed to our organization on countless levels.
Congratulations to Lisa on her new role and responsibilities. I look forward to her continued contributions to our success, and to those of our entire organization where we will continue to welcome participation from all.
None of us individually are smarter or more capable than we are collectively. A culture that we reinforce every day and one that we expect will continue to drive our business forward.
If you are a business leader, what kind of culture have you developed at your organization? Have you developed an inclusive culture that enables contributions from all of your managers and employees? Has this worked for you or what obstacles have you encountered? Leave a comment here or drop me a note at email@example.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts and input in the discussion.
Regrettably, the Paper Clips blog has been down for several months as we’ve dealt with technical issues, but I’m glad to now be back up and sharing again some behind-the-scenes commentary from and about The Herald News and the media industry in general. I’m confident that all of our technical challenges have been resolved and we’ll not have a repeat of the extended downtime we recently experienced. Many thanks to Jon Shubow for all his help in getting us re-started.
It has been a very busy time and I have much commentary I’d like to share on several events that have occurred during our hiatus including an exciting partnership we are developing with the Fall River Office of Economic Development on an upcoming Restaurant Week promotion; Insight on the development of our 2012 Business Plan and some of the new and exciting products and programs you can expect to see from The Herald News in coming months; As well as some background on the very difficult manufacturing outsourcing program The Herald News implemented in early February. More to come on those topics, and more, in future posts.
In the meantime, I am very pleased to share that The Herald News, Taunton Daily Gazette, The Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School are again partnering to bring to you the 2nd annual Bristol County Home & Garden Show. Building on the terrific success of last years partnership and event, this year’s expo promises to be bigger and better yet. With more exhibitors, more product and service offerings, and more workshops and seminars, this year’s event will be informative and fun for the whole family. Please join us on Saturday, March 17th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School at 251 Stonehaven Road in Fall River to join the fun. Admission is free, but your $1.00 voluntary donation to the HN/TDG Holiday Fund is welcomed and appreciated.
One of the exciting new features of this year’s event is the digital and social media aspects of the program. If you are unable to attend this year’s event you can participate virtually as the event will be live-tweeted…Follow our hashtag at #BCHG on Twitter to keep up with the action and activities. In addition, you can view offerings from participating exhibitors by visiting our Home & Garden Show Pinterest board at http://pinterest.com/hnnow/bristol-county-home-garden-show. Feel free to share with your friends and neighbors interested in home and garden improvement.
In addition, you can visit the Home Show on our Facebook Events page at https://www.facebook.com/events/370404686317066. And, as always, our Home & Garden Show microsite at HeraldNews.com (click here) will provide continuously updated content to help you to see your springtime home and garden project to successful completion.
Look for your copy of the Spring Home & Garden Guide including the Home Show event pull-out section in your Sunday, March 10th edition of The Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette.
As always, I invite your feedback and welcome ideas to continue to improve our home and garden show. Leave a comment here or feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input is welcomed here.