Not all local content is created equal!
Local communities have many of the same challenges as newspapers. These are stagnant or declining revenues, increasing expenses, aging population base, steeped in tradition, change adverse, technology deficient and lack of resources. As a result, many of our local communities are struggling, even dying. As these communities weaken, news-media companies will be unable to survive in these struggling communities as their business is eroded. There is an upside. Local news media companies may be the only business in town able to reverse these trends, and the method of doing so is actually quite simple.
Zig Zigler once said, “If you give people what they want, you will get what you want”. What do communities want? They want content that excites, motivates and moves their economic needle. While the obits, courts, city hall, schools, gardening, sports, public notices and so forth are desired content that inform the readers, those topics rarely excite or motivate a community economically. The content that excites and motivates the city leaders, chambers, main streets, civic organizations, business owners and leaders, social influencers and even many of the citizens is the content that moves the community’s economic condition in a positive direction.
The column, “Building Main Street, not Wall Street” begins a process of educating your community regarding the impact of how citizens spend their money. Educating your community of the importance of this may be the only way a community will survive. With the growing predominance of big boxes, national chains and online options, communities are ill equipped to deal with the disruption coming to their community. City coffers will slowly be bled dry. Your newspaper can begin to change that, and your community will embrace your message, but more importantly, they will embrace the messenger.
Our mission is to provide a consistent message along with other material that educates the community and enhances opportunities for media companies to reclaim their status in their community. We assist them in becoming the proverbial informational town square once again. To set the stage for civic/economic revitalization for the media company and community, we’ve embraced a 4-fold approach.
First objective is to educate both the news-media company as well as the local citizens to the value AND necessity of a truly local mindset, or DNA. Communities are losing their economic identity to Amazon, Wall Street chains, Big Boxes and Wall Street corporations. They are literally stealing away the businesses, jobs and economic foundation or fiber of our local communities. It is no wonder our children are leaving local towns; they are stripped of any meaningful employment opportunities. Those local jobs are being replaced with low paying retail and/or service sector jobs that accompany these out-of-town business entities.
Secondly, it is imperative to find synergies between the news media company and their community. The media must build a relationship with readers, non-readers, businesses, government, leaders and social influencers. The media company’s future rests on the ability to accomplish this. Working together educating and building foundations socially and economically allow the community and media company to not just survive but thrive.
Thirdly, we open doors to alternative revenue sources that exist in many communities. Unfortunately, many media companies are completely unaware of resources that reside in the arts and entertainment sector, the tourism sector, economic development, place-making, the foundation sector, the events sector and many others.
Fourth and lastly, in addition to the weekly column, we provide other resources that can be used to facilitate this mission. We have developed a 20-part ad campaign which expedites the education and revenue opportunities we discuss in the column. These filler ad templates and samples that can be adopted to your market that allow visualization of the concepts that we discuss from week-to-week.
With economic pressures on local communities mounting, so will pressure on the local media company. We need our communities to do well in order for local newspapers to do well. There is no greater mission for journalism in today’s economic realities. We believe this unique approach has absolutely no downside while offering huge upsides for the news media company and the community they serve.
Run this column in your town and begin the journey of revitalizing your community. You won’t be disappointed, and your community will embrace the messenger, as they will see the value in your message and mission.
John Newby is a nationally recognized Columnist, Publisher, Community, Business, Media, Strategic Consultant & Speaker. His “Building Main Street, not Wall Street,” column is enjoyed by 60+ communities around the country. As founder of Truly-Local, he assists community and business leaders in building synergies that create vibrant communities. He can be reached at: info@Truly-Localllc.com.