J.J. and John Carney (left) of the Lawrence County Press in Monticello are visited by Dean Will Norton of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss. Norton, MPA President Jimmy Clark and executive director Layne Bruce are making visits to many member newspapers this month and throughout the fall.

BNC introduces Ad of the Year category

A new award to recognize the Advertisement of the Year has been added to the annual Better Newspaper Contest Advertising Division.

Newspapers across Mississippi will compete this fall in the Mississippi Press Association's annual contest that recognizes excellence in print, online and specialty advertising. The BNC-A is open to all Full Active members of the Association for the contest period of Sept. 1, 2010 through Aug. 31, 2011.

Click here to download the official Criteria and Entry Packet.

Entries are due to MPA no later than 5 pm, Tuesday, Oct. 4. Members planning to mail or ship contest entries should allow enough time for the packages to arrive in Jackson by the deadline.

Judging will be handled by volunteers from the Alabama Press Association this fall. Winners will be announced during the annual Mid-Winter Conference in Jackson Jan. 27-28.

New, expanded categories
A number of changes have been made to contest criteria this year, including the creation of the Ad of the Year award.

The MPA Advertising Committee created the new award to recognize the single best entry from the nearly 2,000 entered into the contest on an annual basis. The award will include a cash prize for the staff member or members responsible for the work and will require no separate entry or fee. All first place winners in the various newspaper advertising categories will be rejudged by the panel of volunteers to determine a single "Best in Show" recipient.

Additionally, changes have been made in the special edition and magazine categories. Categories for Best Editorial Special Section or Edition, as well as Best Advertising Special Section, will be split so that newsprint sections will compete separately from slick and glossy stock publications.

USPS told to stop selling against newspapers

The United States Postal Service has directed its marketing representatives to stop positioning the Post Office's new "Every Door Direct Mail" campaign as a replacement advertising vehicle for newspapers and other media.

Recent seminars for small business owners being held across the state and nationwide by the US Postal Service reportedly bashed newspapers as an effective advertising medium.

USPS has been conducting open houses during what they call "Grow Your Business Week" activities across the country. Programs have already been held in several Mississippi communities.

In a release from the National Newspaper Association last week, a Postal Service representative said EDDM should be sold as an "option" or additional advertising choice for small businesses and sales pitches should not be critical of other media.

NNA Postal Chairman Max Heath said he appreciated USPS' responsiveness to concerns of the newspaper industry.

"Our concern has been that the way this program is presented seemed to urge a migration out of newspapers’ Periodicals and Standard mail issues into a direct advertising stream," Heath said. "That was not our understanding of this program. Now we are glad to know that USPS headquarters is trying to keep the program on track.”

Click here to read the entire NNA news release.

Foundation grants available for ArkLaMiss Conference

The MPA Education Foundation will once make a number of scholarships available for member newspapers to help underwrite the costs of attending the upcoming ArkLaMiss Circulation Conference.

Twenty scholarships valued at $100 each are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A newspaper will be limited to one scholarship, which can be used to cover related travel, lodging or registration costs. Newspapers applying for the scholarship must be in good standing with the Association and must be a 2011 contributor to MPAEF.

Download a scholarship application and criteria.

Circulation professionals from the tri-states will head to Vicksburg Nov. 3-4 for the two-day sales and marketing conference. This year's keynote speaker is Steve Wagenlander, Director of Audience Development for The Post and Courier in Charleston, SC. Mr. Wagenlander is popular speaker on subjects such as newspaper marketing, research, niche publications and innovation. The Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg is once again the venue for this popular conference.

For more information on the scholarship, contact Foundation coordinator Beth Boone.


Don't shy away from linking to other's coverage

From Knight Digital Media Center
Newsrooms that came of age before the dawn of digital media often act as though the rest of the media ecosystem doesn’t exist. When they pick up on a story that was broken elsewhere, or covered in a richer or complementary way by another venue, they usually won’t mention—let alone link to—those other stories. But in an age where access to information is ubiquitous and instantaneous, not offering links to related coverage might harm your news brand’s reputation and even deter potential new revenue sources.

How to attract local business ad dollars

From Editor & Publisher
With the economy recovering slowly, local businesses are continuing to be cautious about how they spend their money. Now, more than ever, they want to see direct results from newspaper advertising campaigns both online and in print.  

MediaNews announces digital subscriber plan

MediaNews Group, Inc. launched a digital subscription model for 23 of its affiliate newspapers in California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Vermont. This digital paywall allows free access to a limited amount of content on a monthly basis and then readers will be asked to subscribe to have full access to their local news site.