Toronto 2010

Business Programs

Thursday, July 15
3 pm to 3:45 pm
Opening General Session
Join Michael Hollett, editor and publisher of host NOW Magazine, for a brief welcome to the 33rd Annual Convention,.
Tags: Welcome
4 pm to 5 pm
Business Roundtables
Moderated roundtables with topics that focus on business issues.
4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Town Hall Meeting: Admittance of online pubs
Admittance of online publications to AAN would require a bylaws change. Members will have a chance to weigh-in on this potential move at this moderated town hall meeting.
Moderator: Tim Redmond, San Francisco Bay Guardian
Friday, July 16
9 am to 10 am
Seizing Opportunity in a Time of Chaos and Change: Some Inspiration from the Front Lines of Independent Journalism
From Guatemala to Indonesia and Russia to Zimbabwe, Media Development Loan Fund serves independent news outlets that have managed to survive and prosper in countries facing wrenching political and economic transitions, while making critical contributions to the advancement of democratic development there. Harlan Mandel, MDLF's deputy managing director, will share the stories of some of these heroes of journalism and how they seized opportunities during times of chaos and change to build successful news businesses. Perhaps these stories can offer some hope and inspiration for all independent news publishers as they navigate this challenging time of dramatic change for the whole news industry.
Speaker: Harlan Mandel, Media Development Loan Fund
10:15 am to 11:15 am
Local Online and Mobile Ad Spending and Trending
You probably know how much online advertising revenue you're making with your Web site, but do you know whether you're doing better or worse than everybody else in online sales? Borrell Associates has agreed to conduct a benchmarking report for newsweeklies' online revenues and will outline the results in this session. Learn where your paper stacks up against other AAN members.
Speaker: Andrew Martin, Borrell Associates
SEO: Past, Present and Future
We all know that search engines can drive a lot of traffic, and SEO (search engine optimization) is important for any publisher to get at least your fair share of search engine traffic. However, there are a lot of changes in how search engines work, and more changes are coming as search engines incorporate more data based on location, real time information and social media and the social graph. Join Mike Volpe, VP of Marketing at HubSpot to learn how to adapt and optimize your website in order to remain competitive in the future, including:
• Why page rank and search rankings are not relevant measures of SEO success,
• The impact of social media on search rankings in the future,
• How real time search and local search is affecting SEO, and
• What to do now to prepare for the future.
Tags: SEO
Speaker: Mike Volpe, HubSpot
11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Launching End-of-Year Community Giveback Campaigns: How three Alt-weeklies built goodwill and raised $1.5 million as well as publicity for local non-profits.
Several local AAN papers have launched their own unique end-of-year community fundraising initiatives designed to catalyze giving by readers to worthy local non-profits. Last year, Willamette Week's Give! Campaign raised more than $900,000 for 79 local Portland area non-profits. Monterey County Weekly's Community Fund raised $543,000 for 73 nonprofits via its Local Economic Stimulus campaign. And the Colorado Springs Independent initial 2009 Give! campaign raised $198,000 for 29 local nonprofits. All of these papers are planning their 2010 end-of-year community campaigns. Come learn how your paper can launch similar campaigns, as well as what these papers did right, and wrong.
Moderator: Bradley Zeve, Monterey County Weekly
Panelists: Hal Brody, East Bay Express, Richard Meeker, Willamette Week and John Weiss, Colorado Springs Independent
2 pm to 3 pm
Redesigning? Don't just aspire. ATTACK.
Gone are the days when redesign meant new fonts, maybe a new logo, perhaps moving things around or jazzing up your covers. Today, any relevant redesign starts with a question of revenue. What innovations can we design to pull in new advertisers, retain those at risk, or lure back those lost? How do we create new editorial "WOW" -- probably on a shoestring -- to anchor those premium spots? How do we pull in the sales teams as early as possible, devise marketing messages with punch, and create stronger marriages with editorial? This session will include a look inside the just-launched rethink of Atlanta's Creative Loafing, and a glimpse at the process that may be used at Washington City Paper and other publications contemplating change. 
Speaker: Ron Reason
What on Earth Do You Pull Out of Your Hat Now?
You've been focused on doing more with less, for too long…
In a competitive market that is challenging every assumption and actively reinventing itself from the bottom up, your business model is going through more contortions than you could have dreamed, even five years ago. The only thing you know for sure is your cost structure; your revenue model is completely up in the air. Traditional sources are drying up faster than new ones can be found and tapped, and the only thing you've known for certain is that you've had to cut costs to survive. You must grow your balance sheet and not by acquiring assets or committing to new expenses, but through the contribution and ROI you are receiving from your existing capital base -- primarily your human capital.
Jan van der Hoop of HiringSmart, offers organizations a proven approach to staffing that leads to better business results. He will take you through a step-by-step process that will help you and your organization:
• Understand the factors that drive performance and productivity
• Discover what characteristics separate top performers from poor performers
• Learn how to measure what matters
• Plan concrete steps to improve your top line and your bottom line
Speaker: Jan van der Hoop, HiringSmart
3:15 pm to 4:15 pm
Financial Standards
Fran Zankowski will moderate discussion of this year's annual benchmarking survey. (Closed session, open only to AAN members who participated in the annual survey.)
Moderator: Fran Zankowski, Colorado Springs Independent
SMO -- Social Media Optimization
Simon Owens, social media consultant, online journalist and founder of Bloggasm, will provide demonstrations on how he pitches bloggers, social media users, and online journalists to secure hits for articles and stories. In addition to showing the different measures for gauging reader engagement and how to retain more long-term readers, he will discuss the impact of online social news communities like Digg and Reddit and how to solicit help from those communities to drive traffic. Most importantly, Simon will stress the importance of journalists maintaining their own personal online "brands" that exist outside the publications for which they work. He will also present the results of a social media survey sent out to AAN member papers.
Speaker: Simon Owens, Bloggasm
The Localization Movement
The Localization Movement, popularized with "Shop Local" programs in cities throughout the U. S. and Canada, is a perfect match for altweeklies. Moderator Jody Colley, East Bay Express, will find out what altweeklies are doing in their communities, showcase the success stories and present the challenges. Participants will have time to talk about the opportunities that have yet to be explored.
Moderator: Jody Colley, East Bay Express
4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Renaissance or Ruin? Finding Your Way to Opportunity After the Fall
Patricia Martin, expert on commerce and culture, and author of the book, "RenGen: Renaissance Generation," reveals what to expect from the coming cycle of re-birth. Known for using culture as a medium to reach communities of consumers, Martin takes you on a journey to the heart of the social movements forming the next wave of prosperity. Having worked with some of world's most respected brands including Dannon, Discovery Channel, Microsoft and Target, Martin delivers:
• Competitive insight -- Discover how independent news and information fit into the next cycle of cultural change.
• Innovative ideas -- Get insight from the rarely revealed social experiments of Google, Red Bull, Ford Motor and others to engage your audience in new ways.
• Strategic thinking -- Create emotional bonds with your community that translate back to your advertisers.
Speaker: Patricia Martin, LitLamp Communications
Saturday, July 17
9 am to 10 am
iPad: New Opportunities for Content Creators
iPad: It ain't gonna save us...but our papers look great on it, and we can make some money off it! With the launch of the iPad, Apple is creating a third category of mobile devices positioned between smartphones and laptop computers. The bad news is, it's not going to save newspapers by itself. The good news is, our content--and our ads--look fantastic on it. There is money to be made and there's an opportunity for AAN papers to create digital versions of their products with innovative features, such as gps targeted ads and listings, to make the digital paper reading experience profitable and enjoyable to the reader. Hear from both outside experts and AAN papers that are investigating iPad development and business opportunities.
Panelist: Raven Zachary, Small Society
10:15 am to 11:15 am
Everybody is a Correspondent: So Now What?
Those people formerly known as the audience are consuming plenty of media, but a lot of it is generated by their pals, crowd-created on Twitter and Facebook, or by some guy in Lawrence, Kansas, whose cat plays a pretty mean piano. How can professionally generated content -- give or take, this is AAN we're talking about -- compete and rise above the clutter? We'll talk about friending social media in a new informational ecosystem.
Speaker: David Carr, The New York Times
11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Looking for Your Audience
Who is the audience of the alt-weekly these days? What audience should an alt-weekly be seeking? Is there a way to embrace the traditional alt-weekly audience and a new audience? And how does an alt-weekly physically find their target audience and ensure that their newspaper gets to that audience? Keying in on both research and business strategies, Henry Scott, VP and Chief Marketing Officer for Creative Loafing Inc., will address these questions and more in this insightful session.
Speaker: Henry Scott, Creative Loafing Inc.
2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
What Does Going Green Really Mean? The process, the price, the pay-off.
With 650 publishers and printers signed on, Canopy is one of the smartest eco-orgs working to save the forests today. Transformation among newsprint consumers (that's us) and commercial printers across the continent has been their key focus since 2006. The results have been astounding. Find out what's actually happened in the Boreal Forest based on their work. Hint, the caribou are smiling. How does Canopy define green? And hear how some of our own have defined it for themselves.
Speakers: Alice Klein, NOW Magazine and Nicole Rycroft, Canopy
3:45 pm to 4:45 pm
AAN Convention Fishbowl
Convention what? No, there's no water or goldfish or tiny castles involved, just the unleashed creativity and knowledge of convention attendees. Various forms of "unconference" sessions have become de rigueur at conferences of late, and for good reason: attendees have a lot to offer and interaction enhances learning. Although AAN has a tradition of offering "unconference-type" programming, we'll take it a step further with the fishbowl. Or fishbowls. Attendees will have a chance to submit discussion topics on Thursday and Friday. A facilitator will review the ideas in advance and assist attendees in forming groups and determining the exact style of the fishbowl. There may be one, there may be several. There may be flipcharts, there may not. It may run longer than 4:45 pm. It's up to you! What better way to wrap up the 2010 Convention
Moderator: Susan Percy, MacGrercy Consultants

Please note: Programming and schedule subject to change.

Hosted By
NOW Toronto
NOW Magazine - Everything Toronto




DesertNet Foundation


The Media Audit
Advice Goddess
Cole Smithey
Ted Rall
Columbia Journalism School
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