Newspapers have suffered through this deep and lingering recession, hit harder than many another industry not only by declining advertising revenue as businesses drew back from spending, but also by competition from the Internet.
Community newspapers such as this one have been the first to bounce back, and have come back the strongest.
While the industry has struggled with how to respond, at Times Community Media, we believe we are on to the successful way forward, with the formation in conjunction with newspaper-savvy consultants based in Tampa, of TCM Digital Solutions.
The broad outlines of the new division within the company are explained elsewhere in this issue, but we believe our new programs will be a big hit with advertisers.
They, too, feel competition from the web, and they, too, need innovative new ways to drive their own online and in-store traffic.
This program will do that, and it is more than money well spent -- it is an investment. Solid. Long term. Blue Chip.
When The Networked Planet principals sat down to explain the program to company executives, this was what resonated the most with us, and, we believe, will resonate the most with our advertisers when the program is made available to them:
"What we start with is a local audience gleaned from the local newspaper and its website," co-founder Greg Messinger told us.
The idea is to deliver, in his words, "a premium local audience to advertisers" and help them reach that audience wherever it happens to wander across cyberspace.
We're proud of the fact that we do reach Fauquier County's most engaged residents. We reach the people who care the most about what goes on within our school walls and in county government. We reach those who care the most about helping Fauquier grow while at the same time preserving our rural heritage. We reach those who support local businesses.
With this new partnership, this newspaper will be better positioned to not only help our advertisers with their print and web needs, but also with digital direct mail, with search engine optimization, with mobile delivery strategies, and more.
It will be successful, we are confident, because those folks who are engaged enough in their communities to subscribe to its most respected news source are exactly the kind of folks that advertisers want and need to reach.