This Month's Features:
by Helen Branswell | @HelenBranswell
Maia Majumder was on Twitter earlier this month when she saw a map that terrified her.
The map recorded the number of local newspapers in each county across the United States.
Large swaths were shaded light pink, denoting a county that had no local daily newspaper at all.
As a record of the decline of the American newspaper industry, it was disconcerting. | READ MORE
If you're a supporter of local news, reading the headlines each morning can be an exercise in pain.
Too often, another long-standing newspaper has been sold off and stripped for parts, becoming another check in a conglomerate's notebook.
Unfortunately, with the media industry in peril, few options exist if a paper hopes to survive.
Last week, local newspaper Berkeleyside, serving the Berkeley, California, community since 2009, announced it had successfully reached and closed a Direct Public Offering (DPO), taking in $1 million. The paper became the first ever to undertake a DPO and succeed.
Founded by three journalists with deep ties to the area – Tracey Taylor, Lance Knobel and Frances Dinkelspiel – Berkeleyside had tried out other models to raise funds, from membership programs to subscriptions to events, but came up short each time.
Then, about two years ago, Berkeleyside did something no other paper had ever undertaken: It pursued and launched a DPO. Taylor and her cofounders applied to the state of California and were granted permission to launch in 2016 with a goal of $800,000.
The paper decided it wouldn't take investments under $1,000, but in the first year of the DPO, it came up short. The paper was able to raise $500,000 in its first five months. Beyond that figure, it became more difficult. So the DPO was extended by another year, and the ceiling raised to $1 million.
Last Thursday, the DPO ended and the paper met its goal with contributions from 355 investors.
The paper immediately made use of all investments as they came in. To date, the DPO money has allowed Berkeleyside to hire an additional reporter, make its site mobile friendly and expand its events and membership programs.
But aside from the new possibilities for the publication and its community, the DPO also provides a model for other small news organizations that are struggling to survive but count a dedicated readership among their assets.
Berkeleyside reports that it has already shared its model with Sonoma West, a Sonoma County newspaper, which recently gained permission to launch its own DPO by California regulators.
The Lenfest Institute, which donated $60,000 to Berkeleyside, provided a more detailed account of how the DPO was launched and what the paper learned from it. | READ MORE
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IEEE GlobalSpec, a provider of digital media solutions to help industrial marketers connect with engineering and technical professionals, has launched a re-engagement campaign to obtain the consent required under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
As specified by GDPR, the global firm is offering specific opt-in choices for each of its many informational products, from email newsletters to white paper and webinar announcements. Its multitiered campaign includes email, content on the website and a video.
This puts the firm ahead of the curve, according to GlobalSpec CEO Patrick Mahoney.
"Some companies just didn't take it seriously," he noted. "Now their lawyers are telling them, you have four weeks to get it together."
In contrast, IEEE GlobalSpec has been working on this issue for at least six months, taking a methodical approach and relying on proprietary systems to ensure compliance.
Patrick cautions that GDPR is "not limited to residents of the EU. It applies to EU citizens regardless of where they live." That includes the U.S.
IEEE GlobalSpec is offering the opt-in only to EU citizens but will change that to cover the U.S. if such legislation is passed here.
"We spent three months understanding the law and how it applies to us and affects customers," Mahoney said. "We then articulated a strategy."
The requirement is simple. If someone doesn't opt in, they're off the list.
"Some companies are a little hesitant. They fear the risk of losing people," Mahoney said. "We don't have that concern, because we have a high degree of customer intimacy."
How does this differ from consumer opt-ins? It's largely the same, he said. "If they give us a corporate email address for company A, then go to Company B, they have to re-opt in," explained Mahoney.
In the video, Mahoney advises clients to review their own mailing lists and re-engage customers, working with legal counsel.
The company has just under 9 million registered users, including 1.3 million in the EU.
© 2018 MediaPost Communications.
The ZIP Code analysis table for publications with free or paid home delivery includes coverage data within a publication's delivery ZIP Codes. The report's data is provided by ESRI and the USPS. The information is calculated by using both the number of free and paid copies distribution within a ZIP Code.
ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) is an international supplier of geographic information systems software (GIS), web GIS and geodatabase management applications. As well as demographic data (household size, income, race, etc.), ESRI provides population and household counts within a ZIP Code.
USPS Delivery Statistics provides the number of possible postal deliveries within a ZIP Code. The information includes data for home deliveries (C), post box deliveries (PO) and business deliveries (B). This information is updated monthly by the USPS.
ZIP Code coverage is calculated in this way:
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