June 5-6, 2024 Illinois Press Association/Foundation Convention








More information on convention can be found here:  https://www.illinoispress.org/Events/Convention.aspx

PAST Session Recordings

KICK A$$ Ads Webinar

Brought to you by the IPF Edcuational Series

Presented by Metro Creative Graphics

Recording: https://mcg.metrocreativeconnection.com/publish/newmcc/tutorials-detail.php?video=216


Reading the Tea Leaves' presentation that discusses digital trend predictions in 2024

Brought to you by the IPF Educational Series

Presented by January Spring

Recording: GMT20240423-153101_JanuarySpring4.23.24.mp4


Creating Kick-A$$ Ads

Metro Creative Graphics

Whether you’re new to the field or a seasoned designer, this helpful webinar provides a comprehensive overview of effective ad design and copywriting techniques to create and sell stellar ads that benefit both your publication and your clients. This workshop also demonstrates how Metro’s subscription resources can help sales and design pros grow revenue with local business-driven advertising, event-focused promotions, and campaigns incorporating digital and social media content.

Link: https://mcg.metrocreativeconnection.com/publish/newmcc/category.php?Live-Training-Webinars&category=131


Reverse Publishing AI Generated Content

Webinar Hosted by Our-Hometown, Inc.


Our Hometown, Inc. hosted live webinars on AI Generated Content and AI Generated Imagery, demonstrating how publishers can leverage the power of popular AI models like ChatGPT and DALL-E to produce written articles and related stock imagery for their websites.

Now, they are ready to tie it all together and demonstrate how you can use the Our-Hometown WordPress Platform and their Reverse Publishing tools to quickly export any AI generated content for placement in the printed newspaper.

Join them on July 20th at 2PM Central for a complete overview of exporting your AI-generated content for use in the print edition.  

Recording Here:   Reverse Publishing AI Generated Content | OHT Webinar Replay - Our-Hometown

The cost is $25/seat, but IPA members have FREE access, just select Illinois Press Association from the drop- down menu on the registration page.

AI Image Generation Webinar

Webinar Hosted by Our-Hometown

We’ve seen AI technologies advance at a rapid pace throughout the first half of 2023, and that trend isn’t expected to stall out any time soon. One of the major tools released to the public this year is DALL-E 2 by OpenAI (the same company who brought you ChatGPT).

DALL-E 2 is an AI-image generation system that creates images and digital art from a simple text description entered by the end user. While this kind of technology has endless potential, one key way that it can impact the news publishing industry is by replacing generic stock imagery. 

It is no secret that content shared across social media and the internet in general performs better when there is an attached image or graphic to draw the reader’s attention. However, it is unlikely that you’ll have a relevant stock image for every topic, and using a generic image of your publication’s logo can become redundant. 

Enter: DALL-E 2.

By harnessing the power of DALL-E 2, publishers can enter a short description and generate a completely custom graphic to use with their story, potentially eliminating the need for stock imagery services altogether.

RecordingAI for Image Generation | OHT Webinar Replay - Our-Hometown

ChatGPT for Content Generation

Webinar Hosted by Our-Hometown

Our-Hometown, Inc. is excited to announce that we’ll be hosting another LIVE Webinar, “ChatGPT for Content Creation” next month on May 18th, beginning at 2 PM Central time.

The presentation will focus on the popular A.I. language model “ChatGPT” and how news publishers can take advantage of the powerfool tool to create valuable content for readers.

As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Despite the mind-blowing capabilities of ChatGPT, there are some limitations, including some instances where it has returned inaccurate information. It is ultimately up to the end user to proofread and fact-check any AI-generated content.  If you’re interested in learning more about using ChatGPT for Content Generation, you can register by filling out the short form below.

Registration for the event is priced at $25, but Our-Hometown customers and members of our partnered press associations are invited to attend for free.  Just select your Press Association from the drop-down list or select “Our-Hometown Customer.”

Recording: ChatGPT for Content Generation | Webinar Replay - Our-Hometown

Free Localized Illinois Game Feed for Media Websites

Webinar Hosted by StatePoint Media, Inc.

In this webinar you'll learn how StatePoint Media can provide your media outlet’s website with a free, first-of-its-kind Illinois Game Center that’s great for audience development and can be monetized in different ways. An easy to install plug-in to your site can help drive web traffic, subscriptions, ad revenue and more! It’s even mobile-friendly, so it plays like a games app on your site, with new content posted daily.

StatePoint’s new Illinois Game Center combines state pride with some of the most popular game formats. You can now offer site visitors a Trivia Quiz, Word Deduce (our take on Wordle™), Word Search and Fill the Blanks, with all content served directly on your site, keeping visitors on it for longer periods.

All content is localized for Illinois, showcasing entertainment, sports, current events, geography and much more. The content features in-game scoring, timers and other user challenges. This free product even offers a "Share" feature that generates organic promotion of your site!

Let StatePoint Media show you how you can quickly start offering fun local games to your site visitors.

Recording here:  GMT20230427-140227_Recording_2880x1920.mp4


Brought to you by Our-Hometown

Our-Hometown is excited to announce that our friend and industry expert Michael Cottam will be joining us on March 17th, 2023 to host a LIVE WEBINAR on SEO For Newspapers!

The presentation will focus on Search Engine Optimization for news publishers and will highlight various techniques for optimizing your website’s structure and content in order to improve visibility and ranking on popular search engines.

Michael will also cover several new topics since last year’s webinar, including helpful content and spam updates from Google, as well as a look at AI-generated content and how it may effect search results.

For newspaper publishers, practicing strong SEO techniques is essential for remaining competitive in the digital age. With so much content available online, it can be difficult to stand out and attract readers to your site. By implementing some of these techniques, you can ensure that your website is optimized to appear at the top of relevant search engine results, making it easier for potential readers to find your content.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, share their own experiences, and network with other publishers in the industry.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the importance of SEO for newspaper publishers and gain practical tips for implementing strong SEO techniques on your website. Register below to secure your seat today!

Recording: AI Technologies and SEO for News Publishers - Webinar Replay - Our-Hometown


Brought to you by the IPF Educational Series

Whether you've been to Vendasta's thought leadership webinars or yet to join one of them - we'd love to invite you to continue the conversation on digital transformation. 

In this webinar you'll get a chance to learn how Vendasta can support your organization & accelerate its digital revenue growth. From Bott Radio Network to Salem Media Group, hundreds of local media companies partner with Vendasta to build a repeatable digital sales flywheel. 

You’ll get an overview of how we can:

  • Help you sell digital services that local advertisers want
  • Deliver work for your clients, under your brand, so you don’t need to hire for it
  • Empower your salesforce with tools to find better leads and win more deals

Webinar Recording:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q8OxW_5I1v4sVrskiUWke06qlnK_o3Ik/view?usp=sharing

IPA/IPF Website Initiative

Brought to you by the IPF Educational Series

If your newspaper does not have a website, or if your website has only limited functionality, this session is for you. Jeff Rogers, director of Illinois Press Foundation will discuss the importance of having a website and how a grant from the Illinois Press Foundation can help you get the process started. Matt Larson, CEO for Our-Hometown will discuss and show you how they can set you up with an active, easy-to-manage website through their WordPress Platform. This is a perfect opportunity to ask questions about how the platform works and how it would be implemented at your newspaper!

Webinar Recording: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jwMJUcSonHyLTGLQWtVeyTAwY3hjAs58/view?usp=sharing

How Digital and Print Work Together

Brought to you by the IPF Educational Series

Presented by AdCellerant                                                                                                       

In this webinar, AdCellerant explains how print and digital advertising work together in the sales cycle.  We're going to learn about why programmatic display is the foundation to any digital campaign, easy upselling strategies for your legacy sales reps, and reviewing case studies of other publisher's success by adding digital capabilities to their product set.  AdCellerant is a technology and digital marketing services company focused on making quality digital marketing accessible to every business.  AdCellereant accomplishes this by partnering with media companies and supporting every advertiser with a digital strategy to complement their print strategies.

Webinar Recording:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/16ziqh04-LdEeuajV8MMN6KhewRCi-WMP/view?usp=sharing

“Shop Local” Strategies for Ad Revenue & Reader Engagement

Hosted by Metro Creative Graphics

Learn about the valuable tools Metro provides to help you target and promote local advertisers, events and community investment. Our live webinar will show you how to energize sales and help local merchants compete with big-box businesses using your MCC content libraries, as well as a ready-to-run print and online special section program. Reader engagement tools like contests, social media and unique community programs will also be covered. Register now to benefit from the full spectrum of spec ads, images, editorial features, digital products and ideas available to support and grow your “shop local” efforts!

Webinar Recordinghttps://mcg.metrocreativeconnection.com/publish/newmcc/category.php?Live-Training-Webinars&category=131

Cannabis Weekly/Capitol News Illinois Collections

CNI and Cannabis Collections that present content, revenue opportunities for your websites!

The Illinois Press Association/Foundation is partnering with Distributed Media Lab to provide member newspapers to provide turnkey, unique content for your websites that will also create opportunities to generate ad revenue for your organizations and to help fund Capitol News Illinois!

The DML Branded Content Project collections are designed to provide unique and topical content of interest to specific reader groups. Collections are placed on a website home page with a code that is only two lines long and should have no impact on site speed and load times. There are layout options that are responsive and look great across desktop, tablet and mobile devices; they also create a seamless experience across your site template.

Working with DML, the Illinois Press Foundation has created a Capitol News Illinois Collection. You’re certainly familiar with the work done by our daily news service covering state government. This Collection will put the most updated CNI stories on your home page without any work required by your staff! We hope to have members use this collection so we can sell sponsorships to help fund CNI.

DML also offers a Cannabis Weekly Collection that it is making available to Illinois Press Association members. Whether it’s interesting cannabis facts, strain details, gift and accessory recommendations or lifestyle coverage, readers will find high-quality content in the Cannabis Weekly collection.

The Cannabis Weekly Collections will present revenue opportunities for your news organizations. Collections are designed to offer a turnkey advertising solution to help publishers monetize their web traffic and deliver value to their sponsors. Local Sales are possible for those news organizations that wish to sell locally. For those that don’t, there are Network Sales which are turned into revenue through DML paying you for the ads displayed on your site based on user clicks on ads or on ad impressions.




Webinar Recording: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qUhEfh2coFnCVWqDScZh7XepT6-b7zdQ/view?usp=sharing

No Such Thing as Too Much Digital

Presented by Charity Huff, CEO of January Spring

Join veteran sales and marketing professional, Charity Huff, to talk digital in 2022.  Digital morphs every couple of years, to meet the insatiable consumer appetite for information, media and entertainment.  What’s hot in 2022?  Custom, curated programmatic display audiences, OTT/CTV streaming ads, stream audio, geo-fencing in paid social.  Let Charity show you how to integrate digital into your own product offering, so you can scoop up new digital budget while retaining your print advertising too.


Webinar Recording: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fjRvPLLleC6PqgHWTyVSGlOm0qlc2PMz/view?usp=sharing 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management):  What should It Do For You?

Presented by Robin E. Smith, president & CEO for ASK-CRM

During this webinar we will dive into the process of Customer Relationship Management (both formal and informal processes) and talk about the cost to your organization.  Additionally, we will focus on just what your CRM process should do for you and the rest of your sales team.  The webinar will be led by Robin Smith from ASK-CRM.  Robin is an experienced media industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the CRM space. He has worked with weekly publications with circulations less than 1000, daily publications with circulations greater than 100,000 and everything in between. Please join us for this valuable session to learn how to get the most of your CRM efforts.

Webinar Recording: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AQmZn04XwEoDCoUiMNn72OUlJQYiK6HC/view?usp=sharing

Our-Hometown is hosting an educational webinar on “SEO for Newspapers” 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), put simply, refers to the practice of improving your website’s performance in search results across major search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Generally speaking, a website that performs better in search results is more likely to see increased traffic from these search engines.

SEO should be considered an integral part of any newspaper’s digital marketing strategy.

During this webinar, you can expect to learn more about SEO in general, including what kind of things effect your website’s performance in search results. Our industry experts will highlight several techniques — some basic, others more advanced — that publishers can use to help improve their SEO.

Webinar Recording:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNz3VoEXRqw