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Dorothy Leavell (left), editor and publisher of the Crusader Group in Chicago, reacts during a conversation with Kara Demirjian Huss of DCC Marketing, during Huss' power session "Meet The Media Buyer" during the Illinois Press Association/Foundation Convention on Thursday, Aug. 11, at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
By ERIN HENKEL
For Illinois Press Association
SPRINGFIELD – A return to an in-person convention this year also meant the return of power sessions.
The roundtable discussions during power sessions last 25 minutes as convention-goers go from table to table to talk with presenters. There were three power sessions during this year’s convention Aug. 11-12 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel. Each included three 25-minute discussions.
There were eight tables during the Thursday morning session, nine on Thursday afternoon and five on Friday morning. Topics ranged from brainstorming new revenue opportunities for weekly newspapers, creating success with events, covering climate change in your community, and addressing news literacy in your nondaily newspaper. Convention-goers were encouraged to attend sessions that best fit their needs and interests.
Rinda Maddox, publisher and owner of the Sidell Reporter, was one of Thursday morning’s presenters. She purchased the nondaily newspaper for $1 in 1991 after having worked there as a typesetter since 1985. Today, the Sidell Reporter covers five communities and annually wins many Illinois Press Association contest awards. Her table’s focus was on generating new revenue ideas to help weekly newspapers.
“I sat down and thought of some of the revenue ideas I’ve had. Probably every one of these ideas came from the same roundtable at a previous year,” Maddox said.
One idea that Maddox presented was a notepad that included a coupon for six free editions of the paper.
“We’ve got to keep our subscriptions up or we lose out and one of the things that we have done is notepads,” she said. “The first page is a coupon for six free papers and when we are at parades or the Strawberry Festival and we have a booth set up, we hand these out. Everyone wants a notepad.”
Free editions of the paper allow consumers to learn what content is being offered and decide if they would like to subscribe.
Maddox estimates that about half of those who are given a notepad subscribe after the free trial period ends.
Sean Finch, sales director for Creative Circle Media, manned another table, leading discussions on sales pro tips.
“In media sales, it’s totally fluid, everything can change at the drop of the hat, so you always have to be aware of the landscape,” Finch said.
Finch also encouraged attendees to learn their clients’ needs and build a relationship with clients.
“it’s not a one-size-fits-all, these are the options I’ve chosen based on our relationship and our conversations on where I really want to pinpoint you and you should take advantage of [these],” Finch said.
“Once you get to the level where people trust you, it is OK to disturb their complacency. You need to do that …and have the conviction and passion.”
At their table, Jackie Martin and Mark Lukas from The News-Gazette in Champaign discussed creating success with events and customizing a package to fit customers’ needs.
“People have print packages, have radio packages, so we try to make it supplemental or incremental to any current things that they already have,” Lukas said. “Which is why they might want to take out the radio because they already have radio, so we’ll push the package then to digital and print.”
The table also included conversation on how to create events with limited staff and resources. Partnering with other organizations that already have events scheduled is a great way to reduce liability and manage staffing concerns.
“If you have staffing challenges, maybe there is an event out there that you could get a piece of and make it bigger and better for them and make it a revenue generator platform for yourself,” Lukas said. “You bring print and digital and other elements to the table and ask if you can come in to run a certain aspect of it at the fair or at the event that exists, and ‘Can we come in and do this’ and we find that to be a revenue generating platform for us”
Virtual events such as job fairs are also a good tool to use when dealing with limited resources, as they can be a revenue source with less effort than an in-person event.
Bev Sams, director of advertising and marketing with the Daily Journal in Kankakee, focused her session on how to sell advertisers an audience.
“You hear that nobody is reading the newspapers anymore and that is just so far from the truth,” said Sams, who has more than 29 years of experience in newspapers. “It’s really important to know who is reading it, (and) what are your audience numbers. That way you can talk to your customers about it.”
Sams also discussed increasing online page views through content creation and audience analysis through tools such as Google analytics.
“Our team looks at our Google analytics on a daily basis,” she said. “When I first got there I think our page views were around 750,000 so the editor and I worked really hard and we hired a digital person on the newsroom side to do digital content and manage our website. Our goal was to hit 1 million and now we are at almost 1.2 million monthly. We start a lot of our stories online.”
Ken Campbell, business development manager for AdCellerant, speaks during a power session Thursday, Aug. 11, at the IPA/IPF convention in Springfield. AdCellerant has an advertising technology platform that oversees, manages and enhances clients' digital marketing efforts. Campbell's session was conducted along with IPA Director of Revenue Sandy Pistole and was titled "Selling With Illinois Press Advertising Services." (Photos by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Capitol News Illinois Bureau Chief Jerry Nowicki (right) talks with convention-goers during his power session Thursday afternoon, Aug. 11, at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield. Pictured with Nowicki are Kathy Farren (left), a member of the Illinois Press Foundation Board, and Jerry Whitney, co-owner and publisher of the Carroll County Review and also an IPF Board member. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Jackie Martin, sales manager of The News-Gazette in Champaign, talks about Success With Events during a power session Aug. 11 at the Illinois Press Association/Foundation convention in Springfield. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Convention-goers look at an example of a notepad with a coupon for 6 free editions that readers of The Sidell Reporter received recently. Rinda Maddox, the paper's owner and publisher, talked about the notepads during a power session Aug. 11. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Jennifer Heintzelman, publisher of Sauk Valley Media, talks with convention-goers during her power session about Breathing New Life Into Old Ideas on Aug. 11. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Dave Storey, senior vice president key accounts from Coda, speaks during a power session at the convention on Aug. 11. Coda is an ROI-driven research and consulting firm. (Photos by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Dennis Anderson (center), Shaw Media vice president of news & content development, presents his power session "Reader and Revenue Project" on Thursday, Aug. 11. (Photo by Sarah Rogers for Illinois Press Association)
Tucker Kennedy, communications director for Ameren Illinois, gives a power session on energy prices and availability Aug. 12 during the IPA/IPF convention. (Photo by Jeff Rogers of Illinois Press Foundation)
Larry Lough, editor of The Woodstock Independent talks with staff members from The Hinsdalean during a power session Aug. 12. (Photo by Jeff Rogers of Illinois Press Foundation)
Madison Lammert, formerly a reporter with the Republic-Times of Waterloo, talks to convention-goers along with Editor Corey Saathoff (left) about a reporting project she and the newspaper did about news literacy. Lammert, now a Report For America reporter at a Wisconsin newspaper, returned to the convention to present power sessions on Aug. 12. (Photo by Jeff Rogers of Illinois Press Foundation)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Digital Public Relations Specialist
Ten $1,000 scholarships now open to Midwest high school seniors
High school seniors from Illinois and five other Midwest states have a chance to earn the scholarships
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — High school seniors from Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin now have a chance to receive one of 10 college scholarships worth $1,000. Registration is open now through April 28, 2023. Parents are also now able to register their student.
High school seniors or their parents may register for the ISL Midwest Senior Scholarship at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/Midwest. ISL Education Lending will award $1,000 scholarships to 10 students whose names are randomly drawn after the registration period. There are no financial need, grade point average or class rank requirements. The ISL Midwest Senior Scholarship can be used at any eligible institution in the United States.
Registered participants also receive emails highlighting financial literacy tips, such as the importance of early career and college planning and ways to reduce student loan indebtedness.
“Student loan debt is a huge concern for new college students,” said Steve McCullough, president and CEO of ISL Education Lending. “As a nonprofit, we provide tools and resources to help high school seniors plan so they can reduce the amount of debt they need to take on while achieving their education goals. Students sign up for a chance at a $1,000 scholarship, and we take that opportunity to share information with them about our free resources.”
The ISL Midwest Senior Scholarship is open to legal U.S. citizens who are seniors at a high school in one of the qualifying states during the 2022–2023 school year and who intend to attend college, either virtually or physically, in fall 2023. It is a no-purchase-required program, and full rules and details are available at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/Midwest.
Additional Resources Available
In addition to offering student loans, ISL Education Lending has other resources for families planning for college and for students who intend to pursue advanced degrees. The Parent Handbook consists of valuable tips to help families of students in sixth through 12th grades prepare for success in college and other postsecondary options. Parents of students in eighth through 12th grades can also sign up to receive twice-monthly emailed tips on academic, college and career planning through the Student Planning Pointers for Parents program. The College Funding Forecaster helps families understand the total cost of four years of college based on a freshman-year financial aid offer. Information about these resources is available at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/SmartBorrowing.
# # #
About ISL Education Lending
Established in 1979 as Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, a private, nonprofit organization, ISL Education Lending helps students and families obtain the resources necessary to succeed in postsecondary education. ISL has helped nearly 400,000 students pay for college, offering student loans and other products under the name ISL Education Lending. The organization, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, also provides an array of borrower benefits, financial literacy tools and community reinvestment programs, including support for free college planning services for students and their families. For more information, visit www.IowaStudentLoan.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stephanie Benson, program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Illinois Reading Council
http://illinoisreads.org and www.illinoisreadingcouncil.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IllinoisReads #Illinoisreads
Illinois Reading Council's
2023 Illinois Reads Book Selection
featured at the
IRC Conference on March 9-10, 2023
The Illinois Reading Council (IRC) has just released the list of ILLINOIS READS books for 2023. ILLINOIS READS is a statewide program that promotes reading for all Illinois citizens. The program promotes six books in six different age categories by authors and illustrators who have ties to Illinois. The books range from read-to books for infants to books for adult readers. Bookmarks and posters highlighting the ILLINOIS READS books will be available in early 2023. Order early as supplies are limited!
The 2023 ILLINOIS READS Program will also be featured at the annual IRC Conference in Springfield on March 9-10, 2023. Conference registration is now open for educators, librarians, and others interested in promoting literacy. More information is available at the Illinois Reading Council website.
The ILLINOIS READS book selections for 2023 are:
Ages Birth – 4 Years
Would You Come Too? by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Diana Sudyka
This is Music: Drums by Rekha S. Rajan
Chicago, Baby! by Feather Flores, illustrated by Kelly Leigh Miller
ABC Animals! by Stephen F. Majsak
I’ll Be Your Polar Bear by Justin Roberts
Molly on the Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal
Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera
Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner by Janice N. Harrington
Pighearted by Alex Perry
A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga
Apple Crush by Lucy Knisley
Three Strike Summer by Skyler Schrempp
A Man Called Horse: John Horse and the Black Seminole Underground Railroad by Glennette Tilley Turner
Murder Among Friends: How Leopold and Loeb Tried to Commit the Perfect Crime by Candace Fleming
As Fast As Her: Dream Big, Break Barriers, Achieve Success by Kendall Coyne
Strike the Zither by Joan He
The Wolves Are Watching by Natalie Lund
Darling by K. Ancrum
The Most Haunted House in America by Jarrett Dapier
Stella Keeps the Sun Up by Clothilde Ewing
Elephant’s Big Solo by Sarah Kurpiel
The Meaning of Pride by Rosiee Thor and illustrated by Sam Kirk
Tortoise and Hare: A Fairy Tale to Help You Find Balance by Susan Verde and illustrated by Jay Fleck
Yetis are the Worst! by Alex Willan
Courage by Barbara Binns
The Civil War of Amos Abernathy by Michael Leali
Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa by Julian Randall Tumble by Celia C. Pérez
ReThink the Internet: How to Make the Digital World a Lot Less Sucky by Trisha Prabhu
Underground Fire: Hope, Sacrifice, and Courage in the Cherry Mine Disaster by Sally M. Walker
The Upstairs House: A Novel by Julia Fine
Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America by Cody Keenan
Eat, Drink, and Be Murray: A Feast of Family Fun and Favorites by Andy Murray
Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Novel by Shelby Van Pelt
The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West
Last Summer on State Street: A Novel by Toya Wolfe
ILLINOIS READS is sponsored by the Illinois Reading Council, a nonprofit organization with close to 2,000 members across the State of Illinois. The mission of the Illinois Reading Council is to provide support and leadership to all who promote and teach lifelong literacy. Book lists from 2013 to 2022 may be found on the ILLINOIS READS website. More information is also available at www.IllinoisReads.org and www.IllinoisReadingCouncil.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nic Skovgaard
Certifiable Marketing Maniac
TED talk brings entrepreneur full circle
HERRIN, Illinois — Nic Skovgaard, owner of AlterEgo Marketing in Herrin, has been named one of eight presenters at the upcoming TEDxSIUC conference, March 4 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Skovgaard will share his first-ever TED talk, “The Future is Vertical: Why Vertical Video Will Flip Your Screen Forever.”
The trip to the TEDx stage will be special for Skovgaard, who said it was other TED presentations which laid the foundation for his company, a recognized leader in brand development, digital presence and traditional marketing.
“I built my company (AlterEgo Marketing in Herrin) because of two TED talks,” he explained. “Everything about who I am as a person and everything I’ve done of the last decade can be traced back to those two TED talks.”
Skovgaard said a 2009 presentation by Simon Sinek called “Start with Why” and Drew Dudley’s 2010 talk “Everyday Leadership” greatly impacted him. Sinek’s speech explored how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change.
“I will tell you that everything I’ve done with my company, in working with the Jackson CEO program, any volunteering I have done and any mentoring work, all can be traced back to those TED talks. Drew Dudley’s talk completely changed my life as he talked about ‘lollipop’ moments and leadership and how you could be a leader at any place and at any time” he said.
Skovgaard said since first seeing the two presentations, he has tried to follow the speakers’ advice.
“I have been on this quest to have that same kind of impact that those two individuals have had on me,” he said. “If I could make just a bit of that impact on another person’s life, it would mean the world to me."
As one of those speakers who influenced Skovgaard, Dudley said he feels as though the Herrin native already is changing others’ lives and he is honored to have Skovgaard relate his impact.
Dudley said, "’Lucky’ is a more appropriate term, because knowing Nic feels like that can impact me every day. I believe leadership exists in individual moments of interpersonal impact and it's the role of a leader to create those moments every day. On the days I feel too tired, too angry, or too filled with self-doubt to try to live like that, words like Nic's can be a reminder how much recognizing someone else's impact on your life can matter to that person.”
TED talks are presentations, often recorded, at conferences on a variety of topics to educate or inspire. Called “ideas worth sharing,” speakers are selected for TED-sponsored or individual local gatherings called TEDx events. Skovgaard was among those chosen from a pool of 50 potential presenters.
In his talk, Skovgaard will be sharing what he sees as a shift in how videos are presented online, exploring a shift to a vertical (or portrait) orientation rather than the once-encouraged horizontal format. He said the change, driven in part by the TikTok social media platform, is based on how individuals consume video content.
“There is no such thing as horizontal video anymore. If I were to give one piece of advice for online video, it would be to never turn your camera sideways again,” he said, emphatically. “TikTok has completely changed that game and everyone else is copying it. I would tell you there is no reason from this day forward to shoot any video landscape unless you are doing it for television.”
Skovgaard said it is a dream come true to be scheduled for the TEDxSIUC event. Dudley said he knows Skovgaard is looking to help others through his presentation.
“While delivering a TED Talk might be a personal goal for Nic, the work he's been putting in to make it happen has focused on creating content that helps others at every step of the way. I think Nic sees the TED stage not as a platform to make him look good but rather as a platform to do good; to share ideas that he thinks will make the lives of other people better,” Dudley said.
The 2023 TEDxSIUC event is set for Saturday, March 4 in the SIU Student Center. Tickets will be available in January.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Deborah A. Newman
Deborah Newman Marketing/Communications
Turning Pointe to fund critical support services for families of students with autism; lucky raffle winner to take home $80,000 luxury hybrid SUV
NAPERVILLE, IL — Supporting Turning Pointe Autism Foundation will prove lucky for one family who will win an MSRP $80,000 2023 Toyota Sequoia Capstone Twin Turbo V6 Hybrid SUV for the cost of a $100 raffle ticket. But for scores of autistic students and their families who attend Turning Pointe, the proceeds of the raffle will provide critical funds to aid the Family Support and Respite activities at Turning Pointe.
Thanks to Toyota of Naperville, a member of the Dan Wolf Automotive Group, Turning Pointe is selling just 2,000 tickets at $100 each for the luxury family SUV. The winning ticket will be drawn at Toyota of Naperville, 1488 West Ogden Ave. in Naperville on Dec. 15. The winner need not be present to win.
Giving Families Skills and Resources
“Our son Alex needs to be under constant supervision,” says dad Arnold. ”Even though he’s 19, it’s kind of like raising a toddler. If I step away for a moment, I’m still worrying that he’ll need something and not be able to find me to get help. Everything about our family life revolves around him. My wife and I are always on guard. But since we’ve been at Turning Pointe, instead of living in a bubble, we have been empowered with Family Support seminars on legal, financial and health issues. As Alex’s behavior has become more manageable, his relationship with his sister has improved, and we’ve learned so much that now we can take him on outings and even travel.”
Expanding Resources Needed Most
“The raffle is an important and exciting fundraiser for Turning Pointe,” says Carrie Provenzale, executive director. “The funding it generates will give us an opportunity to support the growing number of families living with children impacted by autism. We know best-practice interventions can vastly improve students’ future independence. The past few years, as more families have learned of an autism diagnosis, supports have been stretched and classrooms at other providers have closed as a result of the pandemic. The raffle funds will allow Turning Pointe to continue expanding support for families.”
Engaging Compassionate High School Volunteers
Arnold says the Saturday Respite program allows Alex to be among friends and staff who understand him and keep him safe. “My wife and I can actually do things together, like enjoy a meal in a ‘non-Alex-friendly’ restaurant and just let our guard down for a bit. It’s a program that Alex enjoys, and he can spend time with neuro-typical high school student volunteers from the Benet Academy Benet Buddies program, who help him socialize. Before Turning Pointe, our life was pretty chaotic. But Turning Pointe has become our family and now we see hope.”
Ensuring Specialized Quality Education and Employment Training
Turning Pointe Autism Foundation was founded 15 years ago by Kim and Randy Wolf, who together with other parents of autistic children, teamed with professionals to build on programming which has proven effective for children diagnosed with Autism. Turning Pointe strives to raise the quality of educational support for children and young adults through a Day School for students from ages 5 to 22 and Adult Services offering support for independent living and employment. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the organization relies on the partnership of volunteers, donors, school districts, and employment partners to build a thriving center for students learning with autism.
For more information on Turning Pointe Autism Foundation visit https://turningpointeautismfoundation.org. To buy tickets to the 2022 Toyota Sequoia Capstone Raffle by Dec. 15, 2022, visit https://turningpointeautismfoundation.org/2022-toyota-raffle/.
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