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CONVENTION RECAP: Power sessions yield immediate, impactful discussions among colleagues

PowerSessionsHussLea...

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.”

 

PowerSessionsKenCamp...

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)

 

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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)

 

PowerSessionsMartin

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)

 

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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)

 

PowerSessionsHeintze...

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)

 

PowerSessionsDaveSto...

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)

 

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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)

 

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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) 

 

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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)

 

PowerSessionsWaterlo...

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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Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2024

Contact Information:
Craig Baumberger
craigbaumberger@yahoo.com
 

Fly with the 'Sky Soldiers'
 

Coming Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation in Creve Couer, Missouri, will bring its Bell UH-1 “Huey” and AH-1 “Cobra” helicopters to the Greenville, Illinois, Airport Airstravaganza. The public will be able to purchase rides on each of these historic warbirds. This will be a unique opportunity for people to get a close look at two of the most important aircraft utilized by the US Army during the Vietnam War and in the years following. Vietnam veterans will be able to recall their experiences when they flew, rode in, worked on, or were supported in combat by these warbirds.

The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to finding, restoring, and flying Army aviation aircraft from the Vietnam era up until the 1990’s. Its vision statement:

"Empowering the past to inspire the future, the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Museum envisions a world where the courageous legacy of Army Aviation pioneers lives on, igniting the spirit of innovation, service, and excellence in generations to come. Through dynamic preservation, immersive educational experiences, and community engagement, we honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who charted the skies before us, while fostering a deep appreciation for the evolution of flight, military service, and the critical role each has played in shaping history. Guided by our commitment to preserving heritage, educating minds, and inspiring hearts, we aim to be a beacon of excellence, enriching lives, and building a bright and patriotic future for our nation."

There are three chapters nationally with the local chapter based at Creve Couer Airport in Creve Couer, Missouri. They welcome visitors at their hangar on Thursdays and Saturdays. Membership is open to the public and not limited to veterans or pilots. 
 
The UH-1 was first developed by Bell Helicopter in the 1950s to fill the need for a utility helicopter for the US Army. They were manufactured in large numbers starting in the early ‘60s and played a major role in enhancing the mobility of infantry in Vietnam. Seven thousand saw action in Vietnam with an estimated three thousand destroyed. They continued to serve the Army well into the 1980s anywhere troops might be deployed. They were replaced by the Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk.

Bell also developed the AH-1 Cobra. It was designed as an armed escort for the UH-1 transporting troops in Vietnam. It was developed around 1965 and entered service in 1967. It played an important role in protecting the lightly armed and armored UH-1s as they delivered troops, supplies and especially performed their famous Medevac role in Vietnam. The Cobra could respond quickly to suppress ground fire from the enemy. The Cobra had various armaments, most common being pod mounted rockets and nose mounted mini gun. Over a thousand were manufactured for the US Army. Three hundred were lost in combat. It was replaced by the AH-64 Apache.

      

Ticket prices
Huey $125
Cobra $800
To purchase advance tickets: Go to “armyav.org
For “Airstravaganza” information, call or text 618-322-3532
For questions about the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation:
Gateway (MO) – Army Aviation Heritage Foundation or call 636-362-4839
“Airstravaganza” is hosted by: EAA Chapter 1382/Greenville Pilots Association


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2024

Contact Information:
Alison Maley, government & public relations director
(217) 299-3122
alison@ilprincipals.org

Illinois Principals Association names new executive board and board members
 

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – The Illinois Principals Association, which serves more than 6,500 educational leaders throughout the state of Illinois, announces the following school leaders to serve as the Executive Board for the IPA, effective July 1, 2024. 

President – Cris Edwards, Richland County Elementary School, Olney 
Immediate Past-President – Dr. Paul Kelly, Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove Village   
President-Elect – Dr. Angie Codron, Normal West High School, Normal 
Treasurer – Shaun Grant, South Elementary School, Chillicothe  
Secretary – Dr. Courtney DeMent, Downers Grove North High School, Downers Grove  

Other new board members include: 

– Diversity & Equity Chairperson – Sonia Ruiz, Jane Addams Middle School, Bolingbrook 
– Dr. Jennifer McCoy, principal of Lexington High School, Lexington, as state director for the Corn Belt Region 
– Dr. Rebecca Gabrenya, principal of Marquardt Middle School, Glendale Heights, as state director for the DuPage Region 
– Mandy Hughes, principal of Glenbrook North High School, Northbrook, as state director for the North Cook Region 
– Doug Owens, principal of Tri-City Elementary School, Carterville, as state director for the Shawnee Region 
– Heather Baker, assistant principal of Northview Elementary School, Peru, as state director for the Starved Rock Region 
– Nick Stoneking, assistant principal of Edison School, Macomb, as state director for the Western Region 

For information about other board members and IPA regions, please visit www.ilprincipals.org/board and www.ilprincipals.org/regions.  

The Illinois Principals Association mission is to develop, support, and advocate for innovative educational leaders. For more information about the IPA, please visit www.ilprincipals.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2024

Contact Information:
Purple Wave Auction
Ph: (866)-608-9283
marketing@purplewave.com
www.purplewave.com
 

Purple Wave Auction announces new territory sales manager

Greg Ditch to serve Purple Wave as a territory sales manager in Northern Illinois
 

MANHATTAN, KANSAS (June 24, 2024) - Purple Wave Auction is pleased to announce that Greg Ditch has joined the company as a territory sales manager. Purple Wave Auction is a leader in online, no-reserve equipment auctions, serving the agriculture, construction, government, and fleet industries. The company provides opportunities for customers to buy and sell equipment with confidence.

In his role as territory sales manager, Greg will facilitate relationships with new sellers while also connecting with current sellers in his market. He will work closely with the sellers to evaluate their assets, help them through the auction process from start to finish, and share equipment with potential bidders.

Prior to Purple Wave, Greg worked for Purple Wave’s strategic partner, Copart, where he was the assistant general manager at its Chicago North yard. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the automotive and power sports industries, having held various roles, including owner, sales manager, and finance manager.

"I would like my customers to know they are more than customers; they are friends and can count on me to help them achieve their goals. Don't be afraid to call, email, or text. I am here to help solve problems and create opportunities", says Greg.

Greg Ditch
281-221-0996
greg.ditch@purplewave.com

# # #

ABOUT PURPLE WAVE AUCTION
Purple Wave Auction was founded in 2000 and has become a leader in online equipment auctions. The company provides the easiest, most straightforward way to buy and sell equipment in the marketplace. Purple Wave is committed to the core values of trust, team, care, and passion and delivers those values throughout all offered services to bidders, buyers, and sellers.


 

 

Disaster Checklist for Newspapers

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