Northwest Florida Daily News and StarNews were recently recognized at the Local Media Association’s Digital Innovation Contest, which was judged by the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin’s Engaging News Project.
Northwest Florida Daily News in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, was awarded first-place in the Best Contest and/or Promotion category in the sites with 250,001 – 750,000 monthly unique visitors group for its “Home for the Holidays” promotion.
Judges noted: The company teamed up with a regional airport to award a local veteran in the area code a free airplane trip for the holiday season. There were around 972 entries and one winner. The airport invested $9,375 for the promotion and it came with success. They did a great job focusing their audience on veterans since that demographic uses the airport services quite frequently. They made great use of their outlets by dominating both print and digital media to advertise the campaign. The airport and Northwest Florida Daily News now have a valuable partnership that could go a long way in the future.
StarNews in Wilmington, North Carolina, was awarded first-place in the Best Strategy to Grow Digital Audience category.
Judges noted: StarNews Media strategies focus on a couple different things, including scheduling and direct involvement between reporter and reader. They keep track of running social media posts early in the morning when traffic tends to be the highest. Average Facebook Likes have increased by 42 percent and their Twitter followers have increased by 42 percent. They manage a rewards program for the reporters in having their personal pages viewed most often.
Sherry Jones, StarNews’ managing editor, was named as the competition’s Local Media Digital News Innovator of the Year.
Judges noted: It’s clear that Sherry has had an incredible impact on her news organization. While her nomination mentions digital initiatives that she has played a role in for years, we were particularly impressed with the work she did this year, including helping the web team adopt a new website template and the Reporter Audience Growth program. We look forward to seeing what new innovation Sherry comes up with next!
Judges noted: We really liked Propel Marketing’s consumer reach and growth as an agency: they operate in 32 states and reach 19 million people every single week. Additionally, they have great third-party connections that drive their agency forward.
More more information and a completed list of winner, visit the Local Media Association.