Convention 2011: Creative Revenue Streams and Idea Sharing Session

  • Nov 18, 2011

PNA’s 2011 Convention concluded with a unique panel and idea sharing session. “Creative Revenue Streams and Idea Sharing” was presented by several panelists, including Laurel Lane, Manager of Digital Media Revenue for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jim Tierney, Director of Realtime Media, Stark Townend, Director, Digital Client Development for the Philadelphia Media Network, along with moderator Ron Adams.

Adams opened the forum by emphasizing branding, the importance of the news media, and how unique a newspaper’s role is within its community. He highlighted work he had done at, including a promotion with a regional bank and a successful “rally towel” promotion during the baseball playoffs.  The rally towel is well known in the Philadelphia area as it relates the Philadelphia Phillies. As the countdown to the World Series approached, added a rally towel feature on its website. The feature became so popular that later marketed it to other organizations. Though Adams is a digital man, he urged all of the publishers in the room to not forget about the print product. “Pick up digital dimes, but don’t forget about print dollars.”

Lane followed a with a Pittsburgh feature. She urged all publishers in the room to optimize the tools they already have to benefit the client and gain more readers and subscribers. Lane shared the story of the “Pittsburgh Mom.” An original mommy-blog, the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette acquired the blog and its writer. The blog is now featured on the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette website and is tied to several successful events for the company.

It was back to Philadelphia for the next presentation where Townend gave a recap on what he has done to create and launch A former Google and YouTube executive, Townend developed the idea for the community website to feature a health forum. Philadelphia has always been at the forefront of medicine, and seemed like the perfect place to launch a site dedicated to this geographic area.


The basics of is simple. It is a tool similar to WebMD, except it is geared toward the local community. It has a doctor-finder that utilizes Yelp!, as well as other tools that are specific to Philadelphia.  

Next, Tierney described Realtime Media as “building promotional campaigns and wrapping them in social media.” His company is hired to do not only social media and general marketing, but it to take a more creative approach to consumer engagement. Among other things, it uses games and contests to reach and engage consumers.

Tierney also gave a call to action to publishers in the audience. He urged them to relate to the consumer, to partner with other content-producers – like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has with the “Pittsburgh Mom” - and to activate the brand by offering creative promotions to existing media buys.

The four presenters gave insights and examples on how publishers can create alternative ad revenue streams.  They also shared valuable ideas about leveraging content to create value for readers and revenue for newspapers. View Ron Adam's presentation about and Stark Townend's presentation about his work with

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