OTNB Idea: Making Hyperlocal Work for Your Newsroom?

Discovered that “hyperlocal” is a lot of work and is adding very little to the bottom line?

New data from Forrester Research suggests we may need to re-think our basic assumptions about hyperlocal. To start with, Forrester data shows that more consumers care about what’s happening in their country than what’s happening in their neighborhood.

In addition, there’s a disconnect between the sources consumers rely on for local news and information versus those they rely on for business listings.
This is a huge problem for local TV stations and newspapers, which bear the cost of content production without reaping the benefit of classified ad sales.

Forester says companies that are poised to dominate the hyperlocal space will have three key assets:

  • Low-cost, community-generated content;
  • Agile human sales force paired with smart ad sales automation;
  • Mastery of the mobile channel, which drives local offline interactions.
  • So what model do we follow?
    Look to your free weekly newspapers and newsletters. They aren’t laying off, nor are they worried that online competitors will gobble up their market. Their business model is not based on CPMs or rating points, but on RELATIONSHIPS. Relationships with their advertisers, the local soccer and softball coaches. They have thrived for years on what we now call Consumer Generated Content. Free distribution and advertising prices that work in a hyperlocal environment round out a hyperlocal strategy that works.

    David Johnson from LostRemote.com writes, ” The real opportunity in hyperlocal products for news media companies is in aggregating lowcost advertising products in a local version of adwords and offering them in a turnkey online self-service platform to local bloggers. Everyone wins.”

    For more on alternative business models for newspapers, read this MEDIASHIFT post from Mark Glaser. http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2008/12/your-guide-to-alternative-business-models-for-newspapers353.html

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