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121111_nnpa_pageBy Kyle S. Yeldell
NNPA Foundation

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) utilized its Region 2 Conference to usher new developments and opportunities for its member papers Friday.

NNPA Region 2 President R. B. Holmes, Jr., the publisher of the Tallahassee-based Capital Outlook, helped facilitate the conference in his home state with the help of co-chairs Jackie Hampton (Mississippi Link) and Rosetta Miller Perry (Tennessee Tribune). The conference offered several forums to help further marketing and advertising ideas.

Goren Dillard, Vice President of Marketing for the NNPA, explained the various methods of advertising and the importance of incentives for sales staff. He believes that incentive-based goals will be highly successful into increasing sales and subscriptions, because it gives the staff more of a reason to perform better.

Dillard and Francis Page, the editor and publisher of the Houston Style Magazine, also proclaimed the importance and uniqueness of the NNPA’s partnership with the Nielsen Company for its State of the African-American Consumer report. The report was the first Nielsen has ever done specifically on African-Americans, equipped with in-depth statistics on the spending behavior of the demographic.

Page enlightened the audience on several advances on the digital landscape. The advent of social networking sites has forever changed the newspaper publishing industry, but Page urged the audience to delve fully into this space and embrace the changes.

Page described the functionalities of various social networking sites for the publishers to be more familiar with their offerings and how these will benefit their newspapers. He said that his goal for the NNPA in 2012 is for every paper to have a state-of-the-art digital presence.

The conference also served as a networking and thought-sharing experience for the publishers. Each gave best business practices to help further the overall quality of the Black press.

Holmes spoke about some of his ideas for the future, which included a heightened effort into marketing and promotional events, including a possible debate during the 2012 presidential campaign.

NNPA Chairman Cloves Campbell, Jr., the publisher of the Arizona Informant, echoed Page’s sentiments about the NNPA’s digital prospects for 2012. He also announced that his plan to increase sponsorships for the organization.

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