Newspapers: Be the Partners Local Businesses Need
by Nicole McQuestion
I recently had the good fortune of watching a movie written and produced by Vince Vaughn entitled, ‘The Internship.’ While certainly not the most complex of plots, it did provide a heartfelt and hilarious journey of two washed-up salesmen who land an internship at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, playing the outdated salesmen, certainly did not fit with this crowd of twenty-something techie code developers and digital masterminds. I don’t want to give it all away, but let’s say these two distinguished characters taught all of them what Googlelyness (Google-Lee-Ness) is all about.
What is googlelyness, might you ask? In the movie it is portrayed as the persistent ability to overcome challenges (like my friend, the #honeybadger) and also connecting people to information that betters their life and the world we all share. I couldn’t help but find this analogous relationship between googlelyness and the first love of my life, the newspaper industry (I know, it is kind of pathetic, but I was very young.) Being a positive force and agent of change within a community, while connecting people to information that betters their existence is what newspapers are in the business of doing. Many of them do this each and every single day. So what is the irony in all this googlelyness? Newspapers have the relationships with local businesses that everyone else wants, including even Google, and yet revenue is a challenge.
Newspaper publishers: It is essential to seize this moment to be the partner your local businesses need. Let your sales reps be the champions of local commerce in your communities. Listen to your local small businesses and actually start asking them what they need. Arm your sales force with the knowledge, prowess, and expanded listening skills to connect those businesses to that newspaper ad, social channel, adwords campaign, mobile website, or even business directory listings that they need to achieve their business goals. You already have whom they need; now you just need to offer what they need.
And yes, it is difficult, and it changes everything. But I personally think newspapers have the googlelyness to get it done.
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