The PAGE Cooperative was founded to give purchasing power to small independent publishers so they could pay lower prices for their publishing components like the large chains. This has worked for 39 years, with win-win benefits for both the suppliers, who have their invoices paid promptly, and the members who purchase their products at lower prices.
However, as our industry has trended toward digital, so has PAGE moved to complement the core commodities of newsprint, ink and plates with future digital services that our membership requires.
Enter Think Tank Media, founded in 2017 as an independent company of Lancaster Management, the owner of 20 community newspapers, and a longstanding PAGE Cooperative member.
John Lancaster, vice president of Lancaster Newspapers, explained, "We have seen the statistics that Americans consume over 6.5 hours of digital media daily and spend only 11 minutes daily with their local paper. Therefore, we knew there was an opportunity, but no one on our team had much digital sales experience."
Lancaster continued, "Thus began the transformation for our 70+ year old newspaper to grow the digital advertising business. Six years later, our revenue results have far exceeded our expectations, with significant new digital revenue and continued growth year after year. Our sales teams have become digital specialists in targeted display campaigns, including geofencing, social media marketing, SEO, reporting and much more."
Lancaster Management has also been an active member of the PAGE Cooperative since 2004 and, over that time, has forged relationships with their fellow publishers who face similar challenges in our industry.
John Lancaster added, "As a member of PAGE, we knew there were publishers similar to how we were in 2017, and who had to have their sales teams do more with digital. Think Tank was initially created to produce digital revenue for our markets, but we understood we could help other publishers do the same."
PAGE also recognized this and encouraged Think Tank to leverage its PAGE partner status to reach the members through PAGE email campaigns, websites, partner directories, newsletters and webinars. The message to members is that Think Tank is a "one-stop shop" for Onboarding, Training, Client Development and Follow-up for your sales team to grow your digital revenue.
A PAGE member who benefited from this Think Tank approach is Philips Media, the award-winning publisher of community papers in Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois. As Beth Chism, regional publisher for Phillips Media in Arkansas, expressed, "We scheduled two training sessions with Think Tank Media. Both sessions were absolutely fabulous — from great basic sales training for any type of advertising sales to how to present digital advertising that was easy for my staff to understand. The training manuals were stellar. I cannot think of a single way I would want the experience improved. I highly encourage anyone to look at Think Tank Media if you want to grow digital revenue."
As a result, Phillips Media has grown its digital revenue and PAGE Cooperative Partner, Think Tank Media, has helped them achieve this result while providing the tools for continued success.
PAGE is pleased to share this good news with the PAGE membership and the non-PAGE members of America's Newspapers who may face the same challenges as Lancaster Newspapers did — namely, to grow their digital revenue, but uncertain if they had the people and skills to do it alone. Since Think Tank is both a partner and a publisher, they know firsthand how to begin and how to succeed.
The PAGE Cooperative seeks win-win partnerships that support the needs of our industry along with service and competitive pricing. PAGE introduces partners that fit these criteria to our members to support and deliver what they need to be competitive.
As one of those partners, Think Tank Media is available for a free consultation at John@thethinktankmedia.com or 256-490-5385.
The complete list of PAGE partners, including Think Tank, can be found in our Digital Partner Directory — https://pageone.smedia.com.au/partnerdirectory/.