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With a roar, LION Digital Media has created an online database called LIONshare to help national and regional advertisers connect with local media companies. Relaunched this year, the site helps put local media that often goes unnoticed by large retailers and other big advertisers back on their radar.

Conrad JungmannThe database currently consists of more than 7,300 local media outlets, which include newspapers, radio stations, alternative weeklies, business journals, local magazine and pure-play journalism sites and 456 media planners representing 300 companies, according to Conrad Jungmann, founding partner.

Originally, the LIONshare database was created as an in-house tool used by the digital advertising company, but when it came time to update and add features to LIONshare, including mapping capabilities in early 2014, Jungmann said the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute became involved in order to make the platform public.

RJI provided a $20,000 fellowship, research and technological assistance to create LIONshare for publishers and advertisers to use for free, said Brian Steffens, RJI director of communications.

“The relaunch (of LIONshare) allows publishers to control their own profile,” said Jungmann. “We think local is an incredible place to run digital ad campaigns. Local has been overlooked.”

Publishers can create an online profile to include advertising rates, product offerings and company information and advertisers can search through the website to find local media outlets in a simpler, more effective way rather than having to go to large media companies out of convenience.

LIONshare allows advertisers to search for publishers by state, county, zip code and even political zones. This gives advertisers the opportunity to target the exact market they are looking to advertise in.

When E&P spoke to Jungmann, he said LIONshare was still in beta, but it has already had a big impact for local publishers.

“It’s been received really well,” he said. “We’ve seen big national brands come in just to target local markets.”

RJI’s Steffens agreed that LIONshare is necessary to help local media gain national and regional ad dollars. “There’s a lot of stuff out there helping the larger companies. Smaller papers don’t have the same scale to help themselves as an industry.”

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