Southern Newspaper Publishers Association Launches Revamped Website

By: Press Release | Southern Newspaper Publishers Association

June 21, 2013, ATLANTA, GA – Southern Newspaper Publishers Association launched a re-designed website this week designed to serve the needs of newspaper executives by providing a new source of ideas, solutions, resources and information.
The site is more interactive, useful and practical – and includes new features like front pages and homepages from SNPA members and a section that showcases best practices and ideas. Users can readily contribute content or pose problems to be addressed by experts. 

“The new website offers many opportunities for engagement by SNPA members,” said Edward VanHorn, executive director of SNPA.   He cited the simplicity of submitting ideas to share with other newspaper executives, and the abilities to rate and comment on content. 

“We’re developing new content sources that SNPA hasn’t offered before,” he said. “That is possible because users can now easily upload, search and view content.”

Among the new features of the site:

  • Look what we made today. Front pages from member newspapers and screenshots of their home pages are featured throughout the SNPA site. SNPA members can see how other papers handle breaking news and graphic design and comment on the pages.
  • Great ideas. The collection of the best ideas – gathered from reader submissions, conferences and roundtables – will help newspaper executives generate new revenue, improve classifieds and content, launch new products and more.
  •  Share your work. A simple-to-use interface makes it possible for newspaper personnel to share page designs, unique photos, successful niche products, great house ads and other examples of their best work with other newspapers.
  •  Virtual trade show. Designed as a handy resource for newspapers, the SNPA Virtual Trade Show is a showcase of products and services offered by a wide range of quality R&D partners. Industry vendors can monitor their listings to assure that this section of the site is both accurate and up-to-date. Vendor information includes email addresses, website links and product info. 
  • Ask the expert. Newspaper executives can submit questions they want answered, and SNPA will work with other newspaper executives and R&D partners to find and publish answers on important industry topics.
  •  My SNPA. Website content can be customized based upon job functions – publisher, editor, ad director, etc.  Appropriate links offer quick access to content that is most relevant to readers.
  • Interactive calendar. SNPA is building the industry’s most complete calendar of events. Industry groups can post information about their programs, conferences, webinars or events – and readers can sort them by state or by date. SNPA’s events are highlighted for the convenience of its members.
  • Member listings. Listings of member publications (print and digital) now feature state-by-state maps, front pages, home pages, key names and contact information.
  • New eBulletin. The weekly SNPA eBulletin also has a new look and design that complements the website. The format is tighter, more visual and is directly tied to the website and its content. It is also easy to read on tablets and mobile phones.  Content from previous eBulletins is also archived on the website for the first time and is searchable using key words.
  •  Comments, ratings and profiles. A new feature allows members to comment and rate many areas of content. Members can also create profiles with photos, bios and lists of their contributions. The Profiles feature makes it possible to meet like-minded and helpful people who work in our industry.

The site also showcases new branding, first unveiled in February at the MegaConference in New Orleans. The new branding features stronger typography and colors, stresses SNPA’s mission and value with the key words “Connect, Learn, Grow.”

The new website, eBulletin, branding and printed materials were created by Creative Circle Media Solutions.  The Creative Circle team was led by Bill Ostendorf, founder and president, and Lynn Rognsvoog, the firm’s lead designer.  Creative Circle has redesigned more than 500 newspapers and websites, including a number of SNPA member newspapers in Richmond, Va.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Decatur, Ala.; Stuart, Fla.; and several McClatchy locations.

The website is powered by Creative Circle’s custom CMS, mediasiteQ, and features QuickAds, one of its new revenue platforms, which provides the functionality for the new Virtual Trade Show. OpenX, an open source product, is used to manage display advertising.

“Many newspapers have cluttered home pages that really aren’t user-friendly,” said designer Bill Ostendorf. “We wanted to set a new standard, with short pages that work great on mobile devices. It also includes dozens of layout options to allow SNPA to best reflect the news of the association.”

Ostendorf and his team created customized functionality and programming to implement the new

“Months of discussions, prototyping, consulting and programming went into producing the new SNPA site,” Ostendorf said.  “We hope to help grow and change over the coming months and years. We know this isn’t where the process stops.”

Ostendorf added that there are more features and concepts already on the drawing board, including new contest submission and judging options.
“The process of working with Creative Circle went beyond rebranding the association and designing a website,” added VanHorn. “It was also about strategy, workloads and tone. We needed a partner who could help us find that balance between doing everything and doing the most important things well.”

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