Checking in With Diane Bobiak
As we gear up for another WCAA conference, we checked in with Diane Bobiak, last year’s recipient of the Charles Horn award, to hear her thoughts on receiving the award and the newspaper industry.
WCAA: What did it feel like to win the award?
Diane Bobiak: Surprised. Fantastic. Humbling. The recipients before me are “titans” in the industry, whom I admire greatly. I was shocked to find myself among them. One never thinks of oneself as being as accomplished as others.
WCAA: What are some interesting things you have been doing with your paper since winning the award?
Bobiak: For specifically classifieds, we have partnered with AdPerfect and will soon launch our new self-serve website, and they will also host our vertical and general merchandise pages online, giving our customers wonderful new features to enhance their ads. AdPerfect gives us a quick and easy way to have classifieds be a part of social network and mobile.
We enhanced both our garage sales and open houses categories by adding spokesmanopenhouses.com and spokesmangaragesales.com where listings are mapped and searchable. We want to be the one stop the local community goes to for these. Whether in print, online and/or mobile — we have it!
WCAA: How are you integrating and adapting for social media and digital technologies?
Bobiak: For the whole advertising department and company: We have branded ourselves as SRmedia instead of just The Spokesman-Review, since we are a full media company offering a huge array of digital and print products. Account Executives have new titles (Multimedia Sales Executives) along with all marketing materials to emphasize this. Even our new subscription offers start with digital and then bundle print.
WCAA: How do you feel about the future of newspapers, and what advice would you give for those who are up and coming in the business?
Bobiak: Wow, the million-dollar question! Diversification. Newspapers are not just a print medium anymore, it’s all about providing RELEVANT content whether news or advertising. Providing content when, where and how they want to receive it.
For advertising, it’s also about finding revenue streams in new and different products. Being able to provide a vast array of products that fit any business’ budget and message. It’s also about hiring people who use all these different mediums, understand it, live in it, and can relay that message to any potential client.
For our readers, it’s relevant, timely content available in the medium they prefer. It’s about engaging your local community.