My digital marketing team and I at tronc, Inc. — parent company of the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun, and several other notable media brands — were honoured to be asked by INMA to author periodic blog posts. In the coming months, we’ll share our learnings as we acquire, retain, and engage subscribers and increase consumer digital revenue.

Discussing challenges and opportunities with others in the industry helps move everyone forward.
Discussing challenges and opportunities with others in the industry helps move everyone forward.

For our inaugural post, I wanted to reinforce what I think is the most important resource in our industry for increasing our results: each other. Not a week goes by when I’m not in touch with one, if not several, industry peers to share best practices. Within our companies, we are all trying so many approaches and seeking breakthrough results so fervently that it’s imperative we look outside for advice — and not waste time and money reinventing the wheel.

Several current projects on my team’s roadmap were inspired by colleagues in our industry, including:

  • A dynamic paywall stimulated by The Wall Street Journal’s presentation at last year’s INMA World Congress.
  • A newsletter enrollment programme shared by the Boston Globe in a recent INMA Webinar.
  • Apple Pay integration that The New York Times has elegantly woven into its mobile experience.

Meanwhile, we’re conceiving innovative acquisition marketing techniques, at-risk models, automated subscriber engagement processes, new membership programme benefits and many other initiatives we’re excited to share with all of you in future blog posts. We also hope they inspire your next experiment.

 Certainly, INMA events are a great place for networking. But don’t wait for World Congress — grab the bull by the horns today by forging alliances with your counterparts at other companies. Call someone you used to work with. Search on LinkedIn for your title at a company you admire and e-mail that person. Ask for referrals — your co-workers know people to whom you should be introduced. Create a Slack channel where groups of people who do your job elsewhere can chat and collaborate.

Or you can do what I did: Find a well-connected buddy in the industry, pick a date for a meetup, and send some invitations. Thanks to this method, 20 digital subscription gurus from 11 major U.S. publications spent an entire day together last October in a conference room discussing highly relevant challenges and opportunities. I have 18 pages of notes to prove it!

No matter what networking approach you take or what part of the business you’re minding, I bet you’ll come back to your team with winning strategies that delight bosses, subscribers, and shareholders.