My View: Our future is bright here at the Sierra Sun-Bonanza
I firmly believe that the future for media is bright. We have a lot of work, and challenges, ahead. But it is the people, both in our company and in our communities, who will carry us forward.
As we look to our future and to the next 20 years, we must think about how we can better serve our people and how we can better work with our communities to move forward.
As a company, we are focused on working to make sure we are moving to where we need to be. As we look at the changing landscape of the media world, we know we must continue to change and continue to improve.
This takes many forms, from improving our online and digital presence, to improving the content and information you find in our pages each print edition. We must continue to improve.
We live on the understanding that content is king. Without content that people want to read, watch and consume, we are nothing more than websites and pages of paper. Our goal is pretty simple, to provide content of interest to all our readers — locals, visitors and second homeowners. If we can do this, then we believe that we have a bright future.
It is tempting for a company to focus on what has worked in the past. The reality is that in today’s world, the future is uncertain. With technology moving forward at a breakneck speed, uncertain political futures for our nation, and global economic uncertainty, it all conspires to leave our future shrouded in a dense fog. Is this any different than any other time in history? Not really, but it is our time right now, which makes it a priority.
For the Sierra Sun and North Lake Bonanza, as with any business, we need to make sure we have the ability to pay our staff and cover our overhead, all while providing the best possible content (for free), as well as top-notch marketing solutions for our readers and clients.
Advertising is how we help to cover those costs. Marketing is more than just placing an ad in the paper. We believe in working with our clients to offer marketing solutions that work and deliver the results that our customers need to be successful. As a local media company, we do best when our community does best.
We are known as a newspaper. This is both a blessing and a curse. As a newspaper, we carry with us the respect and history of an industry that has covered the news and provided information for hundreds of years.
The challenge for all us in this industry is that our future is changing. We are not able to rest on our laurels and wait for the internet to die. We tried that already. What we must do, and hopefully are doing, is use new storytelling tools and new ways to reach readers, to help to drive our industry into the future.
From a content perspective, that means more video, more interactive content, more content shared over social media and other digital delivery tools, while maintaining the quality that we are known to produce.
Click bait is not the answer. Quality content is.
From a business side, it means being innovative in our advertising solutions, moving our teams beyond the traditional mindset of “build it and dollars will follow.”
We must be proactive and must work with our local businesses to help grow and to help sort through the spider web of new media solutions that are all competing for their attention.
Here at the Sun-Bonanza, we offer products and tools that truly put us in the ranks of a national digital media company. From tools that allow us to target online advertising based on our customers’ target audience; that use data driven from search keywords, sites visited, locations and likes and dislikes; and that allow us to help local businesses to manage their online reputation and monitor all of the mentions and conversations regarding their business, we offer a full suite of capabilities for our clients.
At last count, we offer over 40 different digital marketing tools, five regular print products around the Tahoe-Truckee region, and literally dozens of magazines and print marketing options throughout the Tahoe and Northern Nevada region — all of which our local staff can use to help our local businesses advertise.
Our future is bright. As long as we continue to adapt and to make the best us of all of the tools that we have available to us, we will be able to grow and improve. I believe that we can grow and that we will see success as we move into the future.
Ben Rogers is the co-general manager and advertising director of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. He can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.