AOL stockholders are not happy with Tim Armstrong. Ya see, Tim thought that local news coverage via his PATCH plan was just the ticket to hyper-local fame and fortune. Is it possible that Mr. Armstrong never thought much about hyper-local advertisers?
Patch, in theory, makes a lot of sense: low cost, good-enough news coverage for small towns. But like many tech and newsroom geeks fail to recognize, local business operators could give a deuce about putting a digital display ad next to a city council story. Instead, mom & pops want to ring the cash register. The poorly trained; Patch sales reps, were unable to help them do that. All these poor saps can primarily offer is lame CPM-based banner programs.
Patch should have hired local media sales pros for the top management positions. Instead, Tim Armstrong might have given too much sales strategy responsibility…. to newsroom dorks. Not even Ms. Huffington channeling Andrew Breitbart could kick start this hyper local effort.
Attention Newsroom Personnel: prepare for another round of cut-backs. Why? Because your Publisher and Ad Director can’t monetize your excellent content. They also have no idea what the competition is up to. Ask these two nimrods if they’re familiar with:
- The local sales efforts of “Google + Local Pages” and the Google “Get Online Initiative“.
- Reach Local
- Yellow Book 360
- WordPress powered local sites like BrigantineNOW.com
YES! Thanks to WordPress, independent publishers like BrigantineNOW.com are quickly gaining acceptance by local advertisers.
But, hey…… feel free to ignore your local business community. Go right ahead and sign another contract with a CMS vendor that your disgruntled newsroom editor swears is vital to your newspaper’s success.