NAM Relevance Project rolls out campaign to help newspapers enhance sales efforts

A year after forming the Relevance Project, the Newspaper Association Managers (NAM) has launched a campaign with the goal to help newspapers and state press association-owned ad services rebrand and position themselves for relevance in a digital world. Called Revenue Resource 2020, a reserve of sales promotions is available for news publishers to download free at The initiative is an effort to assist them in helping businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue Resource 2020, which launched in September, includes a total of 18 pieces designed by Metro Creative Graphics. Three pieces are sales fliers that ad reps can send to local businesses to demonstrate the newspaper is excited to help with reopening, under the banner of “All Together Now.” The remaining 15 pieces are calls to action featuring data collected by Coda Ventures about the power of newspapers with the goal to motivate consumers to buy from newspaper advertisers in various categories such as grocery or auto. Additionally, there are several handouts that cover best practices and tips for things like winning back advertisers or growing an emailing list.

“The overall goal was being practical in what we offered,” Thomas Silvestri, executive director of the Relevance Project, said. “With everybody’s hair on fire, the last thing (news publishers) needed to deal with was a very complicated set of instructions, multiple pieces that are difficult to use and anything that would distract them from gathering revenue.”

Revenue Resource 2020 content was influenced by NAM’s knowledge of what is doing well and what is needed for news publishers. For instance, people are turning to education services due to the pandemic, thus there is a piece that targets these advertisers. The Coda Ventures research allowed them to further refine the reserve, Silvestri explained.

When E&P spoke with Silvestri and NAM president Steve Nixon, the campaign had only launched a couple weeks prior, so they could not share the exact number of downloads it had generated. However, Silvestri shared that he was already hearing from advertising or revenue directors at various associations and the feedback was positive. He also shared that these professionals are hungry for more useful data and tools to help them create marketing solutions.

Silvestri said the next step is to work with a NAM committee made up of executive directors and revenue/advertising directors to discuss future projects or campaigns. He anticipates that the next area of focus will help with the branding of the advertising agencies working with each association.

“We hear the publishers’ need for revenue, revenue, revenue,” Nixon said. “So, we’re combining research, resilience and rallying calls in one emerging online resource that’s free to all newspapers. We think that’s a great definition of being relevant to our colleagues.”

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