AAN Board Votes on Surplus

Marketing, research, convention supported

The AAN Board of Directors and Marketing Committee met October 5-6 in Madison, Wisc. , to sample squeaky cheese curds, farmers’ markets, jazz and cherry festivities and conduct some annual business.

Around a gourd-bedecked table, the AAN Board voted unanimously to allocate $100,000 of the association’s FY01 surplus in the following manner:

• $22,000 was set aside for one free registration for each member paper to the 2002 convention in Madison.

• $8,000 was allocated for a quarterly Business Trends Survey, to provide participating publishers with a quarterly benchmark against which to measure their papers’ performance.

• $70,000 will be spent on marketing, which will include some combination of sales training and marketing collateral materials; participation in trade shows hosted by recruitment professionals, auto dealers and recorded music retailers; and advertisements in media-planning reference guides.

“We are very excited about these new programs and are confident that they will provide real value to all AAN members,” says AAN President Russ Martineau.

The board also approved:

A “big-box project” to collect as much information as possible on the marketing and media-buying operations of big-box retailers such as Target and Home Depot, and other “category-killer” retailers that alternative newsweeklies traditionally have trouble breaking into.

An editorial experts resource list, that is, a list of AAN editors and reporters who have expertise in certain areas (such as corrections, land-use, etc.), and who are willing to help other AAN editors and reporters by answering questions and providing background information on such subjects. This list could double as an AAN “speakers bureau,” from which we could promote AAN “experts” to do press interviews and appear before important audiences.

A project to develop a written history of AAN and the alternative press.

Through AAN News and other means of communication, AAN will provide more information on each of these initiatives in the coming weeks.

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