Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  April 21, 2022

PALMY Ad Contest live, accepting entries through May 20

Thanks to the SCPA Foundation's Smoak Fund, member newspapers receive five free entries

The 2022 PALMY Advertising Contest entry platform is now live and accepting entries through May 20.
The PALMY Ad Contest is a great way to recognize the sales reps, designers and advertisers of our state's newspapers.
The contest period is for ads that ran between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022.
Thanks to the SCPA Foundation's Smoak Fund, SCPA member newspapers' first five entries are free.
All ad directors and publishers should have received an email with log-in info yesterday. 
Awards will be presented in person or mailed to winners in mid-July 2022. On July 13, 2022, the digital awards presentation will be made available on the SCPA website and promoted as a resource for all members to use throughout the year. If you'd like, SCPA staffers will work with winners to have a recognition event on site at your newspaper.
Please let us know if you have any questions. Good luck entering!

SCPA needs a few additional News Contest judges

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to judge the Mississippi Press News Contest. We've had a few members reach out to let us know they can no longer judge their entries. If you can help (or would like to take on another category or two), please let us know

Free virtual ad training series next week

Thanks to support from the SCPA Foundation's Smoak Fund, SCPA members are invited to attend free virtual advertising training next week. Each event, hosted by Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, will be held online daily at 10 a.m. There's still time to register so sign up today!
Monday, April 25: Do you ever wonder how some sales reps are able to bring their A game each and every day? Well wonder no more. We have secured a line-up of sales superstars who are all too happy to share their secrets for advertising sales success with you. 
Tuesday, April 26: Register for this informative session that will demystify the digital sales process. From tips on building print and digital packages, to strategies that get the conversation with your advertisers started, this is sure to be the webinar of your dreams. 
Wednesday, April 27: Join us as a panel of newspaper experts present a variety of tried and true revenue-generating ideas that you can replicate at your publication. From contests and special sections, to sponsorships and out-of-the-box ideas, you will walk away brimming with new ideas to try at your news media organization.   
Thursday, April 28: Hear our experts share useful statistics and strategies to demonstrate the strength of newspaper readership along with meaningful details about reader engagement and the actions taken by consumers as the result of seeing a newspaper ad. 
Friday, April 29: One of the most challenging aspects of being an advertising sales manager these days is finding, building and retaining a talented and dedicated advertising sales team. Join industry professionals as they reveal the ten necessary steps to filling your open positions with top-notch talent. 
Also, SCPA is bringing back in person training  and roundtables starting next month! If you have any suggestions on news or advertising topics or speakers, let us know.

Quote of the Week

"You might not always agree with your newspaper’s opinions, you might not be pleased with every story it produces, but rest assured that without them, readers would be very much in the dark about a good many unethical and even illegal activities taking place among the people who serve them in elected and appointed posts."

"Maps" by Robert Ariail

If you can't get enough of award-winning Camden cartoonist Robert Ariail, enjoy his new strip featured every week in the Charleston City Paper, which has granted us ongoing permission to republish it. Called "Lowcountry," the weekly feature, which is available for syndication in South Carolina newspapers, focuses on politics, human nature, the environment and public policy. More: Contact publisher Andy Brack.

FOI Briefs

Editorial: Why investigative journalism matters — or should — to you

OK, so what is the big deal, you might ask.
To some, it probably appears as if this newspaper is sparring with a state-run agency for the sake of a good fight. And, to be honest, we can see how some people’s perceptions might arrive at that conclusion.
The South Carolina Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe has been a focal point for the Index-Journal and the Charleston-based Post and Courier for just more than a year now.
There have been visits to the campus, numerous Freedom of Information Act requests filed, numerous email exchanges, phone calls and, of course, the stories — including today’s on the front page — that have surfaced from what we and the Post and Courier would term legitimate investigative journalism.
We are not on a witch hunt, we are not chasing Pulitzer Prizes. We are, however, doing what any good community newspaper would do, or should do. We are holding JDLH accountable to the taxpayers who fund that institution. We are asking for transparency when it comes to where and how its employees are spending taxpayer dollars. We are investigating whether they are violating any ethics or procurement laws established by the state for which they operate.
From Index-Journal | Read more
Related: John de la Howe won't explain time estimate for FOIA request (By Matthew Hensley, Index-Journal)

SC jail staff made contact with Richland detainee hours before he died, video shows

The video is grainy. The movements of Richland County detention officers and another staffer inside a cell block stutter through the camera as they bring Lason Butler out of a cell strapped to a gurney and move him to another cell.
The video taken from a surveillance camera inside an Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center cell block was reviewed by The State Media Co., which was not given a copy of the video nor allowed to record it. The video shows the interactions that the detention center jail staff had with the 27-year-old Butler in the hours before he died of dehydration on Feb. 12.
The video gives more context to the death, which the county’s coroner has ruled a homicide. The video gives an indication of Butler’s condition about a half day before his death.
The State reached out to Richland County but did not hear back before Wednesday morning. …
Through an opens record request, The State asked for records from Richland County on Butler’s condition but was denied those document. The county cited that the documents were subject to a “prospective law enforcement proceeding.” Under South Carolina law, a government may withhold public documents if it would “interfere with a prospective law enforcement proceeding.”
The specter of criminal charges is looming after Rutherford’s homicide ruling. While the homicide ruling doesn’t guarantee criminal charges, the ruling could be a step that way. It’s unknown who might be charged, but the Richland County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.
By David Travis Bland, The State | Read more

County rejects, then asks for meeting with town

A week after the Town of Winnsboro’s lawsuit contesting Fairfield County’s solid waste fee became public knowledge, the county wants a meeting.
On April 11, County Councilman Mikel Trapp read a prepared statement that called upon Winnsboro to join Fairfield in forming a joint commission to “study services and areas of cooperation.”
Trapp’s request, however, comes weeks after Fairfield County dismissed a similar meeting request from the Town of Winnsboro. ...
In responding to the town’s request, the county stated the $60 per ton solid waste fee applies to all who utilize the county’s solid waste transfer station, Whitaker added.
Whitaker then complained that Winnsboro didn’t provide an agenda, although state law would require Winnsboro to provide 24-hour notice to the public and an agenda before the meeting could be held.
“The county was not presented with an agenda for the meeting,” Whitaker said. “Therefore the county could’ve walked into the joint public meeting with legal implications without any information or research as to what the town is looking to accomplish.”
Jay Bender, attorney for the S.C. Press Association, said it’s highly unusual for a public official to not receive public notice or an agenda for public meetings.
“Apparently irony is lost on this guy,” Bender said. “Without recognizing the irony of his statement, he exposed the disadvantage the public has with public bodies that don’t follow the law by providing public notice or agendas.”
By Michael Smith, The Voice of Blythewood and Fairfield County | Read more

Industry Briefs

Public Notice Illinois named one of E&P’s 2022 Business Partner Powerhouses

Editor's Note: Public Notice Illinois's platform helps power South Carolina's statewide public notice site,
Public Notice Illinois (PNI) was unique in the fact that the company was nominated for Editor & Publisher’s Business Partner Powerhouse award by 15 state newspaper associations — Alabama Press Association, Georgia Press Association, Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, Missouri Press Association, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Mississippi Press Association, Montana Newspaper Association, Nebraska Press Association, Nevada Press Association, North Carolina Press Association, South Carolina Press Association, Tennessee Press Association, Utah Press Association, Virginia Press Association and Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.
PNI is a public notice website and platform developed by the Illinois Press Association to contain all public notices published in their state’s newspapers. Launched in 2011, it was so effective that, by the end of 2012, a state law went into effect that requires all public notices published in Illinois newspapers to also be posted to one site — PNI. The accessible, easy-to-navigate platform has been shared with and replicated by many other state press associations, with significant impact in those states.
By Robin Blinder, Editor & Publisher |
Read more


By John Foust,
Advertising Trainer

A good idea is worth the wait

When I was a kid and jumped to conclusions about something, my father often said, “Hold your horses, son.” That’s an old saying that means, “Whoa! Stop and think carefully before making a decision.” Dad had a lot of wisdom. He knew that one of the most important lessons he could teach me from an early age was to think before taking action.
There’s talk these days about “deferring judgment” when discussing ideas or hearing the opinions of others. That’s another way of saying “hold your horses.” The concept of delaying judgment has been around for a long time. In fact, it was popularized in the advertising industry by Alex Osborn, a co-founder of the BBDO ad agency. Osborn incorporated judgment deferral in his rules for creativity, because he understood the value of encouraging judgment-free discussions of just-proposed ideas. In his writings, he labeled his system as “brainstorming,” a term which has evolved into a general description of creative thinking. 
It takes patience to defer judgment. We’ve all been in meetings where ideas bounce around the room. Somebody mentions the first glimmer of an ad idea, and before you know it, someone else says, “No, let’s consider this other idea.” As a result, the first idea dies on the spot – and the discussion narrows in focus, often with the most outgoing person in the room taking center stage. That’s not good for authentic brainstorming. And it’s not good for the person whose idea was just suppressed. Read more

Upcoming Events

As a service to its member newspapers, SCPA lists employment opportunities on our site upon request. There is no charge for this service to SCPA member newspapers. Please email openings to Kassidy Wright.
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