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Welcome to the official blog of the British Columbia and Yukon Community Newspapers Association (BCYCNA).

We look forward to sharing stories from across our network of news providers, as well as articles, links, and announcements from industry friends everywhere. Be sure to check this space often for BCYCNA updates, and to offer your feedback on community newspapers!

Don’t forget about Bridge – One of Adobe’s most useful tools

Published on September 8, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

Screen shot 2014-09-08 at 11.07.23 AM

Checking my email has produced better than usual results this morning. Besides looking over questions from readers and browsing through the more than 2,000 spam messages I receive on an average morning, I’ve enjoyed seeing responses coming in from a survey that I posted late yesterday. As newspaper associations and groups throughout North America have begun sending requests to their  of newspaper publishers and managers to complete the survey, responses are arriving at the rate of one to two per minute this morning.

Survey questions relate to advertising, social media, industry evolution, technology and more. If you haven’t completed the survey, visit http://ow.ly/B5CoF to share your responses.

 

Adobe Bridge: The most underused tool in Adobe’s Creative Suite/Cloud

I have to admit: I’m as much to blame as anyone. Honestly, I figured everyone was already using Adobe Bridge, so I’ve not put  much effort into teaching Bridge tools at workshops and classes over the past few years.

Longtime photo editors remember the Browser from versions of Photoshop prior to CS2. Since then, Bridge has been included in all Creative Suite/Cloud packages and also with stand-alone Adobe Photoshop.

Slimp_ImageProcessor

The Image Processor allows Bridge users to convert files and run Photoshop Actions on large groups of images at one time.

So why am I bringing up the Bridge now? After recent trips to train small and large newspapers in several states, I noticed that most designers and photo editors rarely, if ever, use the Bridge. As a result, I added a Bridge class in a day long training session for a large paper in California in September, and the response was pretty surprising. Almost everything I taught was new to everyone in the group.

 

What is Adobe Bridge?

First and foremost, Adobe Bridge is a digital asset management application. It keeps track of your files, whether they are photos, PDFs or whatever and makes them easy to find and display intuitively.

The most common use for Bridge is simply finding files. Click on a folder or drive and see thumbnails of all the files in that location. I’ve found the Bridge most useful for browsing pictures on a camera card and quickly deciding which to keep and which to discard. Not only can you search files by name, users can find files using metadata. Metadata is a set of standardized information about a file, including author, resolution, color space, copyright, and keywords applied to it. For example, most digital cameras attach some basic information to an image file, such as height, width, file format and time the image was taken. These are all included in the metadata.

When I visited with Jean Matua, Minnesota publisher, three years ago, she asked how we could create a photo archive that would enable her staff to easily pull up any image from the past. We did that using Adobe Bridge. By adding keywords into the metadata of each image, a process that takes just a moment, the pics can be found in a matter of seconds with a simple search in the future.

Slimp_BatRen

Users can select “Batch Rename” in Adobe Bridge to move, copy and rename groups of photos from one place to another.

 

I’ve used a variety of Bridge tools since Photoshop added the Browser way back in March 2002. My favorite has been the “Batch Rename” feature, which allows me to take all – or any selected – images on a camera card and move or copy them to a new location with the name of my choice. This is incredibly valuable, as it allows me to take all 200 of those photos taken at the high school game and place them in a designated folder with the names “2014Football-001,” “2014Football-002,” etc.

The Image Processor is another valuable tool in the Bridge. With it, I can select a folder full of images and convert them to JPG, TIF or PSD format with the click of a button. Even better, the Image Processor allows me to run Photoshop Actions on all images in a folder at once, without leaving the Bridge.

I’d almost forgotten how easy it is to create web galleries using the Bridge. By simply selecting a folder or group of images, then clicking a few buttons, I have a complete gallery of images, in whatever format I choose, ready to upload to an FTP site. This means a user can literally create a Web page catalog of hundreds of photos, which can be clicked and enlarged on the screen, in a matter of seconds.

There’s more to Bridge. Edits made through Camera RAW are actually non-destructive. The settings are saved in an external file instead of embedded into the image. Sure, you can edit your RAW images in Photoshop, but working in Camera RAW in the Bridge is quicker.

Users can create image catalogs, assign copyright messages, export files for social media and more. Needless to say, Adobe Bridge is a valuable tool in any designer or photo editor’s arsenal.

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The Challenge of Client Engagement

Published on September 3, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

By John Foust

Raleigh, NC

These days, there’s a lot of talk about employee engagement. According to Gallup research, approximately 30 percent of employees in the US and Canada are fully engaged in their jobs; their organizations have won their heads and their hearts, and they are passionate about their work. On the other hand, roughly 50 percent of employees are not engaged; they are essentially going through the motions in jobs they see as unfulfilling and not using their talents. Even worse, about 20 percent are actively disengaged; they hate their jobs and spread their bitterness by complaining to coworkers, and along the way, they may even try to undermine the operation.

Although there are a number of reasons for these abysmal engagement numbers, the number one cause is an employee’s relationship with his or her manager. And the number one symptom of disengagement is turnover. Wise organizations – and wise managers – are working hard to create engaging environments and reduce employee dissatisfaction.

In the media industry, smart advertising managers are looking at another kind of engagement – customer engagement. They are asking, “What do our advertisers think of the way we manage our relationships with them? How many of them are excited about running with us? How many are running by rote? And how many are advertising with us, but resent it?

How does this impact the churn – or the advertiser turnover – rate? Look at it from the advertisers’ point of view. If a paper’s contact with them is always about selling something or asking for money, the relationship is on thin ice. If you were to measure your accounts’ engagement rate, would you find similar numbers? Out of every ten advertisers, do you have three big fans, five passive participants and two vocal complainers?

While this is not a problem that can be solved overnight, here are some thoughts which may be springboards for ideas you can use at your paper:

1. Make advertisers part of the creative process. Too many sales people forget this important principle. Listen to their ideas, before you present yours.

2. Attend special events hosted or promoted by your advertisers. Show them that you’re engaged in their activities and interests.

3. Host special events for advertisers. Use these occasions to express appreciation for their business and provide them with networking opportunities.

4. Host a focus group of key advertisers. This is a good way to explore how your paper can better serve your business community. You can also include discussions on possible changes in your products and services. Give them a voice in the decision process.

5. Speak at service clubs in your area. Take promotional material, but don’t make sales pitches. Talk about the role of journalism in your community.

6. Host career days for high school and college students. Don’t say, “Sit in the corner and watch us do our jobs.” Make it a worthwhile experience.

7. Adopt a local nonprofit agency each year. Solicit ideas from your advertisers, regarding which agency to select. Run articles to promote the organization’s fundraising and volunteer efforts.

COPYRIGHT LINE

(c) Copyright 2014 by John Foust. All rights reserved.

CREDIT LINE

John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information: john@johnfoust.com

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Municipal Election Advertising Guidelines

Published on August 20, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

electionsbc

With municipal elections coming up this Fall, the BCYCNA would like to share with you the recently-released Local Elections Campaign Financing Act from Elections BC.

In short, the rules for media outlets have not really changed; you can take as many ads as you want! The onus, and changes, are relevant for the candidates, not for the media. Just do ensure that you charge the same rate for all candidates.

The full document can be found here: ElectionsBC-Local Elections Campaign Financing Act

For now, Elections BC’s Communications department would like to specifically draw your attention to sections 44 and 45, below.

Local Elections Campaign Financing Act

Part 5 — Transparency Requirements for Local Elections and Assent Voting

Division 1 — Sponsorship of Election Advertising and Assent Voting Advertising

Advertising must include sponsorship information

44
(1) Subject to any applicable regulations, an individual or organization must not sponsor
election advertising or assent voting advertising, or transmit such advertising to the public, unless the advertising

(a)  identifies,

i.         in the case of advertising sponsored by a candidate or elector organization as part of the candidate’s or elector organization’s campaign, the name of the financial agent, or

ii.         in any other case, the name of the sponsor,

(b)  indicates that it was authorized by the identified financial agent or sponsor,

(c)   gives a telephone number, email address or mailing address at which the financial agent or sponsor may be contacted regarding the advertising,

(d)  if applicable, indicates that the sponsor is a registered third party sponsor or assent voting advertising sponsor under this Act, and

(e)  meets any other requirements established by regulation.

(2) If information is required to be provided under subsection (1),

(a)  any telephone number given must have a British Columbia area code,

(b)  any mailing address given must be within British Columbia, and

(c)   the sponsor must make available an individual to be responsible for answering questions from individuals who are directed to the telephone number, email address or mailing address.

(3) The information required under subsection (1) must be provided

(a)  in English or in a manner that is understandable to readers of English, and

(b)  if all or part of the election advertising is in a language other than English, in the other language or in a manner that is understandable to readers of that other language.

(4) For certainty, in the case of advertising that is sponsored in combination by multiple sponsors, the requirements of this section apply in relation to each sponsor.

(5) An individual or organization that contravenes this section commits an offence.

Restrictions on general voting day advertising

45

(1) An individual or organization must not sponsor or agree to sponsor election
advertising or non-election assent voting advertising that is or is to be transmitted to the public on general voting day, whether the transmission is within British Columbia or outside British Columbia.

(2) An individual or organization must not transmit election advertising or non-election assent voting advertising to the public on general voting day.

(3) Subject to section 153 (4) [prohibition on certain activities within 100 metres of voting proceedings on general voting day] of the Local Government Act and section 125 (4) of the Vancouver Charter, subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not apply in respect of the following election advertising or non-election assent voting advertising:

(a)  communication on the internet, if the communication was transmitted to the public on the internet before general voting day and was not changed before the close of general voting;

(b)  communication by means of signs, posters or banners;

(c)   communication by the distribution of pamphlets;

(d)  any other election advertising or non-election assent voting advertising prescribed by regulation.

(4) An individual or organization that contravenes this section commits an offence.

 

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Ma Murray Awards 2015

Published on August 20, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

2015-Ma-logo

It may not be on your radar yet, but perhaps it should be. The 2015 Ma Murray Awards Gala takes place on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the River Rock Casino Resort. But the contest entry period will open up in just a couple of months! So now is a great time to start thinking about some of the great work you’ve already published in 2014, and how you can ensure that your paper and your staff are among the finalists celebrated at next year’s event.

In this month’s newsletter, we’d like to focus on some of the ways you can maximize your chances of bringing home one of the coveted statues to display in your paper’s front office.

The BCYCNA Awards Gala Committee surveyed the last few years of entries and came up with a list of your “Best Odds” categories. Check it out here.

If you need a reminder of all the award categories, here is a current list. Please note that this list may be updated in the coming months.

And finally, the staff in the BCYCNA office put together a step-by-step guide on how to create a year-round electronic Scrapbook of entries. This is a new feature that lets you save your most award-worthy work directly to the online contest system site. Save yourself the trouble of rushing around looking for that elusive Feature Series you wrote, or that really powerful photo you caught… if only you could remember which issue it ran in… With this system you can upload it right to your new online scrapbook and it will be there waiting for you when it’s time to compile your entries. Read more here.

We always welcome your feedback and suggestions, and could always use new contacts for Award Sponsors, so if you have ideas, please feel free to call or email the BCYCNA office at any time.

Let’s make 2015 the best Ma Murray Awards Gala ever!

 

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Free Software – Readers Send Questions to Kevin For Honest Answers

Published on August 6, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

So much to write about, so little space. That’s my dilemma this morning.

I’ve had people writing and calling, wanting my thoughts concerning some quotes from well known industry “experts” about changes at Gannett and Scripps. Readers have been asking what I think about The Times-Picayune adding two print delivery days – that’s back up to five days a week delivery – plus returning to a full broadsheet page. Our industry must be in a free-fall. Or is it?

My dilemma doesn’t revolve around those things, however. I promised to pen a question/answer column this month and I keep my promises. I might have to write a second column later, but for now here are a few questions I’ve received over the past few weeks from readers:

Q: From Heidi, in Iowa:

Our publisher suggested I email you with an InDesign question that we have. Occasionally we will receive pre-built ads in pdf format that were built in InDesign. When we pull the PDF onto our pages in InDesign and the PDF the page to send to press sometimes a white box will appear on the ad or part of the art will be whited out.  Do you know what could be causing this?

 

INT Half Vert.indd

A: I still get asked about these white lines all the time, Heidi. Karen wrote a couple of days after you, putting it like this: “What causes the white lines in a PDF?  This inquiring mind wants to know.  I got one from a client this morning and it was loaded with them.”

These white lines come during the creation side of the PDF process. So there’s not a lot you can do to keep it from happening, other than hoping your advertiser stops sending you PDF files with white lines. I have a couple of pieces of good news for you, though.

First, these lines are due to issues with transparency. Those issues have decreased over time and are much less common than they were a few years ago. As your advertisers upgrade their software, this will happen less often. Second, these lines don’t print most of the time. They are “visual elements” that don’t exist when printed.

Should it still concern you that you have lines on your page, there are a few fixes on your end. One of the easiest is to turn off the “Smooth Line Art” option in Acrobat. A second fix is to open the PDF file in Photoshop at a high resolution (600 or higher) and save the file from there.

Slimp_Aug1

Firefox and Gimp are examples of quality open source software. Still, there’s nothing to replace inDesign, Quark, or Acrobat.

 

Q: From Jim, in Chicago:

I’ve been very happy with our NewEdit/Quark newsroom pagination set up. However, in the process of purchasing new hardware and software I learned that Baseview had priced themselves  out of our market. So we are now about to use In Copy/In Design. (We’ve purchased and installed the new Macs, and shortly will begin to switch over). Any suggestions, comments and advice you can offer in this process would be greatly appreciated.

A: First, let me congratulate you on making the move to new hardware and software. You should see a tremendous increase in productivity, after a few days of growing pains while you learn the new software.

The best advice I can give to you is to have an expert trainer come in to work with your staff for two days. Learning InDesign and InCopy is simple, with good training. Without it, I’ve seen staffs work at a snail’s pace for months and years, never really getting a grasp on how to use the software efficiently. Good trainers pay for themselves in no time.

Q: From Carrie in North Carolina: My publisher asked me to ask you if there is any open source software, in place of Adobe and Quark products, available that would work to produce our publications. So I’m asking. Is there?

A: No, Carrie. There isn’t. Sure, you could use Gimp to replace Photoshop, but anything beyond that would require a significant investment in time. There are many good open source apps out there, including OpenOffice, Inkscape and Gimp. But there is a reason Adobe and Quark products aren’t cheap. If you want to create a quality publication, investing in quality hardware and software is a necessity.

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Read All About It!

Published on July 23, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

BCYCNA President’s note: This majority of this column by Vernon Morning Star editor Glenn Mitchell appeared in his paper for its 26th anniversary. Glenn is a long-time community newspaper editor and a respected person in our industry. I felt his comments here were relevant to our industry and our membership. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. I would also love to hear your feedback on this column or any issue you feel is important to our association.   

Chuck Bennett

chuckbennett@blackpress.ca

 

Read All About It

By Glenn Mitchell

Morning Star Editor

On this occasion of The Morning Star’s 26th anniversary I have to share a story of how much has changed in the newspaper industry.

Actually I’m going to go way back to when I was a youngster in Vernon and delivering The Vancouver Sun on my green Mustang bike to the 25 or 30 people spread out over East Hill and the BX.

You see The Sun was an afternoon paper in Vancouver in the ‘70s (basically no such thing as an afternoon paper anymore) and then it was trucked up to the Interior where it became a morning paper, as in the next day’s paper. So, I got up early every day, six days a week, to deliver yesterday’s news to my customers (which meant I had to deliver on holidays like Christmas because it was the Christmas Eve paper etc.).

Although daily newspapers were bigger then and sometimes the only source of national and international news, can you imagine people paying for that service today? When if it isn’t on the Web in 15 minutes or less it’s no longer considered ‘breaking news.’ I might be exaggerating slightly.

My point is, thanks to technology, everything’s a lot faster these days and the expectations on most industries aren’t far behind and we do our best to fulfill our duties online and in print best we can.

We still get the news to the community, we just do it in a variety of ways, from newsprint to the Web, to Twitter to Facebook to…..

And thanks to digital technology we can do that better, and faster of course, than ever before. I remember when The Morning Star started, the only way we could publish colour photos in the paper was to get separations done in Kelowna, which was at least a two-day turnaround, and which also meant front page photos were planned and not exactly timely or newsworthy.

However, what hasn’t changed around here are some of the talented people who still work very hard to bring an award-winning newspaper to our North Okanagan readers three times a week. I still like the paper product the best and I know I’m not alone (check any bulletin board at a school or orthodontist office near you, or even your favourite coffee shop) – long live newspapers.

Creative consultant Deb Moore and I just celebrated 25 years with Black Press and senior reporter Richard Rolke and marketing consultant Lynnaya Filbrandt are on the verge of their silver anniversaries here at The Morning Star.

It’s dedication and experience like this, and represented by so many others here at the paper and the press plant, that helps us to keep on top of things around these parts and brings our readers a community newspaper that we hope everyone appreciates.

Some think that newspapers will one day be the victims of the Internet, kind of like video rental outlets or record stores, but the comparisons are not valid for various reasons (and, personally I’m cheering on the recent revival of the vinyl record as I still have all mine from my youth and play them regularly, and get this, my 19-year-old son is buying them and playing them too).

No. 1, the community newspaper gets delivered to your door, often for free, along with your favourite retail outlet’s weekly flyer, in a nice, neat package that’s portable, transferable to everyone in the house, and entirely recyclable (no batteries or plug-in required).

How great a deal is that? What comes to your door these days, for free? The mail, you say, not for long.

Certainly the Web has had a profound impact on newspapers, especially dailies, and is an important component, as is Facebook and Twitter and whatever else comes down the pike in the future, in communicating with our readers and offering value to our advertisers.

They say the printing press was the most important invention of the last millennium, and it’s very likely the Internet (in some shape or form) will have a similar impact on this one.

And guess what? We get to utilize these two modern miracles on a daily basis as we reach out and communicate with our communities and tell their stories via print, photographs, videos, Website, Facebook…..

How cool is that? The best of the old and the best of the new combined into one vital vehicle that’s here to record history on the run as well as help lead our respective communities into the ever-changing future.

So thanks to all the readers and advertisers for their incredible support over the years and here’s to enjoying whatever the future, technologically and otherwise, may bring our way in the North Okanagan and throughout British Columbia.

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Canada’s Anti-Spam Laws and How They Affect You

Published on July 23, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

spam interdit

By now, you have probably heard of the Canadian Anti-Spam law (CASL) that came into effect earlier this month. In a nutshell, this law seriously prohibits your ability to send emails to your readers and followers.

In order to send any commercial emails to anyone, you need to have their express consent. This means that your readers must willingly check off a box or click a button that says they want to receive emails from your business in the future. This affects ALL business emails, even if you aren’t trying to sell something.

However, for the next three years, you can still send emails to those who have given implied consent before July 1st 2014. Any contacts acquired after July 1st, 2014 will have a two-year grace period.

Implied consent includes anyone who:

  • Has bought something from your company in the past two years
  • Has requested information from you in the past two years
  • Has given you their information without restriction and the emails you send them are relevant to their business

This law has hit every business across Canada, and many are scrambling to figure out how they can rebuild their lists. Any organization with a clean list will be in a much stronger position than before.

Newspapers are in a unique position of being able to rebuild their list in a way that many other companies do not have access to: print advertising. Here’s an example of copy you could use for an advertisement:

“Like our articles? Send us an email at info@thisnewspaper.com with the subject ‘Subscribe me!’ for a chance to win a $500 VISA gift card and get all the latest news sent to your inbox!”

You don’t have to include a reward, but we recommend it. A message as simple as this is enough to qualify as express consent. The sooner you act, the sooner you can start growing your list and your leads from scratch.

For more information about CASL, click here.

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Advertising’s Dirty Little Secret

Published on July 7, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

By John Foust

Raleigh, NC

Advertising has a dirty little secret. Most ad managers know it, but don’t like to bring up the subject in staff meetings. Most sales people know it, but wouldn’t dare mention it in sales presentations. And most advertisers know about it, even though it rarely figures into their marketing plans.

What is this dirty little secret? Ad churn. When an ad campaign doesn’t work – or falls short of expectations – the advertiser is likely to pull out of the paper. And the sales person is faced with the challenge of finding a replacement for that lost revenue.

It’s all about expectations. In their eagerness to close the deal, sales people have a tendency to oversell the possibility of making their prospects’ phones and cash registers ring. “Just run some ads,” they say, “and you’ll expand your customer base and increase sales.” But once the ads start running, the new advertiser’s focus shifts from words (what the sales person said) to results (what the ads actually do). If the ads don’t meet expectations, other media choices become more enticing.

In my opinion, disgruntled advertisers are the primary prospects for new media outlets. If they’re unhappy with Publication A, they’ll readily consider Publication B.

Churn is expensive. I’ve heard that the costs of replacing a lost customer can be as high as ten times more than the cost of keeping an existing client. Losing one advertiser can hurt, but losing a number of advertisers can be devastating.

The days of John Wanamaker are long gone. Wanamaker, the marketing pioneer who opened Philadelphia’s first department store in 1896, famously said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Today we have Pay-Per-Click online advertising (PPC), in which advertising charges are based on response numbers.

The growth of PPC advertising is pressuring traditional media to produce measurable results for advertisers. That’s why it is increasingly important to manage expectations. Simply running ads is not enough. Those ads have to work.

There are essentially two types of advertising: image ads and response ads. Image ads are designed to build recognition and response ads are intended to generate immediate results. Unfortunately, some advertisers think that “putting their name out there” in image ads will produce customers right away. That’s possible, but not likely. When new customers don’t flood in, an advertiser might jump ship and run ads elsewhere.

On the other hand, response ads can give advertisers an immediate reading on results. The key is to make the right offer. Instead of saying, “here’s a whiz-bang benefit of using our widget,” say “here’s why you should buy our widget today.

Although image ads and response ads play different roles, both are important. Brand recognition is a good thing. And immediate response is a good thing, too.

Churn is a big concern in the advertising world. Perhaps it’s time for those ad managers who have been saying, “Sell ads” to start saying, “Sell ads that work.”

(c) Copyright 2014 by John Foust. All rights reserved.

John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. Email for information: john@johnfoust.com.

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The Adobe Cloud. Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Published on July 3, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

Boxes

Article by Kevin Slimp

I’ve written a couple of columns related to the Adobe Cloud. Still, I’m stopped several times at every speaking event by publishers wanting to know if they should upgrade.

CS6 suites are available for individual purchase via electronic software download on Adobe.com. Customers must pay with a credit card and will receive an individual serial number and download. To upgrade, buyers must already have a CS5 or 5.5 license.

Unless your paper needs to purchase a CS6 version of InDesign to match other users in the workflow, it really doesn’t make financial sense to purchase CS6 instead of subscribing to the Adobe Cloud.  Here’s my thinking:

- To purchase a full version of Creative Suite 6 Design Standard, which includes InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat, the cost is $1,299. Adobe claims an upgrade is available from CS5, but after 30 minutes, I’ve still not been able to find it on the Adobe.com site. Versions before CS5 are not upgradable.

- The cost of an individual license of InDesign CS6 is $699.

- As of this writing, Adobe is offering a promotional price of $29.99 per month for a subscription to Adobe Cloud, which includes any software newspapers might use, including InDesign, Photoshop, Muse, Illustrator, InCopy, Acrobat and dozens of other titles.

- A subscription for an individual application, such as InDesign, is $19.99 per month.

- Files from InDesign CC (Creative Cloud) can be saved so they can be opened in previous versions of InDesign.

How does this all pan out? Users can subscribe to InDes

ign CC for three years for the price of purchasing a copy of InDesign CS6. Three years is probably about the time you’d give in and subscribe to the Cloud anyway, if not sooner.

For $30 per month, anyone with CS3 or higher versions of the Creative Suite can upgrade to Creative Cloud for the next year. So for $360, you would have access to just about everything Adobe offers for twelve months.

Let’s assume the price will go up to $50 per month after a year. That adds up to $1,560 over the next three years for access to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud collection. If you purchase just Adobe InDesign (as an individual subscription) over the next three years, your cost (at $20 per month) would be about the same as purchasing InDesign CS6 today.

I know it’s confusing. But I don’t get a dime from Adobe, so I have no reason to mislead you. Here’s my official advice. Take it for what it’s worth.

Oklahoma

1. If you have Adobe CS6 and have no reason to make additional purchases (no new computers being added to the mix), then keep what you have and look into an upgrade in a year or two.

2. If you have CS5 or 5.5, consider upgrading to the $30 per month plan (for the entire CC suite) or $20 (for InDesign only), but don’t stress about it.

3. If you have CS3 or 4, go ahead and subscribe to the Creative Cloud while they are offering the $30 per month introductory pricing.

4. If you have Adobe software prior to CS3, give serious consideration to upgrading to the Creative Cloud. One of the risks of waiting too long to upgrade is that it becomes

more expensive to get software when you finally have to have it. At the moment, you should be able to subscribe to the Cloud for $50 per month (normally $70 per month).

If you use QuarkXPress, that’s a “whole ’nuther” issue. Let’s leave that for another column. For the moment, that should give you enough information to begin dealing with a potential upgrade.

One more thing: make sure your hardware can handle a software upgrade. Most of us already have hardware that can handle Adobe Creative Cloud, but be sure to check before making a purchase.

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What The Newspaper Trends Of 2014 Mean For The Industry’s Future

Published on June 24, 2014, by in Uncategorized.

By Caroline Little, NAA president & CEO

The newspaper industry has transformed in a way that we could not have imagined just a decade ago.

Across the globe, there is a renewed energy to innovate, strategize, and meet these growing opportunities and challenges. That was the theme of the World Newspapers Congress, which I had the pleasure of speaking earlier this month, and it rings very true for our industry in America.

We are already halfway through 2014. From the creative solutions and trends I am seeing, we are in an excellent position to further evolve and thrive for the rest of this year and far beyond.

Newspapers continue to command a huge audience and remain the most-trusted source of news and information. While that will not change, there has been a key shift in the way information is delivered and audience is engaged. The World Editors Forum revealed their Top 10 Trends in 2014 report and it is intriguing to explore the way those trends will impact our business.

The importance and influence of data and analytics on every part of our industry cannot be underestimated. It is only going to grow. Much has been made of recent ventures in data-focused journalism, such as statistics and data-driven predictions that will figure more and more heavily in mainstream journalism. Publishers and journalists across the country are now relying on hard metrics to assess the readership and engagement of a given story, and the more we do so, the more successful we will be as we understand what interests  drive our unique audiences and tailor our offerings accordingly.

As I’ve noted before, data plays a critical role in our increasingly personalized world. The days of a one-size-fits-all solution to news are ending, and newspapers are in a strong position to capitalize. We have enormous amounts of data at our disposal to deliver a customized news experience. The opportunity lies in analyzing and leveraging that data to create and strengthen our products for consumers and advertisers.

As we do this, we will see advertisers follow. The advertising landscape has likewise changed dramatically, as consumers now choose whether or not they view ads and insist on relevant, personalized material. Advertisers are looking for precisely targeted audiences, and newspapers’ data on user engagement and experiences will enable them to deliver exactly that.

Another trend that will significantly shape our industry is thinking about mobile strategy first, instead of it being tacked on as an after-thought. Excellent video products have become critical storytelling vehicles for newspapers, with the possibility that our quick, agile videos – perfect for mobile platforms – can challenge traditional broadcasting. Our focus in video over the next few months should focus on refining individual formulas for creating successful videos and integrating them even better with our other content offerings.

The ways in which journalists report the news may be changing but the essence of a free press is not, despite being challenged on multiple fronts around the world. We have seen journalists in Venezuela and Hungary threatened with violence or had information suppressed in the past couple of months. Here in the United States, New York Times reporter James Risen could face stiff fines or jail time for not sharing confidential sources, which shows why we need a federal shield law for reporters to be able to covering our government without fear of prosecution.

Newspapers are at the forefront of researching and planning for the explosion of wearable tech, developing and refining the types of journalism that will be most successful. The ubiquity of social media, push notifications and short-form stories for apps has created a distinct, on-the-go audience that will look for even more immediately available, “snackable” content with the influence of wearables.

However, as Reuters’ Digital News Report points out, that will create greater audience segmentation as younger generations use smartphones and tablets to constantly consume news, while more traditional offerings remain the product of choice for other generations. Newspapers are tasked with balancing and integrating strategies across each platform and generation to effectively reach every audience. Indeed, one of the biggest mistakes leaders in any industry could make today is eschewing one platform for another, trendier medium without considering how they complement each other.

As we prepare for the second half of 2014, it is encouraging to look at the amount of growth, innovation and new investment we have seen in the first half. I am proud to say that next year, the NAA will be partnering with the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in bringing the World Newspaper Congress to our hometown of Washington, D.C.

I’m eagerly anticipating where our industry will be in 12 months. With the wealth of talent and energy at our disposal, I have confidence that these trends forecast a very bright year.

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