2014 MNA Convention

2014 MNA Convention


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Download 2014 Convention Program

*Scroll down to session to download available speaker handouts.


Gene Anderson - Photo“Life is too important to be taken seriously”

Download Gene Anderson’s Handout

You’ll learn from some poignant examples how laughter and humor have had profound influences on sustaining life, and, being a scientist, Gene has the facts and figures to prove it!  Laughter has been proven to enhance creativity, promote connectivity, and increase longevity by way of improving your immunity and your overall health.

WARNING! At the conclusion of the program you may experience some very healthy side pain.  You’ll even see a few newspaper magic tricks.

Gene Anderson discovered magic at age eight when an uncle showed him a coin trick. He was captivated then, but he became truly hooked the day he first heard applause for his own performance. Magic has held a life-long passion for him ever since, and he has now performed magic professionally in 21 countries on six continents.

Gene was awarded seven first-prize trophies in magic competitions for stage, comedy, close-up and originality, he has been on the covers of GENII and THE LINKING RING magazines, and he was nominated for two Academy Awards by the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood. He is a past board member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the world’s largest magical organization, and he is proud to be one of only six performers honored as lifetime members of the Magic Circle of Norway. Among his many magical writings, his book “Newspaper Magic,” now in its eleventh printing, is one of the best selling ever! Gene is also a professional speaker, and he often incorporates a bit of magic into his speaking presentations.

Gene grew up and graduated from high school in East Grand Forks.  He heard a BS in Science Education at Bemidji State College (now University) and earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.  He did post-doctoral research in electron diffraction at the University of Oslo in Norway.


EMV_Collage“A Celebration of Minnesota Newspapers”

Join us at noon on Friday, January 24 as we celebrate and honor the accomplishments of Minnesota newspapers.  MNA will honor individuals who have worked in the newspaper industry for 50 years or more, by inducting them into the Half Century Club.  The Star Tribune will be recognized for winning two Pulitzer Prize awards in 2013 with MNA’s Friend of Minnesota Newspapers Award. MNA President Rollin Bergman along with other members of the MNA Board will share stories from the MNA’s whirlwind trip around the state to visit every single member newspaper in Minnesota.  Luncheon guests will witness the premiere of a new video showcasing MNA’s 2013 Every Member Visit.  Ask questions of our award winners, and the MNA board during a Q & A session.  Robert Williams, president of the National Newspaper Association will also be on-hand to provide an update on the good work of NNA.  All this, and more!


Blinder04-353Mike Blinder

Being Your Best on Every Sales Call! (Friday AM)

Mike Blinder will feature a section from his new Client 1st Training System that outlines the steps you need to take to prep for every single advertiser engagement.  And, the attitude, style and traits you need to adapt into your selling style that ensures you get in the door and close more deals! All attendees will leave with a Blinder “Client 1st Sales Call Primer” that details what each sales person needs to do to be better prepared to excel at Multimedia sales!

Simplifying Digital Service Selling .. for Easy Deployment & Big Profits! (Friday PM)

Can media companies, with limited resources, sell services beyond print and banner ads to small business owners? Internationally recognized multimedia consultant, Mike Blinder will review real world case studies on how newspapers (of all sizes) are making sizable profits by expanding their product offerings to Digital Services, Social Networking Assistance & Native Advertising Sales, without having to launch separate online sales teams and pay huge outsourced vendor fees.  Learn some easy to implement ways to use your existing sales resources to expand your product offerings to capture new revenue.

Attendees will have access to all sales materials and deployment information so they can use these tactics to make money immediately, in their own markets.

Russell Viers - PhotoRussell Viers

Using Creative Suite as a Single Application (Thursday AM)

Most creatives have an application they rely on the most, be it InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator. Used individually one can do great things…but used as a Creative Suite, magic happens. Not only can one work faster and smarter, but by tapping into each application’s strength, coupled with the integration power of the Suite, new design potential comes to life. See when, and when not, to use the applications in Creative Suite for various purposes. See how the new Adobe Touch Apps are starting to change the way we work remotely and in groups, as well.

Photoshop isn’t what it used to be (Thursday PM)

Download Photoshop Handout

Everyone on the planet uses Photoshop…but are you using it the way you started using it with version 3.0? Time to up your game with new techniques that speed production and improve quality. After this session you’ll shave HOURS off of your photo production time and your pictures, both color and black and white, will look better than ever. Start your new year off with a new way to process digital photos.

Kelly WirgesKelly Wirges

Accountability in Action (Thursday AM)

Establishing goals and priorities, as well as holding each other accountable for achieving the company’s business objectives is everyone’s responsibility.   This session teaches participants to become CEOs of their own careers, and shares methods of establishing personal, team and company blueprints for success.  Participants emerge inspired to take control of their time, daily activities and their commission checks.

The Top Ten Actions of Effective Leaders (Thursday PM)
This session shares the actions of effective leaders and how they engage their teams by creating a high-performance, dynamic and effective work culture that produces results.  It also describes activities that place focus on unproductive behaviors that derail success.  The session will encourage participants to proactively make adjustments in their coaching, management and leadership styles that will have immediate impact on their success.

Topics Include:

  • Evaluating, preparing and implementing sales strategies for immediate and long-term revenue
  • Establishing sales as a company-wide initiative
  •  Appreciating the vast responsibilities of leaders in today’s competitive and ever-changing environment

TaraBrandl2014 The Best Just Got Better (Thursday AM)
Moderated by Tara Brandl, Marshall Independent and presented by the MNA Advertising Committee

The Best Just Got Better Advertising Session is Back again for 2014! Year after year, this session is one of the most popular MNA Convention sessions. Attendees are each allowed four minutes to present to the group a new and unique advertising revenue-generating idea to the large group.  You must have deployed this idea since last year’s convention (February 2013 – January 2014).  When all ideas are heard, voting will take place, and $400.00 in cash prizes will be awarded to the best revenue generating ideas.

Special sections, banner pages, unique ad sizes, sponsored promotions, creative ad placement, online campaigns and Daily Deals are all ideas that have been awarded prizes in the past.

1st = $125 | 2nd = $75 | 3rd = $50 | 4th = $50 | 5th = $50 | 6th = $50

After the best of the best ideas have been selected, the session will break into small groups that will work together to determine ways to bring the ideas back home, and to enhance the winning concepts to make them even more effective. From this session you not only will take away great revenue-producing ideas, but you’ll discover new tricks, tweaks and enhancements to improve ideas you already have!

Dave Schwarz, Times photo/video editor 2013Fresh Eyes: How to find new ways to photograph the same old assignments. Oh, and can you do video with that too? (Friday AM)

St. Cloud Times photo editor Dave Schwarz takes a back-to-basics approach to keeping your photography fresh, while recognizing the juggling act of multiple tasks we’re all asked to do these days.

The focus will be on making sure the visuals you bring to your publication are as lively and informative as the words. Schwarz draws on 20 years experience photographing county board meetings, high school basketball games and more profile portraits than he cares to remember.

Oh, and he’ll also talk about video.

John_Hatcher101 New Story Ideas (Thursday PM)
With John Hatcher, University of Minnesota, Duluth

Stumped on what to write about or an idea? Writers say they get their ideas from “everywhere.” You may ask, what exactly is everywhere?

Stories can be created from a simple thought, a word, a headline; even a line from a song can inspire your creativity and motivate you to write.  The little things from life’s daily events can also provide dozens of ideas. Anything you do or anywhere you go could supply fodder for your next story. You simply need to keep your mind open. If you’re having trouble coming up with that perfect story idea, we’ll provide you with some story ideas that can spark your imagination. You’ll leave this session with a new appreciation on how to read your own newspaper and scour it for new ideas.

MarkAnfinsonLegal Update with MNA Attorney Mark Anfinson (Friday PM)

Download Legal Update Handout

An MNA Convention would not be complete without a Friday afternoon legal update from MNA Legal Counsel Mark Anfinson.  Always one of the convention’s most anticipated and popular sessions, Anfinson will bring you the latest in legal happenings in the area of open records, open meetings and news gathering. He will also give a Public Notice update. Bring your legal questions and be prepared for an information-packed afternoon.

MarshallHelmbergerInvestigative reporting in community newspapers (Thursday AM)
Moderated by Marshall Helmberger, Timberjay Newspapers

Download Investigative Reporting Handout

Join us for a panel discussion about the value, the pitfalls, and the challenges to investigative reporting in smaller communities. Expect a lively discussion and lots of audience participation as we discuss how we as reporters can be more effective in our roles as public watchdogs. Expect the discussion to touch on data practices, potential subjects for investigative reporting, and on how to frame investigative stories so they don’t freak out your publisher.

Panelists include:

  • Sarah Elmquist Squires, Winona Post
  • Tom Klein, Timberjay Newspapers
  • Rob Passons, Mille Lacs Messenger
  • Joe Spear, Mankato Free Press

Mirja_HansonMeet the Cops: Working with Law Enforcement in you Community (Friday AM)

Moderated by Mirja P Hanson, MBA, Ed. D.
Adjunct Faculty Instructor, University of Saint Thomas
Instructor, MNI Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program

The link between media and law enforcement is fundamental and relentless. On a daily basis, both respond to sobering incidents in their classic roles – cops as news makers and journalists as news gatherers. This session offers an “off-line” opportunity to debrief the experiences, pressures, and trends of the existing relationship and probe possibilities for mutually beneficial interaction.  Come hear from a panel of law enforcement and media professionals and join in a lively discussion with your questions, answers and opinions.  The session mirrors a dynamic dialogue that has been a part of the Law Enforcement Master’s Program at the University of Saint Thomas.

Panelists include:

  • Charles Gollop, Sergeant, Bloomington Police Department (Ret.)
  • Josh Lego, Commander, Saint Paul Police Department
  • Larry Werner, Retired Director of News, ECM Publishers
  • Rick Bussler, Publisher & President, Bussler Publishing. Inc. & Officer, Lakeville Police Department

PhilSeibelHeadshotHow do newspapers use digital technology for readers and new revenue? (Friday AM)

Join Phil Seibel (VP of Revenue at DE Media – The Brainerd Dispatch and Echo Publishing – in Brainerd) as he discusses how digital trends and products has changed the news media atmosphere we live in. We will take a look at the impact that social media, search advances and other game-changing innovations has changed the way we present our news, sell our products and interact with our communities. In addition to looking at the actual programs and products we can use, we will also discuss how digital services have changed the way we approach our sales and revenue expectations for the future.

MulderRonMinnesota Newspapers:  2014 (Thursday PM)
With Ron Mulder, Vice President, Scarborough Analytics and Insights

Download Session Handout

This session will provide the state of Minnesota’s newspaper industry as of 2014.  How many Minnesota residents read an average issue of daily and community newspapers?  How do Minnesota newspaper websites augment print readership?  Do newspaper websites reach a younger base of readers?  How many Minnesotan’s access the web with tablets, smartphones, or laptops while on the go?  How many have newspaper “apps” on their smartphones?  This session will also review newspaper’s enduring ability to reach those who are active buyers for automotive, garden supplies, home improvement, furniture, real estate, and travel.   Public notices remain a popular feature of newspapers and Minnesota residents prefer that they be displayed in newspapers and their websites rather than a government website by over a 5:1 margin.

P1000715 - Version 22014 Small Newspaper Roundtable (Thursday PM)
Moderated by Michael Jacobson, The Paynesville Press

The popular small newspaper roundtable is back! During this 90-minute session, participants will have the opportunity to break out into informal discussion groups that cover a variety of topics.  Attendees are encouraged to ask questions, share best practices and tips and tricks.  Session participants will share highlights from their small table discussions with the larger group near the end of the session time.

During the past year, many members have expressed interest in discussing some of the following topics.  If you have other ideas, bring them to this session as well!  There’s room for more.

  • Website and technology: Paywals, creating revenue streams online, how to build a website on a budget, etc.
  • How Do You Sell Newspaper Ads in a Small Town Now that All Our Retail Moved to City Z?: New revenue, promotions that work, etc.
  • Managing a Small Office: How to hire and retain good staff? What to do with struggling employees?

Come prepared to discuss, share ideas, and learn from your fellow small newspaper peers in this interactive session.

Circulation Track, Presented by the Northern States Circulation Managers

Darrell_BrothertonOutsourced Delivery (Thursday AM)
Darrell Brotherton- Gannett Publishing Services

Darrell Brotherton is the Business Development Director, Distribution solutions Group for Gannett Publishing Services.

The mission of Darrell’s current role includes leveraging Gannett’s distribution networks and systems assets for commercial customers.   This essentially includes the distribution of third-party products including newspapers, magazines and other products as well as distribution-related business services such as draw management, reporting & analysis and retail merchandising.

John BodetteKnowing Digital so that you can SELL Digital (Thursday AM)
John Bodette – Saint Cloud Times

Bodette, 63, started his 38-year journalism career in 1974 as wire editor at the St. Cloud Times. He also served as city editor and news editor. In 1981, he was one of the original journalists on the prototype project that helped create USA Today. He also worked as the graphics editor at the Rochester (N.Y.) Times Union. He was named managing editor at the Times in 1986 and executive editor Dec. 23, 2005.

Bodette is a graduate of St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN. To relax, he runs triathlons, duathlons, and half marathons — none very fast.

ErvDrewekIMB Full Service and Postal changes for 2014 (Thursday PM)
Erv Drewek – Brown Distributing

Erv Drewek is the Manager of Distribution & Postal Affairs for Brown Printing Company – Logistics Services headquartered in Waseca, Minnesota. Before joining Brown Printing, Erv was with Primedia Business Publications in Overland Park, Kansas. He has also worked for the printing operations of the former Banta Publications Group and Ringier America. He started his mailing career with Advo Systems.

As a function of the Brown Logistics Services department, the Distribution & Postal Affairs Manager is the primary liaison between the U.S. Postal Service and all Brown Printing Company divisions. The position has the responsibility of providing customer guidance on postal matters, and is the main source of postal regulatory information for internal operations.

110713bp-kinter-scottCirculation Basics/Distribution Specialist/DM tips/Staffing (Friday AM)
Keeping up with the changes in your circulation department (Friday AM)
Scott Kinter – Lee Enterprises

Scott Kinter is the Operations Director at the Waterloo IA Courier, a part of Lee Enterprises.  He has been in the newspaper industry for over 40 years in many positions from District Manager, Supervisor, Zone Manager, Sales & Marketing Manager, Advertising Manager, Circulation Director and as Operations Director working in Milwaukee, Missouri, San Francisco and Iowa.  He has been a NSCMA Board member since 2011.