Written by Julia Campbell, Branded Content Project Manager

The challenges facing local newsrooms are not small. Concerns over shrinking revenue, ratings and readers grow daily with some glass half empty folks predicting the end for many journalistic endeavors.

What is most interesting about this pivotal point for local media is the realization that the road to innovation can not be paved alone. It is through unique partnerships that we will build a path forward, not for just one but for all of us.

That is exactly what the newest partnership between the Local Media Association, the Local Media Consortium and the Facebook Journalism Project will do: bring all types of media groups together to focus on the future of Branded Content as a promising revenue stream.

Why are media organizations so excited to participate in this unique partnership? Certainly the generous funding from the Facebook Journalism Project is attractive but that is just the start. The benefits of this project are deep and will truly advance an organization’s opportunity for branded content revenue growth.

  • Our Alpha Group of partners will have the opportunity to test products or elements in the branded content space that you may not otherwise be able to do using financial and human capital resources provided by the project.
  • Access to R&D partners interested in assisting organizations with branded content revenue growth.
  • Resources from the project manager, LMA and LMC helping your company increase branded content revenue.
  • Media mentions of you as a leader in the branded content space, highlighting your initiative’s positive growth and innovation through this project.
  • Consultation from the LMC and LMA branded content teams as well as other Alpha partners during this project.
  • On site guidance and planning from the branded content manager helping you and your team meet and exceed your revenue goals.
  • $20,000 in grant money to facilitate testing and advance revenue growth for your initiative.

Why should we double down on branded? Because it combines what publishers and local newsrooms do best, storytelling and helping businesses grow. These two things will help our communities, help our economies and help our media business models succeed instead of shrink.

Branded Content can help our audiences understand WHY someone is in business, HOW those businesses solve problems and WHEN and WHERE they can provide solutions. In this era of advertising interruption, branded content doesn’t have to distract from the action but instead will serve its place as important and relevant information.  

So the big question will be: how significant can this revenue stream become for media organizations? Well, it’s time we all find out.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS! – We are looking for 3-5 pilot partners and will expand to 20-30 partners by this fall. If you’ve achieved some success with your branded content program, we want to hear from you. The participating organizations will receive grant money from Facebook to expand and improve their program while increasing revenue. There is already significant interest and limited slots so apply now. The application will close on March 1st.

Click here to apply!