Sept. 15, 2020
Two initiatives — The Branded Content Project and Local News Resource Center — will continue thanks to a $1.1 million investment from the Facebook Journalism Project as part of its local news investment.
Facebook is partnering with Local Media Association and the Local Media Consortium to fund these centralized resources aimed to help local news businesses build capacity faster and inexpensively.
In the past two years, The Branded Content Project has helped generate $24 million in revenue through intensive training, cohort, and mentorship programs. This program will not only be extended through 2021, but will be fast-tracked to include a host of new services designed to benefit hundreds of local media companies.
The Local News Resource Center is being funded through 2022. Since its inception in 2018, the center has supported local newsrooms with individualized social media training, troubleshooting, and strategies built on data-backed industry best practices for audience engagement and development.
“These two initiatives have helped hundreds of local media companies over the past two years,” said Nancy Lane, chief executive officer of LMA. “We are thrilled that the Facebook Journalism Project is not only renewing their investment in these programs, but doubling down.”
The Branded Content Project
Seeded in 2019 with a $1 million investment from FJP, The Branded Content Project has helped local media define, develop and grow branded content revenue strategies. With continued funding from Facebook, the second phase of The Branded Content Project will launch a shared services and revenue resource center so all local media organizations can realize new monetization streams.
“We are excited to announce phase two of The Branded Content Project, which will help local media companies access important content opportunities and resources to increase their revenue, enhance their knowledge and grow a more success branded content business,” said Fran Wills, CEO of the LMC. “We are grateful to Facebook for their partnership in helping local media continue to build new sustainable revenue streams.”
Members of LMA and LMC can access these benefits for free, including:
- Education: sales certifications, workshop opportunities, group training, and access to expert resources
- Sales support: turn-key solutions shared with publisher partners and retailed to their brand clients.
- Audience products: content assets that are easy to sell, launch, maintain and grow
“The Branded Content Project will create sustainable, long-term, high-margin, high-impact, revenue and content opportunities for local media organizations of all shapes and sizes,” said Julia Campbell, lead for The Branded Content Project “The next phase of the project will build on the lessons learned from the original project’s training and mentorship program, and offer shared services, tools and technology to media organizations interested in creating or growing a branded content program. It is a full-service branded content product development, content creation, education, distribution and monetization resource for local publishers.”
News organizations can learn more about The Branded Content Project by visiting brandedcontentproject.com.
Local News Resource Center
The Local News Resource Center provides social media support and training for LMA and LMC members. With on-demand resources including recordings and case studies as well as direct assistance, local media organizations can understand the most effective ways to leverage social media for audience engagement and growth, and how Facebook, Instagram, and CrowdTangle can help meet critical business goals. With funding through 2022, the center will be able to enhance its offerings, publishing monthly case studies on how local newsrooms are capturing the value of social media, and sharing resources and training to benefit the entire industry.
“It can be hard for newsrooms to decipher exactly what they should be doing with social media. The Local News Resource Center helps encapsulate trends and streamline the sharing of best practices so that local media can get the most out of their efforts,” said Emilie Lutostanski, director of the Local News Resource Center. “When local newsrooms know how to use social media — not just to share the news but to improve engagement and better understand their audiences — it strengthens local journalism and bolsters sustainability.”
The Local News Resource Center also functions as a support desk for local media members, providing social media troubleshooting, individualized meetings, and research insights. Get in touch.
“We are excited to partner with the LMC and the LMA on these two initiatives,” said Facebook’s Jason White, director of news partnerships. “It is our hope that these programs will provide local media companies with greater access to resources that will help them continue to succeed and grow.”