BRUCE, Miss. — It was mentioned a good bit over the last few days how she truly did have the ability to light up every room she entered. And, with an individual like Lisa McNeece, that didn’t always mean the same thing. With someone like Lisa, you’re never left wondering how she feels.
Mostly, though, when she entered the room, you could not mistake her warmth and effervescence nor her good humor. Lisa was engaging and funny, feisty and protective, vivacious and nurturing. She was genuine. What you saw was what you got.
The two of us shared a similar sense of humor, and often that meant we were poking fun at the absurd moments of life. She also had an admirable knack for making light of awkward moments — those times when most of us would not exactly know what to say.
In a time when new age media is fighting for control of the news marketplace, it is important for traditional media to expand and adapt. The Meridian Star is a long-lasting newspaper in Meridian, Mississippi, which has total control and saturation of their print media market. However, they have other outlets such as digital, mobile and a magazine that they would like to expand and promote.
Finding a way to present these services on an equal playing field required maneuvering the focal point of the businesses. We developed an overarching conglomerate we named MStar to help provide brand consistency across the platforms. MStar would be the umbrella brand under which every publication and service would be presented to audiences.
By Bryan Cody, Ramsey Purvis, Brooke Bonura and Tomas Vivero
Throughout this semester our integrated marketing communications campaigns class has focused on identifying objectives and opportunities for The Meridian Star. When our class met with publisher Alexander Gould early in the semester, we were able to ask him questions about day-to-day operations. This allowed us to understand what objectives needed to be met, and the opportunities for us to reach those objectives.
One of the first objectives we realized was that The Meridian Star needed to be more involved in the community in order to grow its support base to generate more revenue. Through community engagement, staff can boost awareness of the paper, other publications and added business-to-business services such as printing. Ways to meet this objective we are recommending include hosting community events such as a holiday lights contest, with competitors and winners featured on The Meridian Star’s front page/home page and also publishing more community-focused articles about local people, businesses and events.
By Darby Frisbie, Kedrick Smith, Molly Chain & Hayley Day
As our capstone course for the integrated marketing degree program at Ole Miss, we are applying our skills of marketing and research to boost new objectives of The Meridian Star. We have analyzed the company needs and what the organization could do to grow its business.
The Meridian Star is positioned uniquely and we intend to identify ways the organization can preserve this uniqueness. By understanding audiences and sharing ideas in class, we are gaining more detailed understanding to help The Meridian Star realize these objectives for their daily business.
“Take another shot of courage. Wonder why the right words never come. You just get numb.”—Don Henley
By Ray Mosby
ROLLING FORK— Twenty-five years.
A quarter of a century. A third of the average lifetime. That qualifies as a milestone, I think.
At very least, that’s a large enough sample to be representative. That’s enough time to accumulate an awful lot of data and that is enough time to adequately test it.
So I think it perhaps time for some evaluation.
It has been 25 years since I gathered up what then constituted my little family and moved to a place I’d never really been, where I knew not one soul to try to do something that I was not at all sure would even work.
The majority of us operating community newspapers have built our operations to support the area businesses that are the life blood of our community. We celebrate their successes and are concerned for their setbacks. We are constantly having conversations with business owners and managers about the best and most efficient ways to market themselves.
Who within our own operations is taking the time to think about how best we market ourselves? Or more importantly, who has time to ask and answer that question?
Many of us are not just operating a newspaper, we are operating a media company. Of course we have our print newspaper, but we also have a robust website, a total market coverage (TMC) paper and in many cases a magazine. For many of us we are expanding our media companies to include a suite of digital marketing services.
Small, rural newspapers can win open-records battles with state agencies and beat larger news outlets at covering big stories in their communities, says a journalist who spent most of his career at a metropolitan daily but has returned to the business of publishing a rural weekly.
Les Zaitz, publisher of the Malheur Enterprise in eastern Oregon, made those and other points as he spoke to the annual conference of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors in Portland, Oregon, on July 12.
Between his ISWNE presentations, Zaitz accepted the 2018 Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, integrity and tenacity in rural journalism from the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.
Zaitz talked about how the Enterprise pursued the story of a former state hospital patient’s involvement in two murders and an assault in Malheur County shortly after his release. The newspaper discovered that the defendant had been released after convincing state officials he had faked mental illness for 20 years to avoid prison, and after mental-health experts warned he was a danger.