We enjoy giving members of our community good press when we can. But this week here at Inside Bainbridge we’re getting some good press of our own in the respected national media trade magazine Adweek. In their January 8 front page article about hyperlocal news websites, written by Janet Stilson, Inside Bainbridge shined as an exemplary community site in the crowded hyperlocal news world.
Exploring the viability of the hyperlocal journalism movement, the article begins with an example of a very happy advertising customer, Bainbridge retailer Wildernest, who saw a big spike in sales and clickthroughs as a result of advertising with Inside Bainbridge:
“Inside Bainbridge ‘does a really good job of putting out local content, and I wanted to support another small business,’ explains Sutorius [owner of Wildernest]. More to the point, the payoff for his business was considerable—and quick. Sales grew 15 percent in just the first month his ads ran, while clickthroughs on his store’s website spiked 60 percent. ‘This,’ he says, ‘has been a cool partnership.’”
The article, while unfortunately hyping its title, points out the crucial role of localized journalism in filling the void left by underfunded and understaffed old-school city newspapers. It cites
“the hyperlocal experiment of The Seattle Times, which has partnered with some 50 local news sites, among them Julie Hall’s Inside Bainbridge. Those alliances were formed after the Times gave up on the idea of having its own journalists cover Seattle on a granular level.”
In 2010, The Seattle Times reached out to hyperlocals like Inside Bainbridge that have staff who actually live in the communities they write about to offer readers better coverage. To quote again from the Adweek article,
“Without a dedicated editor who lived in those communities, it just didn’t work for us,” says Bob Payne, editor, partnerships and audience engagement at SeattleTimes.com.”
In addition to benefiting from the broader and deeper news coverage offered by its hyperlocal new partners like Inside Bainbridge, The Seattle Times News Partner Network won the 2010 APME Innovator of the Year award, as well grant money from J-Lab, an organization that supports innovation in journalism.
Bob Payne told reporter Jan Schaffer in an article she wrote for J-Lab that The Seattle Times was motivated in part by “the improving quality of neighborhood blog journalism” while the newspaper’s own coverage was “declining.” Schaffer’s J-Lab article also quotes Seattle Times Executive Editor David Boardman: “We at least had the insight to see that the blogosphere was emerging here organically and was both healthy and impressive. We felt a little bit threatened by it.”
If you can’t beat ‘em, link to ‘em.
Want to advertise on Inside Bainbridge or know someone who might? Contact Lynn Smith at 206-588-5364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of debaird.Good News! Inside Bainbridge Gets Kudos from National Magazine,