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OCNA Members Meet With Their Local MPPs For the past month, OCNA members have been meeting with MPPs across the province to discuss a number of industry issues, including government advertising in community newspapers. Some have even managed to snap a selfie!! So far the response has been positive, with MPPs expressing an appreciation for community newspaper, and support for more government advertising in our members’ pages. Ontario government ad spending in print media has dropped dramatically over the past several years, while spending on foreign-owned digital sites, like Google and Facebook, have skyrocketed. The OCNA is working closely with advertising agency teams and the Advertising Review Board to address this issue, but our strength is in numbers! The association needs all of its members to help lobby and arrange to meet with their local MPP to promote the value of community newspapers. Last month, an OCNA flash drive was sent in the mail to each member containing an MPP briefing kit with documents including: • • • •

Doug Rowe, General Manager of the Kincardine Independent with MPP Lisa Thompson (Huron-Bruce).

How to find and contact your MPP Government advertising trends Key messaging The power and value of Ontario community newspapers

While we approach the MPP meetings with some light-heartedness, a sense of adventure, and a chance to win $50, there are very serious issues to address and manage with governments at all levels. The Honouable Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, unveiled the ‘Creative Canada’ plan on September 28th, and it did not include any support for newspapers. While not all OCNA members endorsed the News Media Canada proposal for a new Journalism Fund, OCNA will always work hard to help CNMA on any/all National efforts to bring recognition and benefits to our newspapers. We are also focused on bringing more provincial government advertising dollars to our members, as well as staying closely attuned to the recycling file. A September update from the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (the ‘Authority’) was postponed to November, but an informal meeting we held with the Director in September was encouraging, indicating that they would take the full five years to transition the BlueBox program, and include us in consultations. At Queen’s Park Day this Wednesday (October 4th), our members will be discussing the recycling and In-Kind program, as well as government advertising and digital tax credits, in person, with various MPPs. If you haven’t already RSVP’d to Queen’s Park Day, please do so. For security purposes, your name must be on an official list , no later than noon on Wednesday. Contact Karen Shardlow at


JUNIOR CITIZEN AWARDS Help us celebrate the young people in your community who are making a difference!

See Page 5

Mike Williscraft, Publisher of Grimsby NewsNow with MPP Sam Oosterhoff (Niagara West-Glanbrook).

Rick Shaver, General Manager, TC Media Cornwall Market with MPP Jim McDonnell (Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry).



Focus groups can change the way your create your newspaper.

Golf holds plenty of lessons for selling and creating advertising.

See Page 6

See Page 10



MARK YOUR CALENDARS! October 1: BNC Awards Go Live

The BNC Awards go live on October 1 and will accept entries until October 31. Watch your inbox for submission information.

October 4: Queen’s Park Day

Join us for Queen’s Park Day on Wednesday, October 4 and meet with politicians of all stripes to discuss issues currently affecting the community newspaper industry. The OCNA will arrange afternoon meetings between MPPs and publishers or editors. The association’s annual Publishers’ Reception will follow in the evening. Watch for your invitation.

NEWSCLIPS VOLUME 06, ISSUE 08 37 Front Street E, Ste 200 Toronto, ON M5E 1B3 P. 416-923-7724 w. e.


Ray Stanton


Rick Shaver


John Willems


Dave Adsett


Craig Barnard Gordon Cameron Abbas Homayed Alicia McCutcheon Darren Murphy Margaret Zwart

November 3 - 4: Independent Publishers’ Retreat

Independently-owned community newspaper publishers are invited to join the OCNA for a two-day retreat filled with informative sessions, networking opportunities, food and fun! For more information contact: Karen Shardlow at or 416-923-7724 x 4432.

April 20: Spring Convention

Join the OCNA on Friday, April 20 for our annual spring convention at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel and Suites. Stay tuned for more information!




....................................................SHARPENING YOUR FOCUS




.....................................................HOW TO BE A GOOD BOSS



September 2017



Caroline Medwell


Corey Blosser


Kelly Gorven Karen Shardlow


Lucia Shepherd


Erica Leyzac Pam Portt Carolyn Press


Gerald Tracey Captures Images of Amber Alert Arrest Gerald Tracey, publisher of the Eganville Leader, managed to capture outstanding images of a man’s arrest, the suspect of a Quebec Amber Alert after a six-year-old boy was pronounced missing earlier this month. The photos were picked up by many news sites, including CTV News, and landed Gerald a spot on CBC’s news broadcast. “When I picked up the amber alert on my scanner, I pretty well knew that if the pursuit continued, they would end up where they did so I responded immediately - 22 km from Eganville and I got into position where the action was taking place,” said Gerald. The boy was found safe in a stolen vehicle in eastern Ontario. His mother, however, was pronounced dead in her home the night prior to the pursuit. The body of a 71-year old man whose car was stolen and linked to the Amber Alert was found last week. The suspect has been charged with second degree murder and will be questioned about the senior citizen’s disappearance.

Photos by Gerald Tracey, Eganville Leader Police cars lined the street and a helicopter hovered above as a 41-year old man was arrested after an Ambert Alert of a six-year-old boy was issued.

OCNA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT TOM HAIRE RETIRES AFTER SIX+ DECADES In 1953, at the age of 17, Tom Haire was doing what he was born to do – sell ads at his first job as a junior representative at the Belleville Intelligencer. The early part of his career saw him moving several times before settling in Niagara with the Rannie publications, owned by Henry Burgone, originally known as the Grimsby News and then Niagara This Week after Torstar bought it in 2004. At one point in his six-decade career, Tom bought and owned both the Bobcaygeon Independent and the Fenelon Falls Gazette, where he worked for 15 years before deciding it woud be best to sell the papers. Shortly after that he became regional sales manager and eventually general manager of Niagara This Week. A layoff in 1995 after the corporate takeover marked Tom’s first retirement, which did not last long - he joined the Grimsby News soon after. A second retirement in 1999 and a move to Belleville was short-lived as he was back to Niagara and Niagara This Week for another run. There he stayed, most recently as a manager in the flyer sales division until this year. His (real) retirement this month marked over 60 years working in the newspaper industry! Cell WOODCOCK Phone: 519.357.5474 SANDY Phone: 519.357.2320 ext.120 Fax: 519.291.3771 CELEBRATES 17 YEARS Email:

Sandy Woodcock

Sandy Woodcock recently celebrated 17 years working with theMarketing Wingham Advance Consultant Times!185 Congratulations, Sandy. Ontario N4W 1K8 Wallace Ave. N., Listowel,

BLYTH/BRUSSELS CITIZEN’S SMALL STAFF PRODUCE LARGE SPECIAL SECTION The Blyth/Brussels Citizen has just completed a 52-page tabloid special section filled with stories for the 2018 International Plowing Match, a huge outdoor farm and rural expo being held in the community newspaper’s backyard this year in Walton, Ontario. It’s the culmination of several years of lead-up to the event in which staffers Shawn Loughlin and Denny Scott have interviewed and written about dozens of people among the nearly 2,000 volunteers needed to organized the once-in-a-generation event.

Want to contribute to NewsClips? If you have news you would like to share about your paper, please send information to Photos are always welcome!

September 2017





GOOD NEWS FROM METROLAND EAST Tara Gesner, a reporter from the Canadian Gazette earned a national Legion award for her reporting on its happenings. See the story here:

MADHUNT PUBLISHING COMPANY in Alliston, Ontario @ Owner looking for new opportunities after 27 years as practicing journalist. Madhunt was established in 1999, one of the original Internet-only community hard news sites. Today it’s a leading source of news and information in the south Simcoe County region. Pages full of local advertising, majority long-term. Purchase would include very active Facebook (approximately 5,300 ‘likes’), and domain As well, prime downtown Alliston office location. Favourable lease terms. Would suit buyer looking to bolster their internet footprint.


In addition, reporter Desmond Devoy earned a RNAO Award in March for his in-depth piece on PTSD , which ran in the Smiths Fall Record News a year ago. View the feature here:

Online Registration Open For Annual Independent Publishers’ Retreat Independent publishers are invited to join the OCNA for its annual retreat on Friday, November 3 and Saturday November 4 at the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa. Online registration is now available at If interested, please register by Friday, Octobebr 13. Friday, November 3: 2:00PM - Sessions (TBA) 5:30PM - Dinner

Saturday, November 4: 7:30AM - Breakfast 8:30AM - Sessions (TBA) 12:30PM - Lunch & Round Table Discussions

Cost: $270 Per Single Occupancy or $390 Per Double Occupancy (Note: All prices are subject to HST). Registration fees include Friday overnight accommodations, sessions and dinner, along with Saturday breakfast, lunch and sessions. We are delighted to offer lower registration fees this year thanks to support from the Hockley Valley Brewing Company. September 2017


Serious inquiries only. E-mail

Community Newspaper Work for Yourself. Much loved local community newspaper in niche area of Toronto. Steady income from loyal regular advertisers for over 30 years. Huge circulation. Owner wishes to retire. Contact


Help Us Recognize The Youth In Your Community They are exceptional youth, with limitless potential and the OCNA wants to recognize their accomplishments. Help us celebrate the young people in your community who are making a difference! The Ontario Junior Citizen Awards program is now accepting nominations. If you are not familiar with this Public Service Program, it is coordinated by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association on behalf of our 280+ members. The Ontario Junior Citizen Awards recognizes youth between the ages of 6 and 17 from across the province who are involved in worthwhile community service; special young people who are contributing while living with a physical or psychological limitation; individuals who have performed acts of heroism or bravery in the past year; excellence in personal achievements; or ‘good kids’ who show a commitment to make life better for others and do more than is normally expected of someone their age. Nominations will be accepted until November 30. A committee of newspaper editors, publishers and the program’s sponsor will then select up to 12 individual award winners. Every nominee will receive a certificate of recognition from their local community newspaper, and the final recipients are invited to a special ceremony in Toronto.

Nominate a Junior Citizen. Do you know someone who is involved in worthwhile community service, is contributing while living with a limitation, has performed a heroic act, demonstrates individual excellence, or is going above and beyond to help others? If so, nominate them today! Nominations are open until November 30, 2017. Forms and information are available from this newspaper, and from the Ontario Community Newspapers Association at

Mansimran Anand Brampton, ON 2016 Ontario Junior Citizen

Sponsored by:

For more information and to download the nomination forms, please visit or contact Kelly Gorven at


Thank you for supporting the 2017 Ontario Junior Citizen Awards.

Celebrate what makes your community great. OCNA_Ad1_med 09.17.indd 1

Make Money With Network Classifieds

17-09-26 7:56 PM

OCNA’s Network Classified Advertising is an easy way for you to earn additional revenue. Upsell your retail and classified advertisers and receive a 35% commission. LOGO ADS: OCNA recently introduced logo ads as an option. An All Ontario 25-word ad WITH LOGO and enhanced text is $975. You already know that advertisers in community newspapers get results. Help your advertisers extend their reach into a region of the province, across Ontario, or right across the country. They Win - You Win.


The Possibilities are endless: > Online Revenue - any retailer with a web site. Let the Networks drive traffic to their site for increased sales > Real Estate - any agent with vacation properties, commercial properties and luxury homes. Buyers from outside your newspaper distribution area need to know > Events - Fairs, Markets, Shows, Theatre, Concerts or Sports. Spread the word to draw more people > Help wanted - Trades and other positions that individuals would relocate or commute to

September 2017

Contact OCNA Network Classified Coordinator Lucia Shepherd for full details at or 416-923-7724 ext 4423.



Sharpening Your Focus

Focus Groups Can Change The Way You Create Your Newspaper By Kevin Slimp I guess it comes with experience (that sounds better than ‘age’). In the ‘old days’ when I visited a newspaper, it was almost always related to hardware, software or some other type of technology issue. These days, it might be just about anything. Such was the case in September as I traveled to West Tennessee to work with a few newspapers in the area. After a five-hour drive from my home in Knoxville, I visited with Joe Hurd, publisher of the Savannah Courier over lunch. A former Air Force commander, Joe knows how to get things done, and he’s never shy about asking for advice or assistance when it is warranted. Over lunch he explained he had two primary tasks for me over the next five hours. First, he wanted me to meet with his advertising staff and discuss ways to bring in new advertisers and increase sales at their newspaper. We discussed time management, techniques for approaching potential advertisers and more. We even discussed a couple of ideas I have seen work well at other community papers outside their geographic area. The second task was to meet with his circulation staff and discuss ways to increase circulation. The conversation was lively, and we seemed to come up with a few new ideas worth pursuing. Toward the end of the discussion, I made a suggestion that doesn’t take a lot of effort, but usually garners great rewards: creating focus groups made up of readers and nonreaders to look over their products and suggest possible improvements. Focus groups work best when you have two or three teams. These teams might have as few as three or as many as five members each. How do I usually find volunteers to serve in a focus group? I offer a free lunch or dinner in exchange for help in critiquing my newspaper. By publicizing the need for volunteers well in advance, it is usually possible to get a sufficient number of group members. I’ve enlisted the help of schools, churches, readers and others to make sure there are enough volunteers.

After dividing everyone into teams, I generally give each team an identical newspaper and ask members to discuss questions from a handout with their fellow team members. One member records their responses, which I collect afterwards. This process should be repeated several times, so that each team has looked at several issues of your newspaper or, if you produce several titles, at least one issue of each publication. Each time, you should give the teams new worksheets to complete. When I mention focus groups while speaking at a conference, I almost always receive a number of e-mails afterwards from folks asking what types of questions to ask. My advice: Be creative. You’ve got free help. Make the best use of their time to gather as much information as possible. Here are a few questions to get you started, but don’t limit yourself to these: 1. Does the overall look of the front page initially make you want to read this newspaper or set it down? 2. Is the body text easy to read? Is it too big or too small? Does the size of the text make you more or less likely to read this newspaper? 3. Are there too few, too many or just the right amount of local stories in this newspaper? 4. What are some things about this newspaper that you especially like and make you want to read it? 5. What are some things about this newspaper that you especially dislike and make you less inclined to read it in the future? 6. In your opinion, what are the most important things you look for in a newspaper? Do this newspaper do a good or bad job of featuring these? Work with your staff to develop questionnaires that cover every topic they feel might be helpful to learn about from a focus group. Generally, my questionnaires are one to two pages each. How often should you gather focus groups? That’s up to you, but I would recommend no less than annually. There are a lot of ways you could spend time and money trying to determine ways to improve your newspaper. Allow me to suggest that your best first move might be to create focus groups.

KEVIN SLIMP serves as director of the Institute of Newspaper Technology. He is a faculty member of the University of Tennessee College of Communication and Information. September 2017



Celebrate National Newspaper Week Oct 1-7


Celebrate the men and women who work tirelessly to bring news to their communities across North America from October 1 - 7 during National Newspaper Week! Carrier Appreciation Day will also be celebrated on Saturday, October 7 to to recognize the efforts of newspaper carriers (young and old) who make a vital contribution to the industry. The theme of this year’s event is “Real Newspapers...Real News!” and News Media Canada is pleased to provide a series of print and digital ads, as well as other resources. Members are encouraged to download and publish these materials during the week-long celebration and promote the strength of the community newspaper industry. Visit to download the material. Note: the News Media Canada logo may be replaced by your own, if desired. Source files can be provided on request. If you have any questions about National Newspaper Week, please contact Tina Ongkeko at

r o r r Mi e g a m ICOMIC STRIP


Contact: for media kit

CONNECT WITH US! @OCNAAdreach Follow us for frequent association updates, industry news, upcoming events and more!

September 2017



ONLINE MEDIA CAMPUS WEBINARS: OCNA has teamed with the Online Media Campus to help the association fulfill its mission of providing affordable and relevant training to members. ▄▄

Friday, September 29 - How to Sell the Value of Digital Without Overselling Your Client

Everyone sells digital. Everyone has similar portfolios. In order to differentiate, you’ll need to provide value beyond CTRs, CPMs and the like. In this webinar we’ll discuss how to: • Simplify digital sales for the customer and your sales team • Build a client-focused digital recommendation • Measure the results of digital advertising in a way that matters to your client • Retain and up-sell current campaigns ▄▄

Friday, October 6 - Automatic InDesign – Part 2

InDesign has so many built in features that automate our work, allowing us to work smarter, not harder. Whether building pages or ads, you can save time, every time, with just some of the helpful tips we’ll be covering. Building on session one we will discuss: • • • • • ▄▄

Data Merge for faster photo CLASSIFIED ADpages

InDesign’s Captions feature for faster, and more accurate, cutline creation (can also be used on ads) Creating boxes around text in a single click (and it adjusts to fit the text) Changing colors document wide quickly Formatting specific words automatically with GREP styles

Thursday, October 12 - Six Ways to Make Your FOIA/Public Records Requests More Effective

Knowing how to craft a Freedom of Information Act request or a public records request is half the battle. Knowing how to proceed after that request is sent will help close the deal. Emily Le Coz of GateHouse Media and Tim Schmitt discuss tips and best practices. *Registrations submitted after deadline are subject to $10 late fee. Registrations accepted until the day of the webinar. Log in instructions will be sent 48 hours ahead of scheduled program. If you are interested in participating but are unable to attend the live webinar, we encourage you to sign up anyway. As part of your webinar package, you will receive free access to the archive of this webinar by registering for the live session.

For more information and to register, visit:

Affordable media insurance for Canadian Community Newspapers Service includes: Libel, Invasion of Privacy, Plagiarism, Piracy, Infringement of Copyright, Pre-Publication Hotline Contact us for a quote: 416-923-7724 ext. 4423

September 2017



How Can You Be A Really Good Boss? A TwoGreySuits Article By Ron Guest, Senior Partner Ok, this is the age old question, but it is worthy of asking and exploring for sure. In my career I can count on one hand, (one finger actually), exactly how many good bosses I have had. From what I hear from others and what I have seen in the workplace as a consultant, this might not be that unusual, or perhaps I was unlucky. How many bad boss stories have you heard? Certainly there are good bosses out there, or at least ones who think they are or who think their direct reports would say this, but how do you really know? I will share 10 distinct ways to become a good boss. This is based on my own experience and supported by significant reading/learning/ consulting in this area. As a manager of people, the overall goal is to DEVELOP PEOPLE TO BECOME MORE COMPETENT. Coaching certainly has much to do with this, but it is more than that. Good bosses don’t always give subordinates the answers, even when they know the answer. They find out why people are asking the question in the first place. Often the person has the answer but wants reassurance or isn’t clear if they have the authority to act. If they don’t have the answer, it is great coaching/ teaching opportunity. This is how we find out how people think, by asking them to come up with an answer if they absolutely had to on their own. (Hypothetically) This way we can see if there is a lack of job knowledge, lack of confidence, mistrust in certain information they have, etc. To DEVELOP PEOPLE TO BECOME MORE COMPETENT, we have to understand the barriers or perceived barriers, and more importantly employee thought processes. So, effective coaching is a must when it comes to being a good boss.

In this column, I will review #1 and #2, and in future columns I will review the others. A good coach will: • Not always come up with the answer, and will lead employees do this • Develop their employee’s job knowledge, competence and confidence • Be inspiring and supportive of their employees • Have high expectations • Be clear with timelines • Measure performance • Let people make mistakes • Listen carefully • Provide constructive and positive feedback on a regular basis Job performance feedback is critical in developing employees to become more competent, specifically by shaping their behaviour. Employees must learn to see value in and appreciate regular feedback. This means constructive feedback too. They must see this as a way of learning and not a downfall or something bad about them. Feedback is generally best done in a structured way (although not always) an it should be tailored to the person receiving it (ie. not everyone is comfortable with public praise, right before vacation or right after bereavement leave). How you give feedback is just as important as the feedback itself. Well intended, constructive feedback done the wrong way can work to destroy confidence, creativity and freedom to act – be careful. Employees will resign over what the manager perceives as the right way to provide constructive feedback! The good news is TwoGreySuits has a Performance Management Module clearly explaining what to do and how to do it in several instances of coaching and job performance feedback.

Here are the 10 ways to become a really good boss: 1. Develop your employees to become more competent: understand the aspects of what being a good coach entails and work diligently to apply 2. Make job performance feedback a regular conversation piece 3. Be emotionally self-aware 4. Talk to your staff – a lot, a lot more than you think is required, then talk some more 5. Show that you genuinely care about your employees 6. Get out of the way, don’t micromanage 7. Ask for feedback from your employees on how you are doing as a manager 8. Be your own self 9. Share your vision openly 10. Work to earn the trust of your employees September 2017

TwoGreySuits is a leading edge provider of on-line human resource management information, processes, tools and forms servicing the North American market. They have linked the HR practices associated with the key drivers of Employee Engagement in the form of an online training application for managers utilizing the vast amount of wellorganized information on the website. The HR Power Centre and HR Hot Line is simple and free for OCNA members. Visit to sign up today. 9


What Golf Teaches Us About Advertising By John Foust Raleigh, NC

6. Play it where it lies. You will make some shots from

I love golf, but I’m a terrible golfer. I’m the only golfer I know who has lost someone else’s golf ball. On a best-ball round, I mistakenly hit the wrong ball – directly into a lake.

level ground, where the ball sits nicely on top of the grass. But others you will have to hit from tall weeds or sand or behind a tree.

Regardless of skill level, golf holds plenty of lessons for the business of selling and creating advertising. Let’s take a look:

Whatever the lie, concentrate on the goal and choose the right club.

1. Club selection matters.

Each club has a specific purpose. Drive with a driver, hit long approach shots with a fairway wood, chip with a wedge, putt with a putter.

7. Grain and dew affect putting. The surface of the green can be compared to market conditions which are beyond your control. Read and respond to those conditions correctly, and you’re on the way to a successful campaign. Read them incorrectly, and the ball will veer off course.

In advertising, there are tactics for different marketing situations. Image ads are designed to build brand identities and response ads are used to generate immediate results.

8. Close doesn’t count. A score can’t be counted until

2. Pre-contact is important.

A golf swing starts with lining up the shot, having the right stance and grip, then taking a proper backswing.

the ball is in the hole. Likewise, a publication can’t build its business on sales that are almost made.

9. Divots should be repaired. It’s important to keep

Any experienced sales person will tell you to prepare in advance for an appointment. Learn your prospect’s marketing objectives, study their previous ad campaigns, and research their competitors’ advertising.

client relationships in order. If something goes wrong – in a conversation or in a campaign – take immediate steps to put things back on track.

10. A tournament can be won by one stroke. It’s

3. Follow-through is equally important.

A swing doesn’t end after contact. And neither does a sales conversation. When you return to the office, there are ‘thank you’ e-mails, additional facts and figures to research, and campaign recommendations to develop.

crucial to pay attention to details, because little things make a difference. A sales conversation can turn quickly on one perceptive question. A typographical error can make or break a marketing proposal. And one word can determine the success of a headline.

4. Every hole has a goal. And every ad campaign has an objective. At the completion of a particular marketing effort, your client wants to generate x-results. Along the way, there are interim goals, such as weekly and monthly targets.

5. Every hole has hazards.

Obstacles are part of the game. There are bunkers, creeks, and out-of-bounds areas. Some are visible from a distance, but others seem to appear out of nowhere.

(c) Copyright 2017 by John Foust. All rights reserved. John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information:

In advertising, there are sales objections, high-maintenance clients, fickle target markets and challenging deadlines.

September 2017



Taking A Closer Look: Part 2 By Ed Henninger Henninger Consulting

Last month’s column focused on design critiques: working at improving your design by taking a look at what you’ve recently done. I suggested then that those critiques be done every quarter…at least every six months. In that column, I offered a laundry list of those elements that need to be reviewed during the critiques. This column focuses on how to conduct the critiques. How do they work? Who’s in charge?

sets up an out-of-office interview that conflicts with the critique, remind them that the critique is an important effort to improve your newspaper, and that they are expected to attend. If you schedule far enough out (see item 2, previously mentioned), they should know well enough to not set up something that will pull them out of the critique session. If there’s a conflict, have them reschedule their outof-office appointment.

Here are ten recommendations:

6. KEEP IT to an hour if you can. The smaller your staff, the more valuable your time. Critiques are an important part of your design process, but just a part. Don’t let them drag on too long.

1. FOR EACH CRITIQUE, solicit at least a couple dozen (total) PDFs from those who will attend the session. Those PDFs usually fall into three categories:

7. SEE IF YOU can get the publisher to spring for some coffee and donuts. If it’s a session later in the day, perhaps some pizza and soft drinks. Goodies always help to make such sessions more inviting and more informal. Remember, this is a dialogue - not a complaint session.

a) A page the designer created that he/she really liked b) A page the designer created that he/she did not like c) A page the designer created that gave him/her trouble

8. KEEP YOUR STYLE GUIDE handy, just in case you need it

Those attending may also include PDFs of pages they did not create, but which they believe deserve some review. These need not only be pages that weren’t well done - a critique session is a good time to recognize those designers who did exemplary work.

for quick reference. You do have a style guide…right?

9. REMEMBER that the purpose of a critique session is not to

I advise PDFs because you can combine them into one PDF file for projection with a video projector. If you don’t have a video projector at your newspaper, perhaps you can gather around a larger-screen monitor and view the PDFs directly from your computer.

find fault. It’s a search for solutions, not a complaint session. Keep it light…keep it proactive…keep it moving along. Look for ways to make it a session where everyone contributes. But remember: a committee can occasionally get out of hand. And a camel is a horse…designed by committee.

2. SCHEDULE the critiques at set times. Perhaps it’s 2 p.m. on

10. PUT SOMEONE in charge. No scheduling will happen, no


gathering of PDFs, no donuts, no pizza - unless someone is responsible for making the critiques a reality at your newspaper. If you have a lead designer, that person is the logical choice. Or maybe it’s your managing editor. Whoever it is, he/she needs to be a person who takes charge of the critique process and makes it work well at your newspaper.

4. INCLUDE OTHERS. Your designers aren’t the only ones who

Design critiques are an excellent tool for bringing about better design. Do them regularly, do them well and you’ll continue to improve your design—and your newspaper.

the first Thursday of every quarter. Maybe 11 a.m. on the second Friday of every quarter. Set a time and place…and then send out reminders to your staff. who is responsible for page design to be part of the session. Yes, that means the sports page editor or designer, too.

have an interest in the way your paper looks. Perhaps the advertising director (or your ad sales person) should sit in. How about the publisher? What about the ad designer(s)? Perhaps your front-desk person - you know, the one who hears and handles complaints or requests from readers?

ED HENNINGER is an independent newspaper consultant and the Director of Henninger Consulting, offering comprehensive newspaper design services at: WANT A FREE evaluation of your newspaper’s design? Just contact Ed at | 803-327-3322

5. EXPECT staffers to be there. If you schedule far enough ahead, those who should attend have no excuse not to show up. If someone September 2017



September 2017


NewsClips September 2017  

Monthly publication of the Ontario Community Newspapers Association

NewsClips September 2017  

Monthly publication of the Ontario Community Newspapers Association