By Karen T. Braeckel
HSPA Foundation

Coffin.

Probably not the most enticing lead.

Add Golf Club.

Now you know the site of the 52nd Annual HSPA Foundation Golf Outing – and the fourth North vs. South Golf Challenge.

The Foundation’s fundraiser kicks off the HSPA & Foundation Annual Conference at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17.

Click here to register for the Annual Conference & Golf Outing.

Golfers wanted to try a historic course this year, so HSPA members and their guests will play at an Indy Parks municipal club established in the early 1900s.

The course was completely redesigned, reconstructed and reopened for play in 1995.

The city describes it as offering breathtaking beauty combined with the challenge of a championship-caliber course design.

Winding along the White River, players enjoy scenic shots on tree-lined fairways and rolling terrain, including the second highest point in the city of Indianapolis.

The course’s tight, challenging layout with water hazards on seven holes features bluegrass fairways and bent grass greens. That’s what the websites say.

Sounds perfect (if you can stay out of the trees and water).

Foundation president Jack Pate, publisher of the Evansville Courier & Press, will lead Team South in looking for its fourth consecutive victory.

He vows the group will put another nail in the coffin of its Northern counterpart (pun intended).

Team North co-captains B.J. Riley, publisher of the Tribune-Star (Terre Haute) and other CNHI properties, and Mike Christman, publisher for Fort Wayne Newspapers, see it differently.

Riley claims the North gave the South a false sense of confidence with the past few wins – and the North will rise in 2015.

Christman sees the North’s best contenders pushing back their Southern brethren.

Only time will tell where the Freedom Cannon trophy (and bragging rights) will land.

The team captains ask that you register soon. Bring a foursome, or HSPA Foundation can pair you with other golfers as well. Proceeds will help the Foundation continue and expand its programming.

While the sporting types enjoy a day at the course, advertising staffs begin training at 1 p.m. Sept. 17 at The Alexander Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

Mike Centorani will present both print and digital sales training. He brings 25 years of news media experience – and some outstanding recommendations from HSPA members.

So why should you free up sales staff on a Thursday afternoon to attend a conference instead of pound the pavement?

Maybe – just maybe – the sales staff could use a new idea or two (or five or 10).

Maybe – just maybe – talking to other reps would re-energize your staff.

Maybe – just maybe – the new ideas could turn into new revenue.

The Foundation offers inexpensive training in your backyard. This year we will bring in at least three out-of-state speakers to enhance the ability of Indiana newspapers to fully educate and inform the public.

(Sound as if it came straight out of a mission statement? It did.)

In the evening on Sept. 17 we will recognize excellence in advertising with the awards gala following cocktails and dinner at The Alexander.

The planning committee and staff look forward to visiting this boutique hotel with its commissioned works of art. It promises a totally different experience than last year’s conference at one of the city’s largest hotels.

Publishers, ad directors, audience development personnel, other newspaper executives and editors will find something of interest during sessions on Sept. 18 – from the digital landscape to hiring, training and keeping good employees.

The Friday afternoon session includes a discussion of the best revenue-generating events and other marketing ideas led by Chris White, publisher of The Times of Northwest Indiana (Munster).

Those who attend will take home ideas to help plan revenue-generating events in their own communities.

Why should you and others on the management team attend this year’s conference?

Maybe – just maybe – your team could use a new idea or two (or five or 10).

Maybe – just maybe – talking to other executives would re-energize you.

Maybe – just maybe – the new ideas could turn into new revenue or a new story.

Watch for the Annual Conference brochure in your mailbox. You may register there or online.

You will find both a la carte and bundled pricing – quite a deal, really.

And ICAN members receive a $75 discount on a Thursday night room.

Sign up by Aug. 14 to take advantage of even lower prices.

Maybe – just maybe – you’ll be glad you did.

Karen T. Braeckel is director of the HSPA Foundation.