Let’s share our best ideas


By Tim Timmons

Have you heard this one?

Two publishers are paddling down a creek. (I was going to make this a blonde joke, but we publishers are much easier targets.)

The first pub­lisher looks at the second and says, “Hey, there’s a hole in the canoe down here!”

“That’s too bad for you,” the second publisher says. “My end is fine.”

Share your ideas

Hspa.com has a new idea-sharing page where publishers and others can submit innovative ways they make money or improve their newspaper operations. The best idea submitted each month wins a prize.

Visit hspa.com/ideas to submit an idea or read others’ ideas. 

We’re all in the same canoe, aren’t we?

Perhaps it’s precisely because times have been so tough that the most crowded sessions at the Annual Meetings the past couple of years have been the best-practices roundtables.

So thanks to our all-star staff at HSPA, we’re going to try to keep the idea-sharing going year-round.

On our website, hspa2.aimmediallcindiana.com, Steve Key and Milissa Tuley have been kind enough to engineer an area where we can submit our best practices and ideas.

And Steve, being the great guy he is, has set aside some neat monthly prizes to be awarded to the best of the best.

It doesn’t matter from what area of the newspaper the idea originates. But speaking as one of the above-mentioned paddlers (careful!), I’m a bit partial toward revenue ideas.

But don’t hold back great ideas from the newsroom to the pressroom. Good ideas are best shared.

For example, Don Hurd submitted a great idea to a roundtable about faux Post-it note advertisements.

I don’t know about anyone else, but we made a couple thousand dollars the very next month using that idea.

Laura Welborn shared details on a Christmas cash contest.

Jon O’Bannon created a county-wide school newspaper and told us about it.

There have been ideas shared about coupon pages, e-mail sales blitzes, who’s who contests, bracket mania and more.

Ideas have come from our larger brothers and sisters in Munster, Evansville and Fort Wayne to smaller dailies and weeklies in Salem, Bluffton and beyond.

Who knows? One thing that could make the difference between meeting or missing budget next month might be posted on your press association’s website by tomorrow.

To submit your ideas, go to hspa2.aimmediallcindiana.com/ideas and click on “Submit your ideas.” Your idea will be posted by the next business day. Winners will be announced online at the beginning of each month.

To paraphrase an old ’60s phrase, log on, write in and rock out!

Tim Timmons is publisher of The Paper of Montgomery County (Crawfordsville) and The Times (Noblesville) and president of the HSPA board of directors.