How to Make Your Paper Thrive: My Key Takeaways From the WNA Conference

By: Kelly Olsen

Lodi-EnterpriseConference season is upon us and I had the privilege to attend the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Convention.  It was a cold, but an exciting event filled with inspiring breakout sessions and learning opportunities.  I even got to witness one of our clients, Lodi Enterprise, win several WNA Awards!

Here were my key takeaways from the conference:

Get Social

I thought learning how newspapers put social media to work was eye opening.  Sitting down and taking in all the goals and growth strategies was intriguing.  It had me thinking, where do each of my client fit in?  Are Facebook and Twitter foreign objects, or are they everyday tools for you?  How are you using social media to work for your advertising campaigns?  These are the type of questions that we spoke about in our breakout session. The answers varied depending upon the size and frequency of the paper, but the one thing that was a constant throughout the session is every newspaper has a desire to increase their social presence.

Get Creative

We can be honest and say most of us lose our creative “bone” at the age of ten.  I loved the hands-on course designed to get our creative “juices” flowing. I learned how to take my creativity and apply it in a business setting.  In other words, don’t just see things for how they appear, mold them into something greater.  In business, we need to have creativity as well as courage with our current challenges, clients, offerings, etc. in order to develop new solutions.

Get Inspired

My final takeaway came from the keynote from Lt. Joe Torrillo. Lt. Torrillo was a New York City firefighter who was on the scene during the 9/11 attacks. He told the amazing story of surviving the horrifying attacks on the twin towers, and also being buried alive not once but twice.  Hearing his struggle of being buried alive, and the choices that he was faced with under the rubble was astounding. It reminded me, that it is important to always remain optimistic, and never let your circumstances overwhelm you. If Lt. Torrillo can survive being buried alive twice, I know that I can survive any personal or professional challenges that come my way!

Those were my takeaways. I had a great time and am looking forward to attending again next year. What were some key takeaways that other attendees had?