I was recently promoted to publisher of The Daily Herald, and one of my first tasks was to prepare a financial forecast for The Daily Herald Co.
This project focused my energy on sorting through spreadsheets and presentations to pull out the essential elements that will drive our business in coming years. The numbers and percentages always circled back, as you might expect, to the simple realization that people are the essential element that drives our business. The Daily Herald Co. is all about people.
Herald people have diverse backgrounds; many grew up in the local area and others moved here from far away. They bring a variety of talents and skills; most will tell you they came to The Herald to practice their craft and earn a living by contributing to a local business that matters – a business whose mission is to serve the community where they live with their family and friends.
Daily Herald Co. publications and websites reach more than two-thirds of Snohomish County adults every week. This level of engagement enables the company to connect advertisers with local readers, providing the resources that support The Herald's journalism and community involvement.
The future of media companies is dynamic, uncertain and exciting. Advances in technology are creating communication capabilities found only in sci-fi novels just a few decades ago. Social media is a wonderful and disruptive force that connects us with life next door and in distant places. People have instantaneous access to news and can instantly share their views with a large audience, too. Advertisers, whose spending drives media profits, have more choices for delivering their message than ever before.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Snohomish County economy is recovering and moving forward. Naval Station Everett is a strong and stable component. Boeing and related aerospace businesses are expanding to meet extraordinary demand in commercial and military aircraft. Our local area is rich in smart residents, a wide range of year-round activities, and a diversity of culture that snaps together in an energetic community spirit.
This is a great place to have a media company like The Daily Herald Co. – if we stick to our knitting: if we continue to live, breathe and report the important happenings in our community with a sharp focus on its strengths, opportunities and values, we'll prosper along with this great community.
The Daily Herald does a great job reporting local and regional news and sports, and presenting photojournalism and features that reflect activities in our area. We can always improve. We can do a better job, for instance, in producing and delivering content that matters to women, especially busy moms. And we're working on that.
Doing a great job also means getting better at what we do every day. Readers want Herald opinions and opposing opinions about things that matter to them. We'll develop new ways to share comments from readers that engage, enlighten and improve our community.
The media business is moving in many directions and all at once. We're discovering new ways to engage readers and advertisers to attract revenues that support Herald journalism and community involvement. As the old saying goes, "You must do well to do good."
We don't precisely know what the future holds, but The Daily Herald Co. and its people will grow and prosper by creating and delivering what our readers and advertisers want and need, today and tomorrow.
Each week, Here at The Herald provides an inside peek at the newspaper. Is there something you would like to know? Email Executive Editor Neal Pattison, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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