"Due to limited resources, local media companies face challenges implementing new digital strategies like newsletters, subscription services, audience engagement tools or setting up APIs; and optimizing existing programs like content taxonomy standardization, updating ad tags or CMS migrations," Fran Will, CEO at LMC, wrote in an email to Inside Performance.
With support from the Google News Initiative (GNI) and guidance from the LMC’s Community Committee collaboration, the shared services program aims to provide local media companies with access to digital transformation resources often unaffordable and unattainable for local media-- particularly smaller community publishers and independently owned news outlets.
A recent survey of LMC community publisher members revealed that 64% have fewer than three internal digital development resources and more than one third have no internal digital development resources.
The organization crafted the DODS shared services program to provide members with affordable access to consultants, partners and developers. Some examples of strategic consulting and technology development support services include:
Early tests showed interesting results. The announcement describes it this way: Virginia-based Rappahannock Media, which purchased FaquierNow.com in early 2022, needed to migrate an archive of more than 20,000 stories, photos and other content items.
A small, regional publisher, Rappahannock did not have the tech resources to complete the migration. Other vendors quoted more than $10,000 to do the work over six months. The LMC conducted an initial project scope and connected Rappahannock with Adept.li, which was able to complete the project in less time at a substantial cost savings, although the companies did not quote a price.