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The Newspaper Business Continues to Evolve as Digital Media Grows

In two very different newsrooms in two very different cities, digital media is stepping in to help "old media" compete in the new world of news content and delivery.

Disney Bends to Social Media Grassroots Opposition

Here in Arizona, we can’t help but find Disney’s efforts to trademark the holiday Dia de los Muertos surprising and, well, just weird. But what we find even more fascinating is how a grassroots effort via social media to stop Disney’s plan spread like a gasoline-fueled wildfire on a 100-plus-degree windy day.

Is It Time To Refresh Your Brand?

As the nation slowly recovers from the recession marketing budgets are also recovering. Companies that survived the economic downturn likely implemented a conservative marketing spending plan, and have emerged with a renewed spirit and business strategy. Having survived the financial crisis, the landscape is now filled with strong competition. Brands are turning to their marketing partners for advice on determining how to best communicate their core messaging in this new market and how to distinguish themselves among their competition.

Building Collaborations and Consensus More Challenging in Arizona

Last week I attended a presentation by Dr. Lattie Coor, chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona and Arizona State University president emeritus, and learned some meaningful statistics about Arizona residents that communicators will find valuable when engaging with Arizona audiences. These facts were published recently in a state-level report on Arizona’s civic health prepared by the center, with help from the National Conference on Citizenship, a Congressionally chartered organization that publishes America’s Civic Health Index (1).

Gem Show Here to Stay; How to make the Most of It

The Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase, which will bring thousands of buyers, sellers and treasure hunters from around the world to Southern Arizona through Feb. 14, will remain a Southern Arizona tradition and economic rainmaker. Fears that the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show, commonly referred to as “the gem show,” will leave Tucson are “unfair” and “unrealistic,” said Kimberly Schmitz, director of communications and public relations for the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau. One of Tucson’s premier events, the showcase packs an annual $100 million wallop into the local economy. On its heels: Accenture Match Play Championship, La Fiesta de los Vaqueros (the Tucson Rodeo) and Spring Training. (The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies leave Tucson for a new spring training facility east of Phoenix in 2011.) covers news without paper and ink

Last week’s launch of The Tucson Sentinel illustrates two news and information delivery trends: the inkless, paperless “newspaper” and the nonprofit business model. Dylan Smith and a handful of former staffers from the Tucson Citizen, the 138-year-old newspaper paper that ceased print publication in May, launched in the wake of newspapers and media outlets nationwide slashing staffs and shutting their doors. Tucson Sentinel content and format resembles online versions of traditional print newspapers. Professional reporters and editors and a cadre correspondents will cover local topics and promote community conversations on issues that affect Tucson, according to It also has national and international news services.

Proof of life on Broadway

The Burlington Coat Factory, setting up shop in El Con Mall, and the Casitas on Broadway, being built east of Campbell Avenue, are optimistic indicators of one of Tucson’s major, albeit rundown, thoroughfares. The Broadway Corridor stretching east from Downtown is pockmarked with dated, dingy buildings. Renovating a decades-old building can be cost prohibitive and some parking lots are actually parking slivers. However, the retailer and the senior housing facility point to the potential of the corridor. Burlington Coat Factory took a 10-year lease on 65,000-square-feet of former Dillard’s space in El Con Mall, 3601 E. Broadway Blvd., according to the CoStar Group, a commercial real estate information company. Burlington is expected to open in March in space that was vacant for more than 10 years.

Avenue Coffee Leaves Tucson Twittering and Caffeinated

As Twitter becomes more of a business tool every day, there is an emerging trend of smaller businesses using the social media platform as a way to engage customers. Korean BBQ trucks in L.A., snowball shops in New Orleans and sushi restaurants in San Francisco have all found ways to market with a limited advertising budget, achieving outstanding results. Avenue Coffee, Tucson's newest place to get your java fix, was extremely successful in using Twitter to drive first-day sales to their store on a day that had many clamoring for their free pastries from a much larger competitor.