New York Innovation Mission

Focus on Branded Content • Nov. 12-14, 2019 • Register here

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Join an intimate group of media executives on a unique mission to New York, where we will discover the best branded content revenue strategies, innovative content creation techniques and effective distribution methods. This Innovation Mission, focused entirely on branded content education and collaboration, will open your eyes to new possibilities for your organization and help you build or improve your business around storytelling.

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019

3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Branded Content Project key takeaways: 

Take a detailed dive into the challenges and opportunities facing local media organizations when creating branded content initiatives. We’ll share advice from the seven local media organizations participating in the Branded Content Project, demonstrate what they have learned from industry-changing testing, show you the keys to success for their teams and their advertisers, and discover the best practices for growing and building branded content initiatives.

Mike Katona, director of digital operations at Graham Media Group, will give us an under-the-hood look at their branded content travel initiative, Taking Off. He’ll share how they used data-driven decision making to create content around categories with potential revenue growth and how they built a new cross-platform product for their sales and content teams.

Rachel Watkins, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Experiential Marketing at Belo Media Group, will explain the  opportunities for new revenue and audiences through cause marketing initiatives.  She will show us how FWD>DFW sparks awareness, conversation, and measurable improvement in the equitable education, health and wellness of our community — and reaches more than 1.6 million people every week.

A few of the other highlights from the Branded Content Project learnings will include:

  • User experience testing of branded content templates to ensure transparency with consumers
  • Producing events with the dual purpose of educating sales teams and advertisers
  • Implementing valuable R&D partners to assist with reporting, engagement and data decision making
  • Demonstrating the importance of cause marketing initiatives and how local news organizations can bring businesses under the tent
  • Maximizing content that is attractive to audiences and advertiser

Social Media Strategy:

Get take home advice from Apryl Pilolli, Social News Desk’s head of innovation, on best practices building, selling and distributing branded content through social media channels. She will take us step by step through the process and help you build strategies that will increase engagement and revenue.

Live from the guide: Our small group will collaborate and discover new content creation recommendations, sales success strategies and social media opportunities from our recently released Branded Content Guide. This live discussion will include action items for your initiatives and plans for building and growing revenue back home.

7 p.m. – Group dinner

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019

9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Industry / studio / agency perspectives: 

IAB is the industry leader in branded content collaboration, best practices and strategy. Their team will present an overview of their research on the direct brand economy. Branded content, creation, sales and strategies are at the core of the direct brand discussion and will provide a thought provoking backdrop for the mission.


Digiday’s 2019 Best Content Studio, Vox Media, will share their secrets and strategies behind educating and preparing sales teams for effective branded content selling. Learn how this content powerhouse has built successful content brands and hear first-hand how you can implement their methods with your team back home.


We’ll visit Wavemaker, a transformational media company leading the field in connecting media, content and technology. Learn about their world-class content and experiences that help brands connect with their audiences and enrich the purchase journey. These discussions will center on the unique value of local media content environments for branded content, and give both participants and the agency leaders opportunities for feedback on each others’ efforts.


JUST ANNOUNCED! Take a tour of T Brand Studio, the brand marketing unit of the New York Times. We’ll learn how they successfully create brand “stories that influence the influential” and we’ll discover their award winning strategy behind content creation with a journalistic frame of mind. We’ll talk to their team about their experiences working with the world’s biggest brands and hear how they create brand content that shapes opinion.


7 p.m. – Group dinner

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019  

9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Social Media perspectives:

Facebook Journalism ProjectThe Facebook Journalism Project will share real-world strategies for using CrowdTangle to monitor and track branded content posts. We’ll also cover their new sales enablement guide for branded content, sending you back with a take-home plan for selling, planning and monitoring your branded content campaigns through Facebook.


In this session, we’ll review best practices for selling and distributing branded video content on social media. Learn what types of content perform well on each social video platform and discover what your sales team needs to be successful. Jason Whitney, director of sales at Tubular Labs, a company that measures over 6 billion videos on major social platforms like Facebook and YouTube, will also share what types of brands buy the most branded content.

From sales education, to reporting, to new content creation, we’ll send you home with tools and tricks that can be implemented NOW! We have limited spots available and several are already reserved, so don’t hesitate to register.

Join us in this unique mission and collaborative event as you plan your revenue strategy for 2020!

Questions about the mission? Contact


The cost of the Branded Content IM is $2,695

This includes hotel for two nights, all meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner, on-site management, other hard costs such as room rental, AV, printed materials and ground transportation to all visits.

No refunds will be given but you may send a replacement from your company.