How Rebecca Capparelli has helped grow GateHouse Media’s promotions business to $20 million

For growing promotions revenue to $20 million in just three years, Rebecca Capparelli, Vice President for Promotions at GateHouse Media, is being awarded this year’s LMA Digital Innovator of the Year award.

Capparelli, along with other award winners, will be recognized at the LMA Digital Revenue Summit on April 22-23 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare during a red carpet reception.

Judges had this to say about Capparelli’s work in promotions:

“From $0 to $20M in 3 years! Driven direct revenue growth as well as valuable customer databases. Built and grown a central team supporting local markets to grow revenue and better serve their local advertisers, with unmatched training, case studies and support. An inspiring leader!”

We caught up with Capparelli to learn more about her work in promotions and the success GateHouse has experienced in this space.

First, tell us a little about your background?

I have been with GateHouse Media for a little over 8 years, and it has been great to be part of a company that is growing both through acquisition as well as through organic portfolio expansion.

In my role as Vice President of Promotions for GateHouse Media, I lead our companywide promotions strategy, which partners with local market leaders on growth plans for their markets. We also collaborate with internal stakeholders on strategy for national and regional promotions as well as programs for consumer marketing, lead generation and reader engagement.

Give us the history of how promotions has evolved at GateHouse?

We started our dedicated department for Promotions in 2016. In the first year, we focused on developing a strong model for our Best of the Best/ Reader’s Choice Promotions which we parter with our Events Team on as well as a portfolio of turnkeys promotions based on the most popular and proven promotions such as cutest baby, holiday promotions and more.

Over the past three years, our goals have been to expand our revenue opportunities and to support our markets with full customization including custom advertiser programs that generate market and sales leads for customers.

What has the key to your success with promotions been?

One of the big keys to our success has been the partnership we have with our market leaders. We work for them and want to support their needs to grow revenue and deliver measurable results for their advertisers. We support them with strategic planning, marketing collateral, and full contest setup for all campaigns. We are available 24/7 and when they need it we rush production to help them meet their goals.

Within promotions, are there specific categories or platforms, i.e. contests vs. quizzes that have worked better?

We focus with our markets with six channels of revenue growth with promotions:

• Best of the Best, leveraging growth opportunities

• Community Enterprise (multi-month impact with school year and full year programs). These have been great to help replace preprint losses.

• National Promotions

• Custom Advertiser Promotions

• Increasing special section and local event revenue with promotions 

• Over 300 seasonal promotions such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day 

Where do you see your promotions strategy headed in the future? 

Our next wave of growth includes the implementation of Promotions Managers in each market and further expanding execution of growing revenue in the six channels of promotions.

Anything else you would like to share?

Promotions have such a high value proposition including great consumer engagement, data driven marketing capabilities and the ability to generate marketing and sales leads. We follow Gordon Borrell’s forecasts also for this emerging category and we see that the room for growth has no ceiling.

You can register for the Digital Revenue Summit by clicking here.