Chief Content Club

Collaborative, private networking groups for local media companies

Why a Chief Content Club? Building and increasing your digital audience takes an understanding of what’s working, what’s not and what’s coming. Being able to network with a peer group and hear from industry experts on the most exciting opportunities that can help build sustainable audience growth is a unique opportunity for content and audience development managers.

The Chief Digital Club, launched in January of this year, has been one of LMA’s most successful and impactful initiatives ever created. Shortly after we launched, members started asking us to develop a sister club to the CDC that focused exclusively on the content side of the business. Now with the hiring of our Chief Content Officer, David Arkin, we are in a position to make this happen. The goal is to create peer networks for those charged with digital content strategies to share, learn, vet and discover best practices.

How it works:

  • Small groups of 12-15 are assembled based on company size and level of digital sophistication.
  • The groups include a mix of newspaper, television and radio executives.
  • Competitors are not in the same groups, as noted by each group member on their application form.
  • Confidentiality agreements are signed.
  • Monthly video calls are facilitated by LMA’s Chief Content Officer, David Arkin. The group determines the topics for each call.
  • In-person meetings take place at least once a year in conjunction with an LMA conference.
  • Larger calls involving all the groups take place periodically and include access to high-level executives from companies such as Facebook, as well as presentations from innovators within and beyond local media.
  • A Slack group is set up for each group to keep the discussions active and robust between calls.

What topics are covered?

  • Each group determines their own topics/agendas based on the needs of the group.
  • David Arkin spends considerable time planning the monthly calls and gathering the information necessary to make the calls productive.

Featured topics will likely include:

  • Digital storytelling approaches and tools that are proven audience drivers
  • Content distribution strategies with Facebook and other social platforms
  • Utilizing data & analytics in your content decisions
  • Best-in-class user experience designs and practices
  • Headlines and SEO for today’s digital reader
  • Efficient digital content production practices
  • Winning user generated content strategies and commenting approaches that make readers part of your story
  • Strategies for producing video and audio that gets eyeballs
  • Monetization strategies for content
  • Choosing the right R&D partners for content and audience development
  • Building newsletter strategies and content personalization

Role of the Chief Content Officer:

David Arkin is an industry leader in audience development and local media content strategies. For the past year he served as Chief Content Officer for Community Impact Newspaper, where he oversaw content operations and strategy, for both print and digital, for the company’s 22 hyper-local newspapers, with distribution of 1.7 million in Austin, Dallas and Houston. His efforts led to several national journalism awards for the company.

Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President for Product & Development for GateHouse Media, a position he held for almost 5 years. His total tenure with GateHouse was nearly 10 years. During that time, he built and successfully scaled the Center for News & Design, and hired 275 people to provide original content, page design, digital development services and training. He also led the company’s content strategies and developed successful social media, video and digital storytelling strategies. In his last year, he overhauled the user experience and design of GateHouse’s 500 websites. He was the LMA Digital News Innovator of the Year in 2015 and has served on the Local Media Foundation board of directors for the past five years, most recently as First Vice President.

The Chief Content Officer is critical to the success of this program and will ensure that each group’s needs are met. Much planning will go into every call to make for an extremely high ROI.

Criteria to Join the Chief Content Club:

  • You are charged with growing digital audience at your media company. We understand in some cases this may be a director-level position or a senior-level executive. We will help place you in the right group. If you are focused primarily on revenue strategy, we have a Chief Digital Club designed specifically for you, led by LMA’s Chief Innovation Officer Jed Williams.
  • An application must be submitted so that you can properly be assigned to the right group (like companies at a similar level of digital sophistication). You will also list competitors that should not be represented in your group on the application form.
  • A confidentiality agreement must be signed.
  • A commitment to attend the monthly meetings. Times will be arranged each month to ensure that everyone can make the meetings. Missing three or more meetings per year will be grounds for removal from the program.

Cost to Join?

  • Just a $139/month recurring charge on a credit card.