Changing Directions: VPA Executive Director Column

By |2019-02-21T13:52:40+00:00February 21st, 2019|

By Betsy Edwards
Executive Director, Virginia Press Association

We’ve all heard, “the only thing that is constant is change.” Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher said this around 500 B.C. I’m convinced he must have worked at a newspaper. We’ve also heard that change is good. I tend to agree with that sentiment. The problem is the changes in our industry are often too fast and furious to make sense of or to turn into opportunities.

We know that evolving technology and changing reader demands are requiring us to focus on news and advertising in different ways. Many of VPA’s member papers are leading these changes. In the past year we have seen papers change their pricing models, launch podcasts and newsletters, develop new advertising products and employ data to improve what they do.

These changes have been positive for our industry and communicated to our readers and advertisers that the way we deliver news and advertising can change, but the quality of what we produce will stay consistent. VPA frequently asks you what you need to keep up with the changes you face. We try to analyze what is going on within Virginia and across the country, so we can provide you with information, training and networking that will help you catch up and sometimes get ahead.

The theme of the 2019 Annual Conference and Awards Banquet is –New Directions. We are holding the April 5 & 6 conference and banquet at the Hilton Main in Norfolk. This is a new location for the event, but one that provides great meeting space, state-of-the art technology and a place where the membership can come together to network and relax.

Everything will begin with a technology workshop on Friday afternoon followed by a river cruise that evening on the newly commissioned Virginia Elite(a private yacht operated by Spirit Cruises). Saturday is packed with speakers, presenters and panelists covering topics like: narrative storytelling; impactful ways to utilize social media; creating niche newsletters; diversifying revenue; latest in advertising research; managing through change, and other exciting, useful and relevant topics. The awards banquet on Saturday night will cap offthe weekend and celebrate your best work in news and advertising from 2018.

We hope you will head down to Norfolk on April 5th and 6th and participate in all the workshops and events offered. The annual conference and banquet are the one time each year that members can come together to talk to each other, share ideas, learn new things, find a sympathetic ear and slow down a bit and take stock.If you have never attended the VPA conference –this is the year to do it. For more information go here.