MERIDEN – The Record-Journal recently received top awards from the New England Newspaper & Press Association for a variety of advertising ideas in 2017, including contests, events and video sponsorships.
The recognitions validated the company’s emphasis over the past five years on digital platforms, said Shawn Palmer, senior vice president and chief revenue officer.
“I’m most proud that we won for the categories that are non-traditional, not what everybody else does,” he said. “I’m proud that our unique ideas were worthy of first place.”
The Record-Journal won first place awards for contests for the Readers’ Choice Awards, which allows readers to vote on their favorite businesses in a host of categories.
The company also received first place in the events category for the Best of the Bunch Brunch, a banquet for top high school athletes, parents and coaches.
“Athletes of the Week” – a video series where readers vote on their favorite high school athletes – was also chosen by the newspaper association for first place as the best integrated campaign for an advertiser. Last year, the videos were sponsored by Wallingford Buick GMC.
The Record-Journal celebrated its 150th year in 2017 and commemorated the event with regular articles, a special section and events. The anniversary won first place for the best idea for generating ad revenue.
The Record-Journal also took second place for special section for its Design an Ad contest and second place for digital revenue building with Chloe’s Discount Store.
Liz White Notarangelo, executive vice president and assistant publisher, said the awards were an honor and showed teamwork among various company departments.
“The foundation of these projects are the excellent local content our newsroom creates and the long term relationships our employees have with local businesses and the community,” White Notarangelo said.
The Record-Journal was recognized in 2016 by Editor & Publisher Magazine for its efforts to integrate digital platforms for news and advertising. The company has undergone a “transformation” in recent years to respond to a changing market, Palmer said. While print ads are still sought after and effective, businesses increasingly want an online presence.
“More and more customers are looking at digital solutions as something they need to consider,” Palmer said.
That’s led to new opportunities, such as sponsored video and other advertisements that aren’t just print ads replicated on a web page.
“It really has become a time to become very creative in this business,” Palmer said.