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Publisher Shout Out: Long Beach Post

by: Reilly O'Connor, on Jul 30, 2014 in Publisher Shout Outs

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This week’s featured publication is the Long Beach Post, a daily, digital-first publication covering news, life, business, food, sports, and more in the city of Long Beach, California. The site is a prime example of hyperlocal success, consistently investing in expanded coverage of Long Beach and its people. We recently interviewed the site’s Director of Operations, Dennis Dean. Here’s what he had to say:

Q. What has been one of your proudest moments with your site?
A. For me, my proudest moment was the way the team pulled together after our founder, Shaun Lumachi, passed away in December of 2012. We could have easily folded at that point, but this project was important to all of us, and every day that we continue to improve, to innovate, and to reach more readers is a success for us.

Q. What has been your biggest challenge?
A. For a mid-sized city (less than 500,000 residents), Long Beach has a surprising number of local news sources. The City’s paper of record has a history dating back to 1897. Its sister publication has been around since 1978. We’re definitely the newcomer to the game, but we set ourselves apart in a variety of ways.

Q. How do you address this challenge and what has happened as a result?
A. We’re a digital-only publication, which gives us an advantage. While we don’t necessarily consider ourselves an “alternative” publication, we definitely fill a niche, telling stories that aren’t being told by the other papers in town. Because of this, we’ve built a loyal readership over the years. Because we’re small, we’re able to grow, adapt, and innovate quickly. Remaining nimble, even as we grow, has always been one of our core tenants.

Q. If you could do it all over again with the knowledge you have today, what would you do differently? And Why?
A. For a while between 2011 and 2012, we experimented with print, putting out a free, monthly news-magazine style publication in tandem with our online product. While being in print was good for us, and helped us reach readers who otherwise hadn’t heard of us, I think that one thing we’ve learned is to focus our energy on what we do best, which is our digital product.

Q. Do you have any advice or tips you would like to share with fellow hyperlocal online publishers?
A. Know your audience. Write about the things they care about. Find what speaks to them, and find people who can tell the stories your readers want to read.

Follow the Long Beach Post on Facebook and Twitter if you want to know what’s happening in Long Beach!

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