Warm Holiday Wishes from your Florida Press Association
In the spirit of being grateful this holiday season, I would like to personally thank all of you once again for your continued support of the Florida Press Association. Without your loyalty and strong commitment as members, we would not be able to continue to protect the freedoms and advance professional standards of the press of Florida. Put simply, you make what we do possible.
What a year it has been getting back to some type of normalcy. As I make my way around the state meeting with our members, it is clear we continue to be stronger together. I want to share the many important initiatives that your membership has enabled us to accomplish.
- Public Notice Mission Accomplished: With your support, we were able to help rewrite the HB 35 Public Notice bill which keeps public notices in our newspapers. The bill opens the market by allowing free weeklies to publish notices providing Florida citizens more notice vs. going on to government websites. The other substantial change is government agencies are now allowed an “internet only” option on 18 of their local notices, but they must run on newspaper websites at the lowest non-commercial print rate. In our eyes we consider this a win and hope you feel the same. We modernized our FloridaPublicNotices.com aggregated website and have been working hard with members getting everyone ready and compliant for when the law goes into effect, January 1, 2022. We also help offset legal costs for members by providing a legal hotline service and fielded well-over 300 calls this year.
- 2021 Florida Media Conference Success: We saw over 400 attendees and just about every session was standing room only. To celebrate our excellence in journalism, we held four Award Ceremonies for groups including the Florida Press Association (FPA), Florida Society of News Editors (FSNE), Florida Newspaper Advertising and Marketing Executives (FNAME) and Florida Magazine Association (FMA). We considered this year’s conference a huge success and hope you found it inspiring and informative. We are looking forward to another incredible event in 2022, so be sure to have your calendar marked for August 4-5, 2022, as we head to Ponte Vedra to the world-renowned Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa.
- Growing Revenue: We continue to protect and grow newspaper revenue for member newspapers throughout the state of Florida with services provided by Intersect Media. This revenue not only goes directly to many of our members, but it also helps every member by providing funding for the association and keeping your membership dues low which have not been raised in the past few years.
- Supporting Local Journalism: To protect the important journalism we provide our readers daily and weekly, we launched a community news fund through our Florida Press Foundation and have driven over $45k to Florida newspapers as readers are donating and showing how much they care about their local newspapers. Our foundation also placed 10 paid internships in our local member newspapers and 20% of those have found homes in those organizations. Our FPF leadership program which kicked off at our Media Conference has a class of 10 sharp Florida media up and comers.
We are now building on the successes we had this past year and excited about a few new programs the Florida Press Association and the Foundation are working on to drive more value to you, our members. One of these is expanding our internship program with the focus on minority interns to reflect the markets we serve. This year the FPF will have 15 paid internships to place in our local communities. In January, in addition to our FPF leadership program, we will launch a Leadership Conversation and Capstone program called LC2 with weekly 20 minute Linked-In Live sessions for 26-weeks geared towards retaining and growing our Florida sales leadership. This will help with the important need to attract quality sales talent to our media industry with a focus in Florida. We will be targeting colleges with sales universities. FPA will be launching, in late March 2022, an “Elevate Your Pitch” competition to drive awareness of our growing digital media business which will lead to exciting and engaging potential sales folks. This in return will create a pipeline of sophomores and juniors who have shown interest and have chosen sales as a career. Please keep your eye out for more updates on all these upcoming initiatives next year through our redesigned e-bulletin which will be rebranded in 2022 as well.
We have a lot to be proud of this past year and a great story to tell including growing our membership reach. All combined, our FPA members reach over 5.6M readers weekly with a monthly online reach of 54M unique users. We’re not dying, we’re growing, especially digitally!
On behalf of the Florida Press Association, we would like to take this opportunity to wish every one of our FPA members and their families a wonderful and safe holiday season filled with much love, laughter, and happiness!