MSR selected for Google News Initiative

The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR), along with 14 other Black and Latino news outlets across the nation, has been selected to take part in the Google News Initiative. The four-month project aims to help minority-owned publications in the United States and Canada advance their advertising strategies and grow digital revenue. 

In addition to the MSR, the participating publications of the GNI Ad Transformation Lab include Al Día, Diario Las Américas, El Informador, El Tiempo Latino, La Prensa de Houston, Rolling Out, The Atlanta Voice, the Baltimore Times and the Annapolis Times, The Charlotte Post Publishing Company, the Dallas Weekly, the New York Carib News, The Skanner, The Washington Informer, and Westside Gazette.

“The 15 organizations participating in the 2022 GNI Ad Transformation Lab represent the best of the best,” said Ben Monnie, director of Global Partnerships Solutions, News. “I am excited to see the evolution of this Lab as we work to maximize impact for each participating publisher, and I look forward to sharing our learnings more broadly through GNI’s Digital Growth Program.”

“Following our rebranding last year as part of Deluxe’s ‘Small Business Revolution’ TV series, I’m thrilled that the MSR has been selected for the Google News Initiative,” said MSR publisher and CEO Tracey Williams-Dillard. “I hope the program will help us continue to thrive and find new opportunities to generate ad revenue.”

The 2022 GNI Ad Transformation Lab builds upon the 2021 initiative, where, on average, participating publishers experienced a 25% increase in programmatic revenue, a 10% increase in traffic, and a 30% improvement in PageSpeed scores.

The 2022 Lab will split participants into two groups. The first has begun a four-month training program aimed at equipping each publisher with the tools and skills needed to grow their digital advertising revenue. 

The second group has begun to receive hands-on support to strengthen their digital advertising technology before embarking upon the four-month sprint-based training program in the spring. The Lab will also promote collaboration and shared learning across the entire cohort of publishers.

“Local publishers play such vital roles in their communities, it’s imperative they evolve and develop their web presence and digital revenue strategies,” said Graham Jarrett, president of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. “Smaller publishers don’t have the resources large media companies do, but the 2022 GNI Ad Transformation Lab gives them a much more equitable opportunity to learn from the best of the best.  

“We’re grateful Google sees the value in local news and is willing to invest this kind of time and resources into really digging in to help publishers on such an individual level,” said Alvaro Gurdian, president of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP).

 “Everything in this program: from the best practices to the sprint-based model, to the cohort-based learning, is designed to deliver meaningful impact on the KPIs that matter now and long after the Lab concludes,” continued Gurdian. “The 2022 GNI Ad Transformation Lab will solidify their sustainability, no matter where they are in their digital transformation.”

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., NNPA president and CEO, emphasized, “The 2022 GNI Ad Transformation Lab is a welcomed step forward of our NNPA member publications that have been selected to participate in this transformational initiative. The Lab experience will strengthen the digital advertising infrastructure of our vital local media businesses that are the trusted voices of communities of color across the United States.”

As the Lab progresses, the partner organizations will share lessons learned with the broader publishing community through dedicated webinars and training opportunities outside of the Lab.

The GNI will also compile the best practices into playbooks, case studies, and virtual workshops available for free through its ongoing Digital Growth Program.

Information provided in part by Google News Initiative.