The Washington Informer announced Monday its participation in the 2022 Google News Initiative Ad Transformation Lab — a four-month program to help Black- and Latino-owned publications in the U.S. and Canada advance their advertising strategies and grow digital revenue.
GNI, in partnership with the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN), the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), includes 15 organizations selected to participate in the program, which includes publishers from 11 states across the country.
“The 15 organizations participating in the 2022 GNI Ad Transformation Lab represent the best of the best,” says 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.”
The participating publications of the GNI Ad Transformation Lab include: AL DÍA, Diario Las Américas, El Informador, El Tiempo Latino, La Prensa de Houston, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, 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 2022 GNI Ad Transformation Lab builds upon last year’s program, 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. Across both groups, the Lab will also promote collaboration and shared learning across the 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,” says Graham Jarrett, President, 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.”
“NAHP’s member publications have long been representing and defending their communities and the 2022 GNI Ad Transformation Lab enables them to continue with their mission,” continues Alvaro Gurdian, President, National Association of Hispanic Publications. “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. The 2022 GNI Ad Transformation Lab will solidify their sustainability, no matter where they are in their digital transformation. Strong communities have strong local media to represent them and the GNI Ad Transformation Lab will put our publishers on a path to sustainability; strengthening them, strengthening their communities and enabling them to keep fulfilling their mission for generations to come. We look forward to seeing the benefits these publishers bring to their communities.”
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.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for The Washington Informer to better serve our advertisers and readers,” said Denise Rolark Barnes, Washington Informer publisher. “The training this program offers will make us more competitive and will help to sustain our digital transformation and growth.”