The Chattanooga Times Free Press tops the list of Editor & Publisher magazine's "10 Newspapers That Do It Right" list.
"Newspaper publishers today know that great content alone is not enough to keep their publications thriving," the article in the March edition of the trade publication states. "... For newspapers, getting out and getting involved in their communities is just as important as successful advertising campaigns or award-winning investigative stories."
Newspapers today are transforming themselves into digital agencies, event organizers, video producers and marketing experts, the article states.
In its annual list of top newspapers, the trade publication recognized the Times Free Press for presenting "events on steroids" to the community. In the past six years, the Times Free Press presented events and expos for brides, women, children, seniors, high school athletic stars and reader-selected "best of the best" winners in the region. The newspaper is adding a male-oriented expo this year.
"One of the greatest strengths of the Chattanooga Times Free Press is its ability to generate innovative ideas," Ed Zintel and Nu Yang write in the cover story to the current issue of E&P. "Whether it's a 100,000-square-foot expo or an intimate private party, the Chattanooga Times Free Press is praised for its ability to create great events."
Jason Taylor, president of the Times Free Press, said events allow the paper to engage with thousands of people across the Chattanooga region.
"The events are an extension of what we do, which is reach people," Taylor said. "Our content brings readers, which brings advertisers. Our events allow us to leverage our brand to get our products and advertisers in front of lots of people in one place."
The company's events are part of our portfolio that includes the daily newspaper, six weekly community newspapers, a Spanish weekly paper, three magazines and creative advertising services, Taylor said. The company also operates Flypaper, which offers digital marketing, website design and search engine optimization among other digital services.
Last November, the Times Free Press hosted 60 representatives from other newspapers around the globe to learn from Chattanooga's record of growing market share, engaging new customers and generating event revenue.
Lyndsi Lane, marketing director for the Times Free Press, said the paper averages about one event a month now. Each event, including the Kidz Expo, She, Life and the holiday-themed Ho-Ho Expo, attracts thousands of attendees. Lane said employees from all departments, including editorial, advertising, marketing and IT, are involved in hosting the events.