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By John Hyland Aug 10 2015

Publisher Partner of the Month: Pioneer News Group

We are excited to spotlight the Pioneer News Group as our August partner of the month! In just six short months since launching its first market, the group has managed to build a business with a run rate that has exceeded $250k in annualized retail revenue!

Eric Johnston, the organization’s chief operating officer, indicated that many factors have contributed to the success of Pioneer News’ digital extension strategy. “We developed an internal digital agency for extended sales –and Centro DSP fit perfectly into our sales mix. In recent years we had also seen strong sell-through rates for our own newspaper.com sites – in many cases we were selling out of local inventory – and this provided our teams with a much greater universe in which to operate,” Johnston said.

Johnston also cited that the centralization of the organization’s fulfillment and buying has been a critical component to its strategy. “We have focused the expertise for this project into one of our markets and shared it across the company. This allows for greater accuracy, consistency, and campaign management across all of our markets,” he noted. Matt Kershaw, Pioneer News’ designated customer success manager at Centro, has worked with the team since day one and mentioned that he has “seen tremendous growth from Pioneer News Group in terms of the buying team’s knowledge of the space as well as the company’s efficiency in executing complex campaigns.”

The group’s impressive growth did not come without hurdles. Johnston indicated that moving from selling specific sites to selling total audience was a paradigm shift for the sales teams. “We are providing in-market training for all of our sales teams this year to help them understand the difference in sales methodologies, and so far we are seeing strong results. We serve community markets – sometimes on the fringes of major metros – and this has been an important tool for us to introduce our customers to the larger, targeted consumer audience,” Johnston concluded.