Park Cities People won second place in “Best Overall News Strategy” for its website parkcitiespeople.com in the Local Media Association’s first Digital Innovation Contest.
“This is a highly competitive contest that recognizes the best of local media when it comes to digital innovation,” said Nancy Lane, president of the Local Media Association. “There is no other contest like it. The bragging rights are huge for the winners.”
More than 80 different newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, and digital news sites submitted entries, which were judged by the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin Engaging News Project.
“We at the Engaging News Project were honored to judge this contest and get a first-hand look at the amazing work being done at news organizations across the country,” said Talia Stroud, director of the Engaging News Project and associate professor of communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin. “It was great to see the variety of ways in which local news outlets are engaging with their audiences, and we were particularly impressed with the overall quality and innovation that many organizations presented.”
Park Cities People’s award follows a recent redesign of the newspaper’s website and an initiative to be more digitally focused.
“Covering the news requires a team effort, and I’m thankful to see our team recognized in this way,” Editor William Taylor said. “I’m especially pleased with the efforts web designer Imani Chet Lytle and managing editor Bianca Montes have made to bring our digital efforts this far.”
Publisher Pat Martin called the website “timely, fun, and beautiful.”
The newspaper’s recent efforts have resulted in impressive gains in readership with average visits up 34 percent on the website, page views up 32 percent, and unique users up 41 percent.
Changes to the newspaper’s website design include a rotating carousel to highlight fresh content, four trending spots at the top of the page to spotlight the community and a more fluid approach to display the hyperlocal content Park Cities People has delivered to its audience since 1981.
“We don’t try to be the metro paper, and we stick with material our community wants to see,” Martin said. “Our layout is clean and categorized and makes it easy for the reader to find what they are looking for and to discover other great content along the way.”
The Local Media Association will present the awards May 9-10 at the LMA Digital Revenue Summit in Chicago.