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Buying Power report: Blacks spend as economy grows
New 16th edition shows $507 bil in spending

The finding comes from the 16th annual edition of "The Buying Power of Black America" report. In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. ...

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Burrell's 'Black Media Reality Check' forum pushes a fresh look at targeted media

(March 30, 2012) On March 23rd in Chicago, the Burrell Communications advertising agency brought together African-American media owners in a first-ever forum to discuss the changes in the Black media landscape. Titled, "Black Media Reality Check: Navigating Change and Challenges in the 21st Century," the event featured speakers from print, digital, broadcast and research companies who addressed an audience of 125 attendees.

The topics and panels chosen by Burrell were designed to stir the thinking of Black media owners and operators into seeing their relationship with advertisers differently. "This is a historic event in that it's the first time an African-American agency has gathered a cross-section of experts from all media channels to share best practices that will keep black media competitive and relevant," said McGhee Williams Osse, Burrell Co-Chief Executive Officer.

"Through Black media outlets, Burrell serves as a conduit between our blue-chip clients and the African-American consumer," said Burrell Co-Chief Executive Officer Fay Ferguson. "So it's really in our best interest to make sure they are aware of these critical changes in our industry." Three of Burrell's clients, Toyota, Comcast and McDonalds, were sponsors of the event.

Offered here are some of the comments and insights from those who spoke.

Judene Walden is Executive Vice President of Moguldom Women, part of Moguldom Media. The company produces, and

"It's all about scale when you're talking to advertisers. So when I present a 200,000 unique visitors site versus a million UV site, what looks  more appealing [to an advertiser], that you have to chase down five publishers or that you can go to one site that can do it all for you. That is what we were trying to obtain."

"We looked at a number of different strategies to ramp up on scale and we found -- by accident -- that through Facebook we were able to sub-segment these powerful individuals to bring them over to our sites and raise the awareness, raise the conversion so that we could get to that scale. It got us from that 400,000 level to that million UV level."

"We also knew that our audience isn't tied to the computer all day, everyday so in terms of scale we had to branch out to social media and make sure that was up to date, and also meet them mobily. We have all these platforms available on mobile."

Munson Steed, CEO and Chief Thought Producer of Steed Media Group, addressed his comments on "From Paper to Digital: Capturing Audiences Across Platforms." His company produces the weekly publication, Rolling Out and

"Everyone wants something new and hot. If you don't have something new and hot, they're not interested... It is tough as a publisher to know that you have to spend $100,000 - $200,000 on software just to run your business..."

"If you don't have a software developer in-house, if you can't call somebody in your office to get your Web views and talk about them, you really aren't in the future. You gotta have Pinterest, you gotta have Four Square. The challenge is we have to come together as a community to share some of the unique costs."

"If you're not using million as a number, I don't care what you're selling, they're not interested. They're not interested in 40,000 as much as they are 40 million. And I think that's something everybody should take away from this if we're going to all be in the boat together. Part of the synergy is [in] most of us just linking up to be able to sell our digital numbers together. I think that's a real challenge for all of us from radio to print to TV, that is to have a digital number that somebody can go to and buy at one time.

"For me, if you don't have something in the digital landscape, you better buy something as fast as you can. If you're not innovating at this point and having great scale and reach, you can really stop talking to [advertisers] because they're not giving us any excuses...  If can't move this needle right now, then holla back."

"You have some young brothers and sisters [who started sites] who got in the space and decided to own it. You can't own the digital space part-time. I don't think you can launch one Web site and get the traffic if you don't have a strategy as it relates to the audience, to the articles, the voice, your social media platform and be really direct and focused on one particular audience."

Dave Gusse, President of Alliance Media and Newspaper Marketing Services, addressed the challenges of "Selling Newspaper in the New Media World."

"I would encourage everybody to think about the integration of all media together and not get focused on the 'shiny new toy.' It's about expansion across all media together and not just getting rid of old media. The audience is big enough and the opportunities are there."

[Tomorrow we'll feature the comments from Earl "Butch" Graves, President and CEO of Black Enterprise and others.]

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