Saving Newspapers: Trulia Edition

I was driving home and listening to a brief interview with one of the executives of the SF Chronicle (Hearst). He was touting the online traffic growth for the paper’s site. But he also pointed out the fundamental truism about newspapers and YP for that matter: online ad revenues cannot make up for lost print revenues.

Trulia CEO Pete Flint has posted some recommendations for newspapers that he believes will help them avoid the total crackup of the industry. Here is the list:

  1. Focus on what you do best
  2. Develop and nurture your talent
  3. Socialize your content
  4. Quit, partner or outsource everything else you can
  5. Build a decent website
  6. Re-focus and re-invent your sales teams
  7. Link to your competitors
  8. Engage, manage and nurture the community
  9. Build networks out of your assets
  10. Constantly re-evaluate your print strategy
  11. Radically cut costs

I agree in principle with many/most of these. However it’s also true in my mind that for several reasons papers probably can’t develop their main sites into the comprehensive “local portals” I once thought they could be. While there’s no “one size fits all” strategy newspapers that can should diversify into other types of sites and verticals (as Gannett has been doing with mom sites).

To read more detail on Pete’s recommendations go to the Trulia Blog.

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