By: Benita Robinson, EPMG African American Market Specialist
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the nation’s black newspaper publishers, convened in Atlanta June 20th– 23rd for their annual convention. This was a great opportunity to chat and exchange ideas with some of the nation’s most influential African Americans. As EPMG’s African American Market Specialist, I was on hand to mingle with this powerful group; our African American Newspaper partners. This year’s event did not disappoint, with updated information and statistics on the African American consumer, including the AA market’s soon to be $1.1 trillion buying power! There was also information on cause and event marketing, as well as maximizing web/social media marketing. Papers from all over the country competed for Merit Awards in categories such as General Excellence, Best Editorial, Best Column Writing, Community Service, Best News Story, Best Feature Story, Best News Pictures, Best Editorial Cartoon, etc. First, second, and Third Place winners were selected in each category, and points were awarded. The paper with the highest number of points based on merit was selected as the Russwurm Award Winner for Overall Excellence. This year’s top vote getter…The St. Louis American!
Publisher of the Year honors were bestowed upon Yvonne Coleman-Bach, Editor and Associate Publisher of the Louisville Defender.Yvonne is also the current Treasurer of the NNPA. This secret ballot vote allows all of the publishers to vote for the winner of this esteemed trophy. A well-deserved honor… Kudos, Yvonne! Our Weekly, The Atlanta Voice, and The Houston Defender were among the pubs that were awarded A. Philip Randolph Messenger Awards for Journalism Excellence by MillerCoors.
Friday began with a Breakfast honoring HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Eight HBCU Presidents were on hand to stress the importance of maintaining a strong partnership between these two groups. Students at these fine institutions not only represent future readers of African American pubs, they will be the writers, editors, sales managers, business managers, and publishers as well.
The Legacy Dinner was held on Friday evening, June 22nd, and if you never understood the power of the black press before, you certainly understood it by the end of the evening. This year’s event honored U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young and Sentinel Publisher/Civil Rights Activist Danny Bakewell. Speakers were Civil Rights stalwarts Congressman John Lewis, (D-GA) Mrs. Xernona Clayton, Ambassador Young and Mr. Bakewell. The speeches were not only riveting, they were empowering and informative.
The final event was the Launch Party of the NNPA’s revamped website, BlackPressUSA.com, which will feature content from NNPA pubs, and links to all of the member publication sites.
If you are a corporate decision maker and want to reach the African American consumer where they really live, you must utilize the Black Press. EPMG can help you reach this valuable consumer group, whether you are considering print, web, or social media platforms. Feel free to contact me at Benita@epmg360.com, or call (866) 664-4432, ext. 408.