CBN Facelift is More than Skin Deep

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The new logo and website for Cascade Business News is more than a cosmetic change to a popular and respected brand.

When I first moved to Central Oregon I did what we all do—I picked up a copy of the Cascade Business News and checked out the local business scene. This bi-monthly ritual of perusing the whos and whats of Bend business has continued since ’93 but like most of you, I’m spending more and more of my newsgathering time in front of a computer and less time with my nose to the newsprint.

Relax, the printed edition of CBN isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s more popular than ever. It’s just that when it comes to where and when we read (or view or listen to media), today’s consumer likes to be in the driver’s seat (not while reading of course). We’ve got Tivo and podcasts and Blackberrys to help us gobble up our choice of media whenever we want it.

We’re all getting a little more internet savvy and the great folks at CBN are no exception. They’ve launched their popular Book of Lists online and have now stepped into the world of Web 2.0 with their upgraded website.

Like most marketing agencies, we did our homework before creating the new site for CBN. In the process, we found out some interesting things about newspaper websites and about you, the reader:

1. Newspaper Websites are Popular. Nationwide, the audience for newspaper websites is growing at nearly twice the rate of the overall online audience, according to new data released just a few weeks ago by the Newspaper Association of America.
2. Newspaper Website Visitors Stand Out. According to 2007 Nielson Net Ratings, visitors to newspaper websites have higher household incomes, shop online more frequently and are more likely to hold professional or managerial positions than other internet users.
3. Newspaper Websites are the Most Trusted. Discriminating web surfers may enjoy blog sites and social networking sites, but they prefer to get their news from trusted news sources.

So, although we suspected it, now we know for sure that you’re smarter and richer than the average internet user! Which is probably the reason you’re living in Central Oregon in the first place. We also know that the Cascade Business News is the most trusted source for indepth business news in Central Oregon. With that in mind, we wanted to make a great-looking site that made delivering what CBN does best to you—the discriminating consumer.

As a marketing and web development company, working with the team at Cascade Business News has been exceptionally rewarding because they possess a commodity that is extremely rare when working with new web clients. They have amazing amounts of great content. There was no pulling of teeth or long nights trying to dream up what we would say on the site. The only challenge was to develop a site that allowed the CBN staff to easily upload content in one place and have it displayed automatically in the appropriate section and/or on the homepage. They also needed automatic archiving and some other cool features like search capabilities, Calendar of Events, RSS feeds and a Classifieds Section. The new web-based Content Management System (CMS) means they no-longer need Dreamweaver or other expensive software. They can upload and edit content from any internet-enabled PC.

In addition to the important user features, it also makes sense to have the latest display advertising capabilities for the site. What local business wouldn’t want a strong, consistent, trackable presence in front of the most sophisticated, affluent group in town? It’s no wonder that newspaper websites generate more advertising revenue than any other type of site. Newspapers historically have the strongest and most thorough demographic research and their websites deliver the audience that advertisers are looking for.

Because Zeal is also a branding company, we only sleep well at night if we’ve addressed the most important topic of all…what is the Cascade Business News brand and how can we communicate it more effectively to today’s audience?

“The new logo was an evolutionary design that built upon the decade-old logo, retaining the mountains and stylized river but clearly setting the paper apart as a business journal that is relevant and relatable to today’s reader,” noted Zeal Creative Director Paul Ruettgers. “We wanted everyone to feel a level of visual sophistication that matches the content provided in the paper.” The new brand brightens up the newspaper masthead and also translates well to the web. Our informal research also shows that the key audience (you) often refers to the publication as “CBN,” not “The Cascade Business News.”  The concept is not for CBN to stand alone, but to reinforce this key element and present it in a professional and modern way.

We’ve got a lot more in store for CBN (like e-newsletters and “text news” to your mobile phone, etc.) and we invite you to let us know your comments. Afterall, CBN readers are the brightest folks around.

Comments:
Jeff Martin at jeff@cascadebusnews.com.

Or Steve Shepherd at steve@zeal.com. www.linkedin.com/in/zealmedia

Zeal is located in Sisters and can be reached at 541-549-1868 or www.zeal.com.

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