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That’s according to a press release from the newspaper (where, full disclosure, I worked for eight years). The content itself will be developed by Speakeasy, the year-old “social content marketing company” that is a joint venture between the Morning News and a local ad agency.

Some of these stories have already appeared as a beta, like “5 DFW attractions to add to your end-of-summer bucket list” or “5 ways to create perfect pumpkins without carving,” both brought to you by a North Dallas candle shop. (You can see the placement of the “Extra!” sponsored content on DallasNews.com’s entertainment section front.) Press release below.

The Dallas Morning News Becomes Largest Newspaper in Texas to Establish Native Advertising for Consumers

(DALLAS) –The Dallas Morning News has officially extended native advertising for its consumers and clients. Following other major market U.S. newspapers in developing new revenue generating avenues, the Morning News becomes the largest paper in Texas to make this move.

“Our approach is straightforward and low-risk by serving up original, high-quality content in a contextually relevant environment sponsored by an advertising partner,” said Lindsay Jacaman, general manager of digital marketing for The Dallas Morning News and chief revenue officer for the Morning News’ partner in content and digital marketing, Speakeasy.

Speakeasy, a joint venture between The Dallas Morning News and Slingshot LLC, is a social content marketing company that conceives, develops and executes turnkey social campaigns and promotions for both local and national brands. Speakeasy is responsible for developing the native advertising content for its clients that will run across the Morning News digital platforms.

Native advertising helps advertisers reach targeted customers by providing attention grabbing Web content. The content is paid for by the advertiser and designed to complement editorial content found in GuideLive through superlative copy and high-impact images. The Morning News has already experienced a successful beta launch with this new product, entitled Extra!, by exceeding industry standards for click through traffic numbers. Now, Morning News executives believe they are extending possibilities for new and existing advertisers by allowing them to benefit from engaging with its consumer base by providing relevant and compelling content.

“Native advertising was a new concept to us, but after speaking with Lindsay’s team, I had high hopes for the program, given their approach,” said Kathleen Beathard, vice president of public relations and marketing for Methodist Health System. “The Dallas Morning News surpassed our expectations in terms of both the number of impressions delivered as well as our click through traffic. The Speakeasy team was able to position the Methodist Health System brand with smart and insightful articles on making healthy choices, which helps to foster the connection between Methodist Health System and healthy living.”

The process of finding the right content to match with the proper sponsor will be managed by Speakeasy executives, followed by a sign off from the Morning News editorial staff. Each campaign will last seven days, and will be integrated with social media and share features found on DallasNews.com.

“As our industry continues to evolve, we are evolving with it to benefit both our consumers and sponsors. By creating an opportunity for virality through content and digital advertising, I believe we will continue to enhance our products and establish additional leadership in the publishing industry,” said Jacaman.

— Joshua Benton
                                   
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  • Barko Vaarboom

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/sponsored-content-pretty-fucking-awesome,32479/

    Newspapers abandoning the high ground and selling out their brands to compete in the paid content trenches with the buzzfeeds is the equivalent of the Ford Pinto and Chevy Chevette. A recipe for failure that will take down entire brands and leave the job of providing actual news to the Huff Posts and BuzzFeeds of the world.

    http://www.niemanlab.org/2013/02/press-publish-8-clay-christensen-on-the-disruption-of-journalism/

  • Martin Langeveld

    “Native advertising for consumers” is a pretty good piece of obfuscation. Where have consumers indicated any kind of preference for advertising masquerading as news, carrying only the slightest indication that it’s content bought and paid for? How soon will the DMN decide that if it works online, maybe it will work in print as well, and start publishing this stuff as regular news content in the paper, with a tiny “Sponsored content” slug attached? This will not end well.

  • Lon Haenel

    Joshua- Are they planning to publish native advertising buys exclusively on the ‘lite’ news site?

  • http://www.niemanlab.org/ Joshua Benton

    i don’t know! Wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Lon Haenel

    It would seem to follow. I’ve heard reports that the premium site may be free of advertising. It will be interesting to watch. I could see a scenario where banner advertising AND native digital both appear on the “lite” version of the site.