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Metromix sites set for 'Best Of' feature

Gannettoid.com | news@gannettoid.com | Posted: Dec. 31, 2009 • Morning report

Metromix, the joint entertainment Web site venture of Gannett and Tribune, is looking ahead to 2010 for a "Best Of" feature.

According to a memo sent Dec. 17 from April Denn, Metromix's director of sales marketing and ad operations, participating markets will invite users to vote for the "best of" that market's restaurants, bars and other spots.

"Our editorial teams will pick out the cream of the crop and Metromix users will vote on the winner," Denn wrote. According to an attachment with the memo, 28 markets are participating.

Voting is scheduled to begin on categories Jan. 11 with winners being announced Jan. 25-29.

Metromix best of

Here is the memo:

From: April Denn
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 5:58 PM
Subject: Best Of 2010

Sales Teams,

Hope you are all doing well. Following you’ll find some important information regarding a new initiative that will include ad products available for local markets to sell:

We are in the process of launching a new editorial package that will invite users to vote on the best places to go in their city. Whether it’s for best pizza, best sushi or best bar, our editorial teams will pick out the cream of the crop and Metromix users will vote on the winner. Each participating market will be required to do 6 pre-defined categories, but then has free reign to do whatever and however many other categories they know will bode well in their market. The required categories are as follows:

Best bar
Best brunch
Best burger
Best pizza
Best restaurant
Best sushi restaurant

While most Metromix markets will be participating in this effort, there are a few that are unable to for a variety of reasons. For those markets that are participating, it is extremely important that each sales team meet with their respective marketing and editorial staff to discuss all categories that will be covered and how this is being rolled out and managed.

For reference, attached you will find the following:

• Best of 2010 Marketing and Editorial Schedule/Plan
• These are the guidelines and timelines sent out to all your marketing/editorial staff and will give you a good understanding of all aspects of the program and when each element will be rolled out.
• Best of 2010 Disclaimer
• This document answers some specific questions about the nominee and voting process that will be a good reference on how we are executing this program should questions come up for any reason
• Award Level Page & Main Overview/Collection Page Mock-Ups
• Some basic examples of what this content will look like on your sites. Once the voting goes live, you’ll be able to pull live screen shots of actual categories specific to your market.
• Best of 2010 Participating Markets List
• Best of 2010 Logo – in case you are in need of this for any presentations or collateral

As you will see in the mock-ups I have attached, the Best of 2010 editorial will include a brand new template built by our product development team. While the homepage and category level pages differ slightly, ad units and capabilities are consistent on both page types. Ad units available by team are as follows:

LOCAL SALES TEAMS (includes Gannett National Sales Team):
• 728x90 ATF
• 300x250 BTF
• 468x60 BTF
• 960x300 Sliding Billboard (with or without 960x30 pencil leave behind)
• Peel back
• Floating Ads
• Reskins – Award Level Pages available now; Homepage (collection page) pending development

• 300x250 ATF
• 960x300 Sliding Billboard (with or without 960x30 pencil leave behind)
• Peel back
• Floating Ads
• Reskins – Category level Pages available now; Homepage (collection page) pending development

RESKINS: The reskin functionality is currently in place for Category level pages. Best of 2010 Homepage reskinning functionality is currently under development. We are currently targeting this feature to be available the week of January 11. As soon as this becomes available to sell, we will let all sales teams know. Please do not sell Best of 2010 Homepage reskinning without confirming availability with me first.

• All creative, both standard display and rich media, must adhere to the established Metromix creative specs and guidelines
• Standard Metromix Adops turn-around times apply for all products. Please note these vary by ad product (i.e, reskins require 10 business days turnaround vs. 2 business days for standard display products)
• Intrusive Rich Media (sliding billboards, peelbacks, floating ads and reskins) are available to both sales teams on a first come first serve basis

• We will allow local markets to sell the ATF 300x250 national ad unit if available, but it must be sold as pre-emptible inventory should our national sales team sell it at any point.

Please note that we cannot accept impression-based campaigns for Best of 2010 targeted packages. Since we have not run this specific content guide in the past, we have no benchmark on traffic expectations and therefore cannot guarantee a specific impression number. All packages must be sold in the following manner:

• Percentage-based Share of Voice: This means you will be required to identify a specific percentage of “Best of 2010” inventory you would like assigned to each participating advertiser up to 100%. For example, one advertiser may purchase 50% while the remaining two advertisers may purchase 25% each. This should be noted on your i.o. along with a fixed fee at time of submission.

• For standard display, please use the section-targeted rates on your established rate cards.

• For rich media, please use the standard rich media rates on your established rate cards.

While the ad units will not change, the editorial guide will consist of two different page types:

• Homepage (Collection Page) – This highlights page is a collection of all best-of categories that users can then click on to get to the category they would like to vote on.
• Category Page – This is the category-specific page that users will vote on the selected nominees. Once the voting period is over, each category page will automatically update with the winner.
• Please note that all venue listings included on either the homepage or category page will not inherit any Best of ad targeting. Ads targeted to any Best of content will only appear on either page type listed above.

You are able to sell standard display ads and rich media ads targeted in the following ways:

• All Best of 2010 content pages (which includes the homepage and each category-specific award page)
• Best of 2010 Homepage only
• Best of 2010 Category Pages – All Category-Specific Pages
• Individual Category-Specific pages (for example, Giordano’s Pizzeria wants to sponsor only the “Best of Pizza” category

Please traffic the Best of 2010 as you would any producer guide campaign with the following notes:

• Indicate targeting information in the notes section (which pages or specific categories)
• Include fixed/flat fee for each line item. Any cpm/impression based rates will be pushed back for correcting
• Include the specific share of voice you would like assigned for each advertiser on each line item targeted to Best of. You will be required to identify a specific percentage before trafficking your order

Best of 2010 is the start of a new Metromix tradition in which we hope to gain organic traffic as well as further establish Metromix as a local authority in each market. As we learn from this first effort, we will make changes for continued improvement and welcome all feedback. This is a collective effort so again, please be sure to connect with your local editorial and marketing staff to ensure you are taking advantage of your market’s full potential. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me individually.

Good luck and happy selling!


april denn
director of sales marketing & ad operations
metromix, llc

Schedule for Best of Metromix:

In Progress
Local markets determine categories and nominees.

Local markets should be building out Best-of award-level (nominee category) pages.

Dec. 14
Local teams must finalize categories by COB and submit to Central content team (Excel format distributed to content teams). Include channels that any ad hoc categories should fall into (Example: Best Cupcakes falls in Restaurants). Markets who submit categories after the deadline risk default house ads running on their pages.

Dec. 18
Nominees finalized by local teams.

Editorial and marketing staffs connect to go over list of nominees.

Dec. 18-Jan. 8
Compile list of nominee emails and nominee social media accounts.

Dec. 22
Email alert distributed by Central for local staffs to send to nominees on Jan. 11.

Jan. 6
Best Of landing page functionality released to markets.

Producers: Create Best Of landing page.

Producers/ Marketing: Create Best Of vanity url (producer defined URL)

Example: newyork.metromix.com/bestof
Point local vanity url to local Best Of landing page

Jan. 11
Voting begins
PR blast coordinated by Central
Email alert sent by local staffs to all nominees, urging them to forward to email lists, voter support

Copy and paste email text provided by Central before holidays

Jan. 11-24
House ads run on affiliate/partner sites, pointing to local Best Of vanity

Ads attached, ready for local to schedule
Daily social media push, highlighting categories and nominees, driving voters to the site

Post nominee congrats and voting info to venue social media profiles

Jan. 25-29
Announce winners on MMX site and social media profiles

Post winner congrats to venue social media profiles

Jan. 26-Feb. 15

Deliver window clings in person to winning venues

Central producing and distributing clings and some limited swag, TBD
Sales staff use award/swag to forge venue introductions/relationships
Marketing or editorial may deliver in absence of sales staff

Participating markets:

Atlanta, Brevard, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Delaware, Denver, Detroit, Greenville, Gulf Coast, Honolulu, Hudson Valley, Indy, Jackson, Jersey Shore, Louisville, Nashville, New York, Ozarks, Palm Springs, Reno, Rochester, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Tucson, Twin Cities, Washington, D.C.

Participating markets:

And Speaking of Metromix, here's the latest traffic statistics on the markets, according to the December local sales newsletter.

Metromix visits


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