The President's Message: October 2008

Planning Meeting Report

After considerable discussion, the Community Papers of Florida board of directors followed the recommendation of the Conference Committee to stay with one annual conference per year.

During these tough economic times and the challenges we face, having only one conference per year will permit the association to continue to pay for the room costs, training, food and beverages.

The committee recommended more training tracks for the 2009 conference, including graphics, editorial and sales. We will also move the annual "Awards for Excellence" from the previous years' Saturday luncheon ceremony back to a Friday night gala dinner affair. We will continue to close the conference with CPF's own tradition, the Kentucky Derby Reception.

Remember the joint conferences CPF held with the Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP) at Daytona Beach (in 2002) and Miami (in 2006)? These were the largest conferences in the free paper industry. We have now started planning for another joint conference to be held in May of 2011.

We will continue our regional training sessions. Starting in November, publishers can have a classified network training session at their facility. This session will kick off on November 19. See the related ad in this issue.

In 2009 we will set up regional training sessions in different areas of the state. AFCP's The Leadership Institute (TLI) classes will be available for those sessions. At the present time, TLI has 24 training sessions available. You can take a look at them by going to the AFCP Web page at www.afcp.org and clicking on TLI, or by clicking on the "Conference" tab on the new CPF Web site home page, then on "The Leadership Institute" tab, then on the link in that article. For regional training sessions, the CPF office will poll the publishers in the area and let them choose the seminars that are best suited for them.

By the time this newsletter is in your hands, the new CPF Web site will be live. Go to www.communitypapersofflorida.com and take a look. A special thanks to Barbara Holmes in the CPF office, and to Tom Reno at Tower Publications in Gainesville, for their work on this project. More information on the new Web site is in a related article in this newsletter.

At the recent planning session and board meeting, the directors approved the recommendations of the Finance Committee to take a look at network ad rates. With revenue down from last year, and loss of circulation in the association, we had to make some decisions to stimulate network sales.

The CPF office will compile a list of advertisers that we have lost over the past year, and place them back into the hands of the reps that originally sold them. These clients will be offered a special, for a limited time, "buy four weeks and get one week free" offer.

With revenue down, we took a close look at the 2009 budget and made a few cuts. But thanks to our strong financial picture, we are in a great position to move forward with another great year for members of this association.

I'd like to extend a warm thank you to the board members, the committee members and their guests, for their valuable time attending our planning session. We appreciate your input.

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