Secrets of the City Redesign Biz Plan | Advertising | Digital & Social Media

Business Plan

Summary

Secrets of the City is on track to be the top digital brand for arts, culture, and events information for “People in the Know” in the Twin Cities metro area. Award-winning media impresario Taylor Carik and Mediation Productions, LLC have acquired a website that jointly features two well known brands in the Twin Cities – Secrets of the City (formerly The Rake magazine) and MNSpeak. The new leadership is currently rehabilitating the brands and seeks to overhaul the business to fll a unique online space in the market by focusing on simple and clean design and quality intelligent content. Secrets of the City is currently growing as a low-overhead media operation with a trusted brand, a tailored approach to being a multi-platform media outlet, and several working and potential revenue streams. Modest investment is necessary to guarantee budget for the frst months of start-up, to fnish re-development of the existing site and designs, and to market the site for site growth and increased inventory. This business plan lays out current and future Secrets of the City operations, and future projections for the business.

Contents
Summary Project Overview Product Description Brand Staff Traffc Financials Expenses Revenues Market Specs Investment

Overview

78.8% of people in the Twin Cities accessed the internet last month 59.0% did not read any daily newspaper(s) yesterday – DMA data according to Clear Channel Outdoors

Twin Cities media consumers are turning more and more to online sources of information – magazines, alt weeklies, newspapers, and TV news stations all have corresponding websites to try and deliver their brand and content to digital audiences. But as media consumers get more news and information from the web, the current digital designs and old media strategies are less and less effective for both audiences and advertisers.

"Of all the cities in the United States that received high scores on creativity – in other words, high technology, lots of innovation, attracting young people, tolerant place for racial and ethnic people, gays and lesbians – one stood out. And that was the Minneapolis St. Paul Twin Cities," Florida says. – MN Public Radio, “Is the Twin Cities metro really a haven for the creative class?”

While current media institutions try to connect with the growing digital audience – especially with regards to arts, culture, and events – many miss out on two elements: editorial content that appeals to an already informed audience and a digital presence that is truly multi-platform.
The three-screen media scenario—TV, computer and mobile—is giving way to a multi-screen media reality for consumers. Television screens and programming still command the lion’s share of Americans’ media day. But the internet is having a profound effect on consumers’ viewing habits and the proliferation of devices is altering their viewing behavior. – e-marketer, “Multiscreen viewing habits on the rise”

Enter the new Secrets of the City. Secrets of the City will lead the local media market in utilizing digital platforms – from connecting to audiences over social media to design that fts for mobile and tablets – and it will lead in monetizing its online audience in new and proven ways. Secrets of the City will build its brand by distributing its editorial content in ways that match consumers' online habits, whether it's engaging in conversations in social media or integrating to new mobile applications. Doing so will easily put Secrets of the City at the forefront of the local media market. As the business grows, but remains effcient and fexible, Secrets of the City will also be poised for several development opportunities including frst to market for new digital trends and even the possibility of franchising to other markets.

Product Description
Overview Secrets of the City content consists of: • • • One to two daily short form features, including interviews, reviews, upcoming events, and news releases Three featured “under the radar” arts and culture events of the day Mon-Thurs, six featured events on Fridays Links to the other “can't miss” stories from around the market

Unlike other media outlets that are frst and foremost print publications, Secrets of the City content is distributed on a schedule that is tailored to each platform, including the website (real time), email (once a day), and a strong social media presence (both real time and paced per each platform through the day). Website The redesigned website focuses on quality content, including well written text and large photography. The homepage features content, one to two advertising spaced for display advertising, advertiser's and partner's twitter feeds, and direct links to other stories. The coding is in html5 for optimized viewing experiences, including mobile and tablets like the iPad. Secrets of the City uses Wordpress for the CMS to maximize fexibility and draw on a large cross-section of developers. Social Media In addition to the website and email, Secrets of the City connects with its audience via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The social media distribution is rapidly growing. Email The daily email consists of a summary of the day's feature, the full text of each featured event, one display ad and rotating twitter streams.

Brand
Summary The tag line for the new Secrets of the City is “For people in the know.” The brand represents a more nuanced and detailed perspective for an audience already versed in the many local topics covered on the site. Brand Personality Who is Secrets of the City? He or she would be a college-educated individual in a steady relationship who owns a home (or is looking to own a home) in the metro area and is interested in staying informed about goings-on in their city. He or she is a hip, in the know, connoisseur that has a variety of topical interests, including local politics, visual and performing arts, breaking news, food, fashion and music highlights, and is exposed to multiple news and information sources through the course of a day. Design Guidelines The Secrets of the City color palate fts in alongside other professional and higher end brand designs and consists of mostly black and white with red highlights. There's an emphasis on open space and a focus on usability instead of too much information. Positioning Secrets of the City focuses on engaging its audience with a steady, but not overbearing or cluttered, digital approach. Unlike other digital outlets focused on sheer audience size, Secrets of the City provides a smaller amount of quality content to support its brand.

Staff
Secrets of the City staff consist of some of the best and brightest up-and-comers in the Twin Cities media world. Publisher Taylor Carik was recently featured in METRO Magazine's “Articulating the Creative Class”:
Sometimes the most infuential people in media are the ones furthest from the limelight. Taylor Carik is precisely that person. After winning a regional Emmy for his work as managing producer at KARE 11’s Metromix Twin Cities, Carik was instrumental in the launch of Rick Kupchella’s Bring Me the News, all while receiving state and national recognition for his blog “mediation” (City Pages Best Blog of 2008) and a second regional Emmy nomination, this time for his Internet radio show on Flak Radio. A crusty industry vet, yet only in his early 30s, Carik’s latest endeavor is no less ambitious than his path thus far: He’s the new owner and publisher of Secrets of the City. ~ “Articulating the Creative Class”, Minnesota Business Magazine, Feb 2011

In addition to Carik's media work, he's also an event organizer, including the annual Zombie Pub Crawl on the West Bank of Minneapolis, which last year drew over 12,000 participants. Events Editor Kate Iverson has held several positions in arts organizations throughout the city. In addition to her work with L'etoile Magazine, Kate was also a winner of the Twin Cities Social Media Titan:
The past year has been good to Kate, she recently won “Best Social Director” in MN Monthly’s “Best of 2009″ issue. She also won a Metro 100 award for the being editor of the l’etoile blog. Metro called l’etoile “the online magazine with the biggest Rolodex in town!”

Associate Publish Kelsey Johnson launched the popular Studio Visits project on Secrets of the City to promote local artists in the Metro area; she specializes in photography and design, and does event coordinating and communications through Minneapolis. Account Executive Mark Holland has worked in the ad world, the music business, and the arts for over 15 years. He's done radio sales with KQRS / LOVE105, music booking and band management with his former company New Amsterdam Productions, and booked talent for the Uptown Bar and Cafe.

Market Specs
Sector: Local Media Market size: The Twin Cities/Minnesota are the #14 Designated Market Area in the United States. The DMA features a large population of active and engaged readers – at 39% of the population with a college degree or more, the Twin Cities is well ahead of the rest of the nation. The DMA supports several traditional media outlets: two newspapers, 4 network television news stations, radio networks, glossy magazines and several online offerings.
___________________________________________________________________ DMA Population (Adults 18+) 3,415,874 Personally attended/visited a live theater last year 27.9% More than half of MN's residents live in the 7 state metro area Median Age of 7 County Metro Area: 45.39 Median Household Income 7 County Metro Area: $64,454.31 ___________________________________________________________________

Secrets of the City will focus on the 28-55 year old, urban, educated demographic subset within the market. Mediation Productions will initially use the verticals provided by Secrets of the City, then look to expand our collective reach within the market by partnering with other titles that appeal to the same demographic. This expansion will connect with specifc niches in the market – Heavy Table with the “foodie” audience, l'etoile with the fashion audience, etc. – while at the same time aggregating sales inventory for the prospective advertising clients. The market positioning will avoid overlap with existing media outlets as much as possible and provide new content for its audience.

Traffc
Current traffc: January 2011 40,000 uniques/month 60,000 visits/month 80,000 pageviews/month 410 Facebook fans 3,075 Twitter followers 39 Tumblr followers 3,700 Email list subscribers 5,700 "Deals" subscribers Projected traffc: January 20121 120,000 – 160,000 uniques/month 160,000 – 200,000 visits/month 400,000 – 600,000 pageviews/month 7,000 Email list subscribers 3,500 Facebook fans 7,000 Twitter followers 300 Tumblr followers

For comparison, comparable Arts & Entertainment publications in the Twin Cities DMA: City Pages Minnpost MSP Mag Heavy Table – – – – 500,000 uniques, 11,000 Twitter followers, 8,300 Facebook fans 225,000 uniques, 9,400 Twitter followers, 3,800 Facebook fans 70,000 uniques, 8,804 Twitter followers, 2,897 Facebook fans 40,000 uniques, 5,167 Twitter followers, 2,359 Facebook fans

1These estimates are conservative projections based off of previous site activity and comparisons within the market.

Financials
Section A: Expenses Secrets of the City operates on a very effcient, low-overhead model. There is no cost of distribution other than hosting and subscriptions for monitoring. Nearly all the cost of operation is devoted to staff time.
Editor Publisher Freelance Writing Budget Sales Person Salary Sales person commission (33% of sales) Rent Hosting Email program Marketing GA Loan Repayment Expenses $2,400.00 $2,800.00 $700.00 $1,700.00 $3,293.40 $600.00 $15.00 $75.00 $400.00 $130.00 $11,468.40

Note: Several of these costs are scalable and will have a ramp up time, but each number is conservative fgure and corresponds to scalable revenue.

Total Expenses Combined expenses: $11,468/mo., $137,616/yr. These estimates are for the frst year of operation.

Section B: Revenue Streams Display Advertising Display advertising places ads on the website. Ads are sold either at CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click) pricing. Inventory for display advertising is contingent on website traffc; the more traffc for the site, the more impressions can be sold to advertisers. Projected revenue: $5,775/mo. [70% inventory at $12-15 CPM at 550,000 impressions]

CPM Revenue (Targeted) 100% impress at $15 CPM 70% impress at $15 CPM 50% impress at $15 CPM 30% impress at $15 CPM 100% impress at $12 CPM 70% impress at $12 CPM 50% impress at $12 CPM 30% impress at $12 CPM

$8,250.00 $5,775.00 $4,125.00 $2,475.00 $6,600.00 $4,620.00 $3,300.00 $1,980.00

* Comparative CPM rates: Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine – $25-35 CPM Live Announcements – Advertiser's Twitter Feed Display Secrets of the City promotes advertisers' twitter streams on the homepage, and will also include advertisers' twitter streams in the daily email. Projected revenue: $6,720/mo. [70% inventory at $800/ month]

Live Announcements 100% of 12 spots at $800/mo. 70% of 12 spots at $800/mo. 50% of 12 spots at $800/mo. 30% of 12 spots at $800/mo.

$9,600.00 $6,720.00 $4,800.00 $2,880.00

Email Advertising – Daily Emails Each daily email includes one advertising spot at the top left of the email. Projected Revenue: $2,800/mo. [70% inventory at $200 per email]
Email ads 100% of 20 spots at $200/email 70% of 20 spots at $200/email 50% of 20 spots at $200/email 30% of 20 spots at $200/email

$4,000.00 $2,800.00 $2,000.00 $1,200.00

Site Sponsorships – Placing Advertiser Content on Our Page Secrets of the City also intends to sell spots for sponsored content that will be similar to “special advertising sections” in print magazines. The pricing on these sponsored content spots would run per campaign. Projected Revenue: $700/mo. [70% inventory at $250 a month]

Events and Event Sponsorships Exposure at various events will also generate additional revenue based off of advertiser buyin. For example, inclusion in a Secrets of the City event such as the upcoming Culinary Underground event presents advertising opportunities. Projected Revenue: $700/mo.

Section E: Ad Consortium The specifcs of the advertising consortium is still being worked out. But Secrets of the City could realistically see between a 20-50% increase in display advertising revenue as a result of selling inventory on partner sites. Projected Revenue: $700/mo.

Total Revenue Combined revenue streams at 70% sold inventory: $15,995/mo., $191,940/yr.

Proft
Projected proft based off of current plan:

Monthly Yearly

Revenue $15,995.00 $191,940.00

Expenses $11,468.00 $137,616.00

Proft $4,527.00 $54,324.00

* More detailed Secrets of the City Budgetary Projections and Estimates available on request.

Marketing Plan
The marketing strategy to increase the audience size for the new Secrets of the City consists of two elements: social media growth for higher brand exposure and referral traffc and presences at events appropriate for the demographic. Social Media Referral Twitter Growth Secrets of the City has done an aggressive push on Twitter to increase the number of followers, engage the audience and to convert the audience to the site. Secrets of the City has grown from ~1,000 Twitter followers in September 2010 to ~3,100 Twitter followers in January 2011. Twitter strategy includes contest tickets and gift cards from advertising clients, and using applications for targeting followers who participate in the contests and mention Secrets of the City in conversation.

Facebook Growth Secrets of the City is well positioned to also create a lot of referral traffc via Facebook with two approaches: 1. A Facebook display campaign will be run to increase the size of the audience for the Secrets of the City Facebook page. 2. An additional display, similar to the example below, will be run to hyper-target Facebook users by the type of content for each feature run on Secrets of the City.

Campaigns that feature ad purchases based off hyper-targeting interests that align with Secrets of the City content.

Event partnerships
Secrets of the City has already had good connections to events that cross-promote to the appropriate demographic, including: • Game Night at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (attendance) • New Year's Eve at the Red Stag Supperclub Currently in the works for events that reach thousands of people: • Picnics at St. Paul Saints games • Cinco de Mayo Festival in St. Paul • Art-a-Whirl • Talk of Stacks authors series at Hennepin County Libraries

Investment Summary
Purpose Secrets of the City is working towards securing investment of $50,000 or more to quickly and sharply grow Secrets of the City’s site, social presence, and overall business. The investment money with be specifcally used to: • • •
Finish and push the new site development Start a marketing campaign to give us more inventory to sell Provide guarantees for short-term operational expenses

Structure To obtain the needed funding for growth, Secrets of the City is looking to acquire investors at $5,000 increments up to the target amount; the minimum investment is $5,000. Each investor will receive an interest rate of 5%. Investments of $20,000 or higher receive a bonus return of 2% of yearly proft for each $5,000 invested up to 20%. Yearly proft is determined by covering projected expenses with a 2-5% margin. The duration of investment is three years, payback on the investment starts after proftability after the frst year and investment repayment will be on a quarterly basis.

(Return examples on the next page.)

Return Rate Examples for 3-year Duration (repayment after frst year)
Initial Amount $5,000.00 $10,000.00 $20,000.00 $50,000.00 Return Rate 5% interest rate 5% interest rate 5% interest rate 5% interest rate Total Return $5,250.00 $10,500.00 $21,000.00 $52,500.00 If Secrets nets $10K If Secrets nets $50K N/A N/A $21,200.00 $53,500.00 N/A N/A $22,000.00 $57,500.00

Investment amounts over $50,000 will also be considered on an individual basis. Terms sheets and contracts can be provided by Mediation Productions.

Contact
For more information on Secrets of the City: Taylor Carik tcarik@secretsofthecity.com

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