Situation: You may not be aware or have not been watching what the vision of Tim Armstrong, AOL’s President, has done in the last year with the editorial strategy of covering the news in local markets left uncovered as newspapers laid off staff and cut costs to survive. It is time for dealers to pay attention to what AOL and Patch is doing to your local market place – why you will want to be a part of this local coverage with advertising and editorial—and a vigorous PR presence.
Here are some stats that should be brought to the attention of your dealership management team, particularly, the marketing and internet sales group.
Local Patch Websites: 827
Number of States where Patch is up: 20
Number of Local Journalists: 1,000
Number of Articles posted every day: 5,000
Number of Bloggers: 2,000
Traffic: 15 Million in May or 500,000 per day
Content on Patch: Formatted, franchise style content that includes local community news, calendar events, photos, and upbeat stories about businesses including dealerships in metro and suburban locales.
What does Patch seek to do: Cover local news like a small town newspaper to include city council meetings, catalogue businesses and organizations, promote volunteerism, investigate and report issues and problems, and engage as a diverse voice on a digitized platform. AOL Patch wants to be the “hub of the community” just like the local newspaper used to be.
What does this mean to a dealer in an AOL Patch Franchise: Immediate gain of local coverage of all your community activities, events, and charities. Plus now banner advertising platforms in this media is available. Add the AOL Patch journalists to your public and community relations actions. Get them in your dealership and tell them your story and what your team is doing to give people a transportation source not available anywhere else.
There is another “factor” working for Patch: AOL bought Huffington Post and gained Arianna Huffington’s editorial leadership, vision, and drive. This is changing things at AOL every day by providing new leadership to support, supplement, and streamline the local coverage mission and operation. HuffPo Local is coming.