Walter L. White. Photo provided

By Walter L. White

Sesh Communications was fortunate enough to participate in the Google Ad Transformation Lab 2021. Through involvement in the lab, we improved the page views and advertising revenue of the Cincinnati Herald’s website. As a newspaper owner, you too can benefit from improved digital advertising sales which can increase your print advertising sales if sold correctly to your clients i.e. (Combo Rates)! I cannot express how much I appreciate having the opportunity to be a part of this unbelievable GNI Lab. It has given me a renewed purpose as far as my place in the workplace – now I do not feel like I am a dinosaur in the expiring newspaper business.

The Cincinnati Herald just as many of my African American Newspaper peers, contracted a website developer and had a new website created some ten years ago. After the website was created. In our minds, we thought we had a good-looking website. Free movie tickets and some other giveaways would drive visitors to our website. The GNI Ad Transformation Lab has taught us we need to develop a successful website strategy.  The Cincinnati Herald after only five months of implementing our digital content and advertising strategy has seen increase advertising revenue from digital and print sales.

In December of 2020 I received an email from Eric Rosato of Google. So, I like all the other publishers filled out the Google Application and thought well that is that – we will never hear from Google again regarding participating in a GNI Lab. But low and behold a week later I got a follow-up email informing me that we had been selected to interview with the GNI Ad Transformation team. That was the first instant that the word “FEAR” crept into my mind. My thinking was we do not have a ghost of a chance to be selected to be a part of a Google lab. I was determined that the owner, myself, and our digital team would put together a compelling presentation. In other words, we were not going down without a fight! We got into the lab.

Then came the first GNI Ad Transformation Lab session during the third week of January 2021. Not only was “FEAR” of the unknown running all through my mind. I was totally clueless about what was being said to us during our first session. This sense of “FEAR” and Cluelessness lastly for about three sessions. Then I decided if I was ever going to overcome this fear, I needed to dedicate myself to reading all the homework and staying completely focus during all sessions. Asking for 1:1 with the 10up and Google teams, and the most important factor was getting rid of the “FEAR” OF ASKING DUMB QUESTIONS! Because there were and are no dumb questions.

We found that the Google and the 10up teams were so gracious with their time and show a super patient with me and my team throughout this learning process Michael Grant, Katie Wilkerson, Hayley Belanger, Eric Rosato, Steve Meyers, Todd Stauffer, Jones Austin, SethMills-Canon Cole, Geissinger, Mike Bal, Jeff Paul, Fernando Diaz, Ryan Welcher, Mellissa Vander Wilt, Nate Tower, Sibel Lowin, and countless other behind the scenes employees at Google and 10up who contributed to the design, development, creating, and execution of this extortionary GNI Ad Transformation Lab.

Now one might say why did Walter mention all those people, – there is an old African Proverb – “It Takes a Village Raise a Child”! Well, the Village of Google and 10up raise me and 62 other minority publications into the futuristic world of digital content and advertising sales. And we at the Cincinnati Herald will always be grateful for this business transformation – which has led us into the future of the written word!

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