Friday, October 12, 2012

The new Orion app: Get ready!

The Orion has signed a contract with iCampusTimes for a new smartphone and tablet app that will give the paper a new web platform and set the stage for making more money.

The paper joins more than 30 other college publications, many of them dailies, under the iCampus umbrella. The new app:
• provides readers with a small-screen-friendly interface that makes navigating content easy
• lets the paper post news on the app simultaneously with or immediately through the app dashboard
• lets advertisers post digital coupons or deals in real time on a special Offers page that updates immediately and automatically
• has a couple of other advertising options (banners and home-screen tiles) that should be attractive to merchants who want access to students' phones
• will push information to phones and tablets if the user requests that service.

The Red and Black at the University of Georgia signed on to the same service earlier this fall. It's doing a good job of using the app's functionality (that's its home screen on the right), if you'd like to take a look.

Kelsy Jehle and her ad staff are gearing up to promote the new app and start signing advertisers to monthly contracts. Once the link to the app is available, I'm hoping everyone on the paper will aggressively encourage their friends to download it.

Kacey Gardner and the other news-side managers will be meeting in the next week to figure out how The Orion can add the new platform to the paper's publishing routine. If you have ideas for how best to make this happen, be sure to let her know.

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