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Brainerd Dispatch uses new tools to reach its audiences

Whether it’s news or advertising, Brainerd Dispatch employees have more ways to communicate with their readers.

While the print edition of the Dispatch continues to be popular, an increasing number of readers are receiving their news and information in ways that were never even dreamed of when the Brainerd Dispatch first began informing the public with ink on paper in 1881.

Hundreds of readers have downloaded the Dispatch’s iPad app with access to videos and additional photos, all within the exact replica of the printed newspaper.

The Dispatch mobile website — available by typing in via a web browser — is available on smartphones with iPhone or Android or Windows.

Reporters who once used notebooks and typewriters and were limited by the constraints of presses that ran once a day now communicate directly to their readers through tweets and Facebook postings.

The Dispatch website, established in what seems like prehistoric days of 1996, prominently features an “On the Fly” section where reporters offer tidbits of upcoming stories which are in progress. The newspaper’s website had more than 17 million page views in a year. The Dispatch has doubled its number of unique visitors to the website in the past two years.

Also, Dispatch news stories are now complemented by videos. The newspaper’s website receives about 20,000 video views each month.

Mike Bialka, sports editor and Jeremy Millsop, sports writer, host a weekly video broadcast, “Sideline View,” offering their commentary on area sports from various locations.

Advertisers looking for a new audience can market their products on the Dispatch’s iPad edition, which uses the newspaper format but allows digital readers to turn from page to page, complete with interactive capabilities. The e-edition also displays in a manner similar to the printed edition for the computer. Mobile apps and a mobile edition also help the Brainerd Dispatch reach smartphone users with personalized information.

The Brainerd Dispatch has reinvented itself in an effort to provide its readers with news that’s up to date as well as media platforms that are constantly evolving.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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