New Local Media built a website and media strategy to promote a documentary film. The project included ideation, research, scoping, back-end development, and deployment.
The new site meets initial expectations, allowing users to download complex press materials and access promotional content on mobile devices. New Local Media brought an insightful approach to site organization. Their dual expertise in business strategy and design built a sophisticated product.
"[T]heir level of thoughtfulness is hard to come by."
Could you briefly describe your organization?
I work for a public affairs consultancy based out of Milwaukee. We work with various clients in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors.
What is your position?
I’m a partner.
Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you initiated the relationship with New Local Media?
We worked with them on a project to build a custom website for a documentary film. The site was supposed to help promote the film and generate more exposure. We began the project on very short and stringent timeline. We had a number of messages we needed to convey to multiple audiences. Rather than going to a firm that is in the practice of making websites for movies, we said, let’s work with New Local Media to try to address the multiple types of things we were trying to have on the website. We wanted to be able to promote the film while also catering to more localized needs. We needed a partner that could not only build a great site, but also help us think strategically about how to present the content effectively.
Could you describe the scope of the project?
We contacted a separate branding firm to handle the logo design, but New Local Media was responsible for the site. We went to them with our requirements only and a general outline of our goals with the site. They conducted some research and scoped the project out for us, and then we agreed on a deployment strategy and they began to build. They moved us through the whole process, from idea to implementation, and they continue to offer support on a case-by-case basis.
How did you select New Local Media as your solution partner?
I had a personal relationship with Dan [Knauss, founder of New Local Media] through our kids. I was already aware of his company and its services. By the time this project came up, Dan and his family had moved to another state, but we had stayed in touch through social media. I reached out to him with our project description and he sent me a very convincing proposal. We basically took it from there.
Can you provide a sense of the size of this project in monetary terms?
It was less than $10,000 in total.
When was this site launched?
We launched it in September or October of 2012.
In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of their work?
There were a couple of things we wanted. First, we wanted to have something where people could download press kits and large multimedia files. We also wanted our site to be retrofitted as a responsive site since we have increasing amounts of users accessing our content only through mobile devices. Dan was especially helpful in showing us how that would work and what the benefits would be moving forward.
They handled all of the development we asked of them. I don’t know that we, on our end, ended up doing everything and using it the way that we intended to because of our own shifting priorities around how we were marketing the film.
When working with New Local Media, is there anything you’d consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors?
I would characterize them as more thoughtful than most vendors I’ve engaged in the past. They work on a level above pure mechanics. They have some business savvy, too, which they contribute readily. In my experience, their level of thoughtfulness is hard to come by and even harder to maintain on an ongoing basis. As mentioned, one of our key selection criteria was to find a vendor that would be able to work alongside us and strategize how the website should be built. We didn’t want a bunch of website builders.
In retrospect, are there areas you think they could improve on as a service provider?
One is the communication. While they’re very thoughtful, there were a few instances where I needed to explain myself more than once. It wasn’t that they were doing things incorrectly, but that we were speaking different dialects, so to speak. They’re technical folks, and we’re more creative, so when approaching and agreeing on certain objectives, we weren’t always eye to eye.