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practical solutions for print and digital media

How we can help

Over its 30-year history, Creative Circle has evolved from a part-time consulting firm leading newsroom training to a leader in print newspaper and magazine redesigns.

In 2004, after several clients asked us to redesign their web sites, we became alarmed at the poor quality of web software available to publishers. We launched a software arm with the goal of creating truly different and better web software for the industry.

We're not typical software developers. We approach development from the perspective of designers, editors, users and consultants with deep experiece in newspapers and magazines. We take very different approaches to what media web sites can be or should be.

And we can't just copy the latest trends like the big software firms do. We're small and needed to differentiate ourselves. Everything we do is highly customized and we try to stay ahead of the herd instincts that dominate other development firms. As a result, we were the first media development firm to create a paywall (2006), hyper-local sites (2005), modern classified web entry systems (2004), reverse publishing (2007), flexible web templates to better reflect the news (2008) and native content (2010).

Here is a sampling of how we can help you succeed:

Web site development, hosting & redesigns
We’ve designed more than 250 web sites and the results are consistently better for users and advertisers. Our sites outperform industry average for engagement, time on site, click throughs, visits and more. We currently host about 200 sites for about 80 media firms, associations and businesses.

Growing revenue online & in print
We’ve been laser focused on helping media companies generate more money, especially online, in the past several years. Our QuickAds, PressReleaseQ, NativeNewsQ, marketplaceQ, charitiesQ and mediasiteQ products are all laced with new revenue opportunities not available from any other vendor.

Print redesigns
We’ve led more than 500 print redesigns for newspapers and magazines 
which come with all the training and consulting needed
to help you grow print readership,
revenue & circulation. We can change your newsroom culture to be much more reader oriented and create content that will better engage your readers. We also design books, marketing materials and brochures. We understand how to improve content, grow readership and get messages across to the right audience.

Energizing on-site training for content providers
We can provide the very best training available for your staff! 
We’ve trained thousands of journalists and other professionals in 23 countries. We can come for a day or put together 
a soup-to-nuts program spread over a year to help your team better engage your audiences.

Ad design & marketing training
We can train your staff AND your advertisers 
on how to create an effective ad. 
Our advertiser workshops typically pay for themselves
 the day we do them. We can help your clients improve their advertising, branding, marketing and other printed materials, like menus and brochures.

Webinars & critiques
While we believe on-site training works best,
we can also provide very customized web-based 
critiques or workshops on a wide range of topics.

Branding
We’ve won numerous international branding awards and we can refresh your brand or help your coordinate or tie together a range of brands across all your platforms and products.

Reimagining classifieds 
We believe classifieds can be the next Big Thing. Our last classified redesign client added 6-8 pages per week in new, print classified advertising.
We can create whole new categories of classified advertising and greatly improve every ad you print.

New & niche products
Want to improve your chances of success with a new or niche product? We’ve helped launch dozens of new products for our clients and the vast majority are still making money today.

Strategic consulting
We can help you improve workflows and find new markets or solutions to a wide range of challenges, from vendor selection to newsroom consolidation.

Creative outsourcing
Do you have a special project that you don’t have the staff to produce? Launching a new niche product and you need staffing help to get it off the ground? Do you need top-level design, illustration or editing for something special? 
We can help.

What our clients say
“Bill Ostendorf has worked with hundreds of publications to improve design, visual impact, content and readability. His vast experience and his problem-solving insights are the essence of his spirited presentations that enrich the skills of his audiences. Bill is a dynamic speaker who loves newspapers and enjoys talking to newspaper people. His work for SNPA has always been excellent.”
Edward VanHorn, Executive Director Southern Newspaper Publishers Association