The first full redesign in the 128-year history of this community newspaper lived up to its unique name, by doing hard digging and taking off to new places.
The Rocket-Miner, started in 1881, launched its new look on Oct. 1, which, combined with the addition of a Sunday edition and a readership push, resulted in a winning combination for this 8,500 circulation, six-day-a-week publication.
A subscription drive prior to launch resulted in a "huge turnout" according to publisher Holly Dabb. She said that the two-week promotion led to revenues typically generated in a six-month period. Sure, this was partially due to a pending rate increase but the response to the changes by the community have been "positive and supportive."
"I chose Creative Circle after looking at finished products from them and three other designers," Dabb said. "Creative Circle's design personality was more in line with our community and what I wanted to see. Other recent redesigns in the state left me confused and disheartened with the news gathering aspect."
As always, with an emphasis on better content, Creative Circle led several workshops on writing, headlines, news gathering and photojournalism.
"Design, while important to organizing content and making information accessible to readers, does not compensate for poor journalism practices," said Dabb. "Due to our remote location, educational opportunities are expensive and hard to find. Because they (Creative Circle) came to us, we were able to cram as many employees as possible into (the workshops), everyone benefited."
Finally, a classified redesign emphasized legibility for readers as well as upsell training for the classified sales team.
Kevin Dilley was lead designer and project manager. Lynn Rognsvoog and Bill Ostendorf participated in the project.