SNEWS® expands reach into e-media with podcasts, eFitbiz and more

SNEWS® is proud as always to be on the leading edge, this time with e-media publishing. To make sure we are supplying our subscribers, readers and customers with the best information, unwavering service, and a widespread reach in the industry, the SNEWS® team has launched a variety of new initiatives and ways to deliver news and features. They include an electronic delivery of FitBiz, a rapidly expanding Retail Training Center, Podcasts, a Press Release publishing service, and a free SNEWS® subscription program for retail sales staff.
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SNEWS® is proud as always to be on the leading edge, this time with e-media publishing. To make sure we are supplying our subscribers, readers and customers with the best information, unwavering service, and a widespread reach in the industry, the SNEWS® team has launched a variety of new initiatives and ways to deliver news and features. They include an electronic delivery of FitBiz, a rapidly expanding Retail Training Center, Podcasts, a Press Release publishing service, and a free SNEWS® subscription program for retail sales staff.

Together these new ventures will further link industry suppliers, manufacturers and reps with our subscribers in the retail community as well as with consumers through our GearTrends.com website, one that has seen ever-growing individual visits by enthusiasts. Some of these features are now live on SNEWS®, some will be received by email, and others will be expanded throughout the SNEWS® family of publications in the next few months. All will leverage the power of the industry connection of SNEWS®, THE most respected information voice of the outdoor and fitness communities.

eFitBiz
In this new age of reliance on online news, our winter/spring retail-centric business journal for the fitness industry, FitBiz, will go online and appear at appropriate times during the year. As its print edition has done the last two years, eFitBiz will cover topics of high interest to the retail industry in particular, but also of interest to manufacturers and suppliers. For example, our early spring issue – out this week for subscribers only -- the Spring 2006 eFitBiz continues the tradition of a “top retailer" list of specialty and key sporting goods retailers with a summary of the changes in the last year. Other e-issues will delve into the “biz” of the fitness business, tackling hands-on topics that are directly translated into better business acumen or identify trends in products and industry development.

If you aren't a subscriber, and we therefore don't have your email, drop us a note at Snewsbox@snewsnet.com to see how you can get on our email list for this and other publications. A select group of non-subscribing retailers will receive their issues later in March and into the first of April. Get your front row seat to eFitBiz by becoming a SNEWS® subscriber, either with our full-access paid plan OR under our free plan for retailers, information below.

Free SNEWS® for Retail Sales Staff
If your economics teacher taught you there was no such thing as a free lunch, he or she was wrong. There IS a free SNEWS®. (Actually, lunch not included, but enough news and information to satiate.)

Retailers continue to sign up their staff for free outdoor or free fitness retail SNEWS® subscriptions as part of a program to promote and encourage industry communication and educational training. These free subscriptions provide limited access to SNEWS® --outdoor subscribers see only outdoor headlines (fitness sees fitness stories only), receive only an outdoor news digest (fitness gets the fitness digest only), and both have archive access limited to two months as well as some limited access to special features.

We offer these subscriptions through our educational partners, such as 3point5, as well as through select manufacturer partners and directly through retailers and at trade shows. If you or someone you know isn't a part of this program, email FreeSNEWS@snewsnet.com and tell us "I WANT MY SNEWS!" (Yeah, yeah, some limitations apply.)

Retail Training Center
We know sales staff members are hungry for regular education about products, sales and techniques, and our Training Center stories are in high demand. These articles expand on product information and sales technique nuances in a readable and understandable manner and will be published regularly by SNEWS® in the Training Center. They will also be included in weekly emails.

Our category of “how-to-sells” that focuses on various product segments with select sponsorship by quality companies is a huge and ever-expanding part of the Training Center and is accessed frequently by the retail community subscribing to SNEWS®. This is also where you'll find out popular (and perhaps feared) Mystery Shoppers. (Are you next?)

Podcasts
SNEWS® is taking its acknowledged standard for excellence in reporting the real story, the unexpected angle, and the sometimes humorous side of our business into the world of audio podcasts. From our computers to your iPod, Blackberry, cell phone, or laptop, you can now listen to select SNEWS® reports while you are driving to or from work. Now that's THE perfect way to turn commute time into useful and entertaining time. James Mills has joined the SNEWS® team and heads up our podcasting efforts; still in early development stages, we're already receiving praise and appreciation for the quality of his broadcasts. Never be without your SNEWS®!

In a shift from typical SNEWS® and our long-established tradition of not allowing advertising to appear on paid subscriber story pages, each SNEWS® podcast may carry a sponsorship message – no more than 10 seconds at the beginning and end of each broadcast – as well as a sponsor banner ad on each podcast page. By accepting limited advertising on our podcasts, we are able to keep subscription rates down, while adding a valuable service and making a significant investment in technology for you, our readers.

As evidenced by the phenomenal jump in unique visits and downloads of our current podcasts, it seems this is something you're eager to receive. Look for more audio reports since we plan to produce as many as one podcast each week beginning in April.

SNEWS® Press Release Service
Why on earth would someone support a trade "news" service that simply takes press releases sent to it for free, repackages and reprints them, and then charges everyone a subscription fee or requires a registration just to read them? Why indeed! At SNEWS® you can read press releases for free – no subscription needed, no registration required – and we don't call it news. We launched this service for the industry in January, and already the press release section of SNEWS® is seeing enormous traffic. Even better, if you are a SNEWS® subscriber, you can post your own press release directly to our site, and their headlines go out in our regular weekly email of SNEWS® News Digest headlines.

While the "post your own release" system is only available to SNEWS® subscribers, anyone can still submit a release via the normal email channels (news@snewsnet.com). In those cases, we'll do our best to post releases to our site as time permits, but without guarantees (and of course if we smell more of a story in anything, we'll tackle that too). Subscribers can go to the posting page linked to their account by clicking on www.snewsnet.com/prpost. If you are not already logged in to our site with a cookie, then the system will ask you to log in before you can view or post your company press releases.

These new features are only the start. Look to SNEWS® to continue to be the news and information leader like only SNEWS® and its publications can. As always, please contact us at snewsbox@snewsnet.com with any comments or suggestions.

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