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In its ongoing effort to support the success of local businesses, The West Volusia Beacon has partnered with Digital Communications Group (DCG) to provide additional online marketing and advertising opportunities.

The newspaper is inviting businesses to a special event, “Be Well, Be Digital: How to Make Sense — and Money — With Online Advertising and Marketing.”

Catered by Joe Hearn Events, the gathering will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the Museum of Art – DeLand Downtown Galleries. West Volusia business owners will learn how new advertising options will now be available to them to market their companies and reach new audiences.

The timing couldn’t be better. A report released this week by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and conducted by PwC revealed that while traditional newspaper advertising has decreased by 6.9 percent in the past year, internet advertising revenues in the U.S. soared to more than $107 billion in 2018.

According to the IAB, the 21.8-percent increase over last year is not only the first time that number has topped $100 billion, it also signals digital advertising as the place where advertisers are turning to reach larger audiences in a world dominated by social media, shopping platforms and search engines.

Leveraging its nearly 30-year history of reporting on and representing DeLand, Orange City, Deltona, Enterprise, DeBary, Lake Helen, DeLeon Springs, Glenwood, Pierson, Cassadaga, Seville and Barberville, The Beacon is committed to providing new tools to help local businesses navigate these new forms of marketing.

“As the world of technology changes how everyone communicates, we, too, are evolving,” Beacon co-founder Barb Shepherd said. “By partnering with a locally based agency like Digital Communications Group, we are now able to offer an even larger, more forward-thinking, targeted and diverse menu of advertising and marketing services.”

In addition to traditional print advertising, The Beacon currently offers online advertising on its website, www.beacononlinenews.com, and social-media-management packages.

With the new partnership, the newspaper will now be able to offer marketing plans, strategic coaching, web and written content, reviews and listings optimization, as well as targeted online advertising options such as Google Ads and more.

Digital Communications Group was founded in Volusia County by Chrissy Clary and Melanie Bass (formerly Hanns). The two met in 2006 while working at The Daytona Beach News-Journal, where Clary spearheaded digital publications, integration and newsroom online training, and Bass was features editor, then assistant managing editor in charge of the Sunday paper, readership and special events.

The two worked together again most recently at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University until 2018, where Clary oversaw digital marketing, strategy and website development, and Bass served in such roles as university spokeswoman, director of communications, and senior communications adviser.

“As former journalists and now small-business owners ourselves, this partnership represents why we personally and professionally formed DCG,” Clary said. “We’re excited to be able to provide effective and innovative solutions that help everyone grow in the digital landscape – especially in tandem with such a well-respected and forward-thinking voice in our community as The Beacon.”

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