In Community Impact’s 18th year, the Texas-based and nationally recognized news organization is bucking industry trends with substantial revenue growth from its core print product as well as exponential increases in newsletter subscribers and organic web visitors.

With equal investment in print and digital, and an innovative spirit, CI is ready to announce its first comprehensive marketing package for advertisers: CI 360. The package will include guaranteed reach for up to 2.5 million mailboxes, over 100,000 inboxes, and thousands of daily web readers, all with the ability to locally target and inform individual community residents across CI’s 41 markets.

An impactful announcement

Led by Tess Coverman, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, CI 360 is the third and final announcement of three initiatives the staff at Community Impact grouped together and called The Trifecta. The goal of The Trifecta was to analyze all parts of the business since Community Impact’s inception 18 years ago and boldly modernize anything necessary to drive CI’s legacy into the future.

Here are the key components of The Trifecta:
  1. CI Light was announced in July as a digital-first launch strategy to grow reader loyalty, advertiser support and staff excellence prior to adding on print for new communities.
  2. CI Simple was announced in August as an overhaul of CI’s content and design execution, responding to today’s more concise readership patterns.
  3. CI 360, a print and digital services package following the path of customers in each community, debuted in September. The package logo is a 360 degree circle, visualizing for businesses that CI has them covered across proven strategies in the media landscape.
What is CI 360?

The idea for CI 360 originated from Community Impact Founder & CEO John Garrett, who diligently balances his study of the news industry with local business needs. In late 2022, Garrett started seeing a shift in demand from businesses in regard to their advertising choices. Clients were moving away from custom, à la carte ad options (CI’s bread and butter) to wanting more packaged products and services.

At the same time, Community Impact’s Account Executives and General Managers were hearing similar trends in 40 markets across the state. While customers said they valued CI’s unique approach, which includes in-person consultative meetings, highly targeted ad delivery next to valued local content, and end-to-end customer service, they wanted more robust campaigns with built in savings on time and cost.

Given part of Community Impact’s mission statement is to help businesses thrive, CI quickly realized there was a need to maintain the best parts of its advertising practices while adapting new ones.
To celebrate the long-awaited launch of The Trifecta, each Impacter received a CI Texas hat at the company's September all-staff meeting. (Jay Jones/Community Impact)
After months of research and testing, the CI 360 package was born and includes the following:

Market-targeted Products
  • Newspaper ads ranging in size
  • Website ads on
  • Programmatic ads
  • Sponsored content stories with public relations assets
  • Complimentary CI Simple ad design
  • Professional, SEO-friendly story writing
  • ROI monthly reporting with data guarantees across mailbox, web and newsletter platforms
How was CI 360 built?

Since 2020, Community Impact has been focused on what it refers to as “new muscles” to better communicate, plan and pivot. After Garrett presented his vision to CI’s Executive Team, he appointed Coverman to lead CI 360 from ideation to realization.

In March, Coverman created a small team of “Impacters” within the company to research the market and best understand which of CI’s current products should be part of the package, which should be improved upon, and what could be newly built by CI’s in-house innovation team.

By June, the package was formed and ready for the pilot phase, during which 13 team members introduced CI 360 to local businesses for feedback and tweaks prior to rollout. Within weeks, new and renewal orders were signed, acknowledging CI 360 was the future for Community Impact and the business community at large.

Why is CI 360 relevant to Community Impact readers?

The mission of Community Impact is to provide trusted news and local information that everyone gets. Delivery is via mailbox saturation and email newsletter—plus, readers can visit CI’s website daily with no paywall. Community Impact readers only have access to this free, high quality news source because of local advertiser support (or from their own donations to CI’s Patron program).

Readers have a vested interest in CI 360 since more ads sold equates to more funding for Community Impact’s editorial content, thus growth to new communities. Increased advertising allows for newspapers to add more story pages, as CI is committed to a healthy balance of news coverage and advertising without the latter taking over the former.

In addition, readers will benefit from CI 360 by seeing more local and high quality ads, providing more opportunities for them to experience new products and services, meet local owners and workers, and know that their community is strong because of that two-way partnership between themselves and local businesses.

Continue reading a Q&A with key team members and advertisers supporting CI 360.

What will local businesses notice about CI 360?

John Garrett, Founder & CEO: “Our team has built an innovative advertising solution that combines the unmatched reach of our physical print product with our fast growing digital products. Modern advertising requires a ‘phygital’ approach that reaches consumers online and offline. This is what CI 360 delivers.”

Who is the ideal CI 360 customer?

Tess Coverman, Vice President of Sales & Marketing: “The beauty of CI 360 is we built and priced the package to be attractive and beneficial to any business, no matter the size or industry. We’ve also coached our field team to strategize alongside the customer even more.

Our pitch is no longer a single product. Community Impact is committed to helping local businesses execute a true marketing campaign with proven success. The carefully crafted elements of CI 360 will grow their brand, prompt their target customer to visit, and help them stay top of mind no matter seasonality.”

What was it like being a piloter taking CI 360 to market for the first time?

Arlin Gold, Account Executive in Dallas-Fort Worth: “I was honored to be a part of the pilot and excited to bring this to market. As I started having my initial conversations with business owners in the community, I quickly realized how impactful this package was. We are simplifying the sales process by making it easier on the sales team and most importantly for our customers. Every package is thoughtfully curated, with the only decision a local business needs to make is the size of the newspaper portion. This is a win-win!”
Arlin Gold, an account executive in the Keller, Roanoke and North Fort Worth area, was a part of the pilot program for CI 360. (Shelbie Hamilton/Community Impact)
What are local businesses saying about CI 360?

Jamie Rigney, VP Operations/Project Management for RGC Multifamily Builders: “The CI 360 package provided the perfect solution for our advertising needs – in a wonderfully driven community publication!”

For more information about CI 360, email [email protected] or visit and fill out our contact form.