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Panpa Bulletin : March 2006
March 2006 PaNPa bUlletiN | 35 cover Story once the logical choice when it came to media, newspa- pers are now struggling for space in a mass-media world where 24-hour news is available at the touch of a remote control, mobile phone keypad or compu- ter keyboard. Newspaper execu- tives around the world have tried many methods to stem the flow of readers, advertisers and media buying agencies leaving their me- dium. One of these methods is to set up agencies specifically to pro- mote newspapers as the preferred choice. australia’s New Newspaper Marketers A group of Australia's metro- politan, regional and community newspaper publishers -- News Limited, Fairfax, Rural Press, APN News & Media and West Austral- ian Newspapers -- have followed this lead and set up a new market- ing body for newspapers. The chairmanship of the body will alternate between the CEOs of the member companies, with News Limited Chairman and CEO John Hartigan taking the role as inaugural chairman. Mr Hartigan said he had thought for some time that the role of promoting Australia's newspapers had been lacking, and spoke about it at PANPA's an- nual conference in Adelaide. "It's taken five years to get to it but now it's pulling together," he said. The primary role of the new body will be to help demon- strate the reach, influence and value of newspapers as Australia's number-one medium. "The body has three priorities: to demonstrate the effectiveness of newspapers to advertisers, agencies and media planners; to realise the masses of untapped potential for ways to connect with the consumer; and to promote the purchase of newspapers," Mr Hartigan said. "We reject the notion that news- papers are 'old media'. Newspa- pers deliver much better reach for advertisers than any other media and are the most influential medi- um among consumers. Newspa- pers also offer untapped potential asa crea- tive medi- um. However, as the media market fragments and competition for ad revenue and 'eyeballs' intensifies, it is more important than ever that the val- ue of newspapers as a category is researched and marketed profes- sionally," he said. The new body will be opera- tional by the middle of this year and will be based on the UK's Newspaper Marketing Agency. "We looked around the world for different models. What we wanted was a marketing body for newspapers. The English news- papers saw the need for one five years ago and have put a vital group together," Mr Hartigan said. "I recently read on the NewYork Times website about the situation in the US where they're looking at the significance of newspapers and giving new resources to stop the threat from online. Our agen- cy has been modelled on the UK model but we have issues in this market that are unique." Mr Hartigan said the board hoped the body would become affiliated with the Newspaper Marketing Agency (NMA) and the Newspaper Association of Ameri- ca (NAA). "These groups have already shown how well the industry can work together on non-competi- tive issues of common interest. The NMA in the UK in particular provides a very successful model which, with its support, we intend to use as the basis for our industry model in Australia," he said. Is There Room for Another Newspaper Organisation? The new organisation plans to work collaboratively, rather than in competition, with other newspaper industry bodies such as the Australian Publishers Bu- reau and the Publishers National Environment Bureau, which Mr Hartigan said performed specific functions. "There are lots of bodies in Aus- tralia but the single most missing australia’s newspaper publishers unite to market the medium australia’s big publishers have recognised that they need to work together to ensure the continuing success of the newspaper business. Johanna Baker-Dowdell looks at the new australian newspapers Marketing Body. coNtiUNed Page 36