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Panpa Bulletin : March 2006
38 | PaNPa bUlletiN March 2006 StrateGIeS for YounG reaDerS 31 DO MORE AND BETTER MARkET RESEARcH Newspapers are famous for their lack of audience research. As you might have heard, editors and publishers ‘used to be god’. They knew it all. However, you still need to know your potential young readers better, and your non-readers as well as your current readers. Times are changing and now everybody is rushing to do public opinion surveys and nonsensical focus groups. Be careful! good market research is not cheap, and many surveys are really bad. Marketing departments, when they exist, are understaffed and have low budgets. Attracting young readers is a very serious matter of survival, and you cannot rely on bad intelligence. In a bar in Detroit there is a sign that says: ‘life is too short to drink bad beer’. 32 PROMOTE PRINT IN THE wEB The International Federation of the Periodical Press (IFPP) in London says that in their 2005 survey about successful consumer magazine websites, 84 percent of sites want to expand the publication’s audience beyond the print audience base by creating a new online audience, and 81 percent of sites want to use the website to attract new readers for the printed magazine. 33 gO 24/7 Once a month? Once a week? Once a day? Sorry, but you are out of the loop… Young people are on all-the-time. This is the frst ever 24/7 news generation. And your paper has to provide an all-time news link to them. 34 LOOk AND LEARN FROM NEwSPAPERS THAT DO wELL IN cITIES wITH LOTS OF YOuNg PEOPLE the Province in Vancouver, anchorage Daily news in Alaska or record and reforma in Mexico are good examples. 35 NeW editorS aNd PUbliSherS PoSitioNS? Vice-president for Young Readers Vice-president for content and Strategy, Executive director for Audience Development, Executive director for change, Director for New Readers and Revenue, Market development director Director for Business Opportunities & Development, Director for Readership Integration. Marketing Director for Non- Readers Editor for New and Young Readers Editor for Young Adults Editor for Teens Yes, these are some new trendy positions in news papers around the world. A clear signal that they are looking for new and young readers 36 YOuNgER NEwSROOMS Remember the saying: “You can’t trust anyone over 30”. well, the median age of a uS newsroom is 42, but the country’s population average age is 36. Joe knowls co-editor of redeye in chicago since its inception said to INNOVATION: “at 46, i am the oldest member of staff (someone has to be the grown-up), skewing our average age (which is 30) in the wrong direction.” Listen again to Lisa Scheid, editor of Voices when she says “don’t let your views of what is or should be news stife a teen section. a 40-year-old man from Washington d.c. might not see that discussing societal and cultural views of beauty is news. but it is to teens trying to fgure out who they are and where they ft in the world. and events like prom happen every year but to a large portion of your readers it’s a completely new experience.” younger readers, of course, need younger journalists, but the age gap is everywhere (the median age of the world’s population is 27.6). as we can see, traditional newspapers have been very successful in ‘old’ countries. the challenge is: are these markets going to change in order to attract the ‘other half’? one way to do it, for sure, is having younger news staffs 37 cHANgE YOuR NEwSROOM MANAgEMENT You will not reach young readers with your traditional ‘beat system’ or just adding a ‘young readers’ beat. what you need is a new way to plan tomorrow’s paper. Replace the old-fashion system of topics or issues- oriented managing editors with a new system. The new managing editors must be like ombudsmen to the kind of readers that you are looking for. And for many newspapers, teens, university students, young couples, women or working mothers are just a few of the most needed targets. what these editors will do each day is to fght for their readers…wherever they can be reached: in sports or politics, in business or entertainment; in the main news section or in the features section. The only concern of each one of them must be: what do we have in today’s paper for ‘my readers’, not in a ghetto section, but everywhere…and especially in the front page! 38 THE “cAPRIcHO” wAY OF kNOwLEDgE Juan Antonio giner, founding partner of INNOVATION, was consulting at Editora Abril in Brazil and was very impressed after meeting the editors of Capricho - a monthly magazine for teens. “i still remember the newsroom walls full of letters and art from their readers. hundreds of messages! the magazine is a personal friend, a confdent to these kids. one day a month, a reporter (coincidentally all very young) invites a reader of the magazine to spend a day ‘hanging out’ together. be my guest! is their slogan. and they have lunch together, visit the reader’s family home, have a look at their bedroom, go out to the movies or dancing and simply talk and talk, for hours and hours. Now that’s a powerful focus group! every month the editor conducts a general news meeting where all the journalists talk about their ‘guests.’ this is the way to know and understand them better while at the same time staying on top of the ever-changing interests of this peculiar audience.” con’t page 56