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Panpa Bulletin : April 2006
36 | PaNPa bUlletiN april 2006 PreSSiNG MatterS Newspaperpublishinghous- es will be most successful if they are in a position to dis- tribute their content in a synchro- nised manner via different media, and guide their audience from one medium to the next in order to generate brand loyalty. The co- ordination and cross utilisation of print products, online and mobile services as well as the use of ra- dio and TV technologies (such as podcasting and videostreaming), enable a newspaper publishing house to have a relationship with its audience in a comprehensive and cross-media way. As a result, the publishing house will be able to satisfy their audience's informa- tion and service needs. For this, it is important that the individual media should mutually support one another, for example by cross- referencing. It is also important that content should not simply be copied and transferred to a differ- ent medium, but that they should complement each other and pro- vide added value for the audience. To realise this basic concept, major changes in the way of think- ing in newspaper newsrooms are necessary. This starts with the un- derstanding of the print edition as part of a larger communication package that makes best possible use of the strengths of media with regard to speed, interactivity, local presence, individuality and stor- age capacity. Take, for example, mobile, online and print media. Here it is possible to describe a communication process that binds the audience to the brand of the print product and leads them from one medium to the next (see Figure 1). Obviously, mobile telephones are especially well suited for trans- mitting brief messages and con- tent to defined receivers (e.g. sub- scribers) directly and independent of their location. The possibility of the receiver to react equally quick- ly and to send a message back to the newspaper (in the form of vot- ing, query, photo, etc.), can be the beginning of communication in the sense of a mutual exchange of information. The nature of the printed newspaper means it is less suited for this type of communi- cation mainly because of a lack of speed and interactivity. The online medium has strengths in relation to speed and interactivity. Although at present the flexibility of location does not, as yet, match that of mo- bile phones, online is destined to change rapidly with the develop- ment of mobile receivers. One significant advantage compared to mobile phones is the available storage capacity that is almost unlimited. Also, the transmission of multimedia contents, such as audio files and above all video files, is technically simpler due to the available transmission band- widths, at least for as long as the mobile networks do not offer high bandwidths. Online therefore seems well suited for the next step in the communication process, namely the high-speed transmission of large data volumes of information including photos, videos and au- dio elements as well as extended possibilities for motivating the audience to interact (blogs, fo- rum, voting, etc.). Here again the print product continues to lag be- hind; limited storage capacity, i.e. number of pages, and the absence of a possibility to transport mo- tion images and sound, limit the suitability. However, the ongoing development of e-paper and e-ink respectively, will soon eliminate these limitations. So where can the print product apply its strengths in this exam- ple of a communication process? What are the strengths of the print product compared to the afore- mentioned media? The strengths include the very simple method of consumption without the use of electronic devices, trust in the newspaper brand and in the printed word, the greater capac- ity of people to absorb printed information as well as the read- ing experience itself. These factors ensure that the information which is printed on a non-electronic me- dium have and will continue to have a fixed place in the commu- nication process. Additionally, the content contributed by the public via other media can constitute an important part of the printed edi- tion. The resulting communication cycle across different media needs to be constantly maintained and fed by the newsroom. This is to ensure the audience is kept in constant interaction with the pub- lishing house and therefore with the brand. Generating brand loyalty by means of the synchronised and co-ordinated use of the individual media enables newspaper pub- lishing houses to increase their total reach among consumers and therefore also remain attractive as an advertising medium. Dr. Dietmar Schantin is the di- rector of Ifra Newsplex. Cross-media communication with the public With the trend from single-product oriented media to a multi-media content and user-oriented approach, it can be diffcult to see where print fts in. Dietmar Schantin tells us how. Newspapers can use a variety of media to get the message across.