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Panpa Bulletin : February 2010
www.panpa.org.au Find right staff level in your newsroom IT’S one of our industry’s impon- derables. Suggest to the editor that he needs to cut costs, and he immediately re- sponds that his quality will be affected (until he/she is made publisher, then sit back and watch!) Can one predict what editorial staff numbers should be? Yes. But many editors will argue that you can’t. I will demonstrate that you can – that editorial staff numbers can be justified against ad revenue and circulation. Here is an analysis based on 20 newspapers (of different kinds) in seven European countries. And here are three interesting facts. 1.) There is a very strong correla- tion between advertising revenue and staff numbers. Graph 1 shows the relationship between a newspaper’s advertising revenues and the editorial staffing numbers. You will see how close the markers are to the line. 2.) There is a reasonably strong relationship between circulation and editorial staffing. OK, so the points are not so close, but there is still a demonstrable relationship. In graph 2, the difference is most striking among the larger titles. B and K are both national titles with weak classifieds. P and R are more like large regional titles with a strong classifieds. Does this justify the extra editorial resources? And what happens when classi- fieds migrate off to a branded digital vertical? By combining the two factors, it is possible to measure how close staff- ing levels are to the “optimum” as demonstrated in graph 3. Here, the blue circles show actual staffing levels, and the red circles what the model predicts they should be. Note how those titles above the line show blue, actual levels larger, while those below the line show blue, actual levels smaller. In other words, this shows that relative to circulation volumes and advertising revenues, editorial staff numbers can be justified and ac- counted for against peers. And the differences, to an extent, can be ex- plained by differences in genre. 3) There is absolutely no correlation between editorial pages produced and staff numbers required. This con- firms the argument that quality and quantity are different things . . . But while one can accept that a newspaper like the Financial Times might justify a higher level of staff- ing given research and so on, a study I undertook a few years ago showed advertising revenues grow exponentially as a newspaper moves up-market, but editorial costs rise exponentially faster, which is why many quality newspapers struggle to be profitable. They produce too much content, for rich people who have less time to read. So let’s accept that staffing numbers are quantifiable. Creativity is the most vital element of our industry. But let’s get facts involved in solv- ing arguments. Jim Chisholm 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 Editorialstaffnumbers Advertising revenue (millions of Euros) Impact of advertising on editorial staff numbers A FS H C G Q D E B KW R R2 = 0.92 400 E B A U C 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 R2 = 0.59 Impact of circulation and advertising on editorial staff numbers Advertisingrevenues(millionsofEuros) Circulation (thousands of copies) actual predicted F S G Q W B K R Impact of circulation on editorial staff numbers Editorialstaffnumbers Circulation (thousands of copies) 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 F A CH S G W Q E P B K R R2 = 0.59 Jim Chisholm is an independent media consultant, based in France. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Cosmetics kingmaker reveals reader awards IN a dazzling brand marketing campaign, Singapore Press Holdings’ Her World maga- zine, ran Her World Beauty Awards (HWBA), a beauty products awards night that forged strong bonds with advertisers and created one of the best-selling issues of the year. As the leading women’s magazine in Singa- pore – it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – it targeted advertisers and readers by seeking votes for the best beauty products. Promoting the awards through the magazine and with local celebrities, they were designed to connect Her World with readers through the voting process, plus a glamorous awards night. “We received over 20,000 votes from read- ers,” said Adrian Chong of SPH. Some of the awards include best new prod- uct and most inspiring advertisement. The most honoured award is the Editors’ Choice decided by an expert panel. Mr Chong told The Bulletin, “Her World’s expert panel, consisting of editors, beauty writers and dermatologists, were asked to roadtest nominated products. “The overall grand prize is the Beauty Product of the Year,” said Mr Chong. The prestigious award and publicity enables Her World to develop authority in the beauty industry, which allows strong bonds to develop between advertisers and the magazine. The motivation behind the event is to honour brands that are instru- mental in influencing beauty & lifestyle trends in Singapore “In the eyes of our consumers we distinguish outstanding products that have demonstrated unparalleled superi- ority and innovation,” noted Mr Chong. Rebecca Leaver NPA Judge and entertainment agent Bobby Tonelli with Chloe Ho, of L’Oreal Prestige Collection International (Fragrance) Did you miss it? Guardian sells regional papers ALL the Guardian Media Group’s (GMG) re- gional titles have been sold for more than US$70 million to UK rival Trinity Mirror in one of the biggest British media deals. Trinity takes over much-loved titles, such as Manchester Evening News, the Sur- rey Advertiser and Reading Post. They are among 32 local newspapers and websites bundled into the deal. Trinity Mirror – publisher of the UK national daily, the Daily Mirror – is one of the UK’s largest newspaper publishers. It has five national newspapers, 120 regional newspapers and 400 digital properties. GMG chief executive Carolyn McCall, said the sale was spurred by the need to support the company’s national daily, The Guardian. Cash for tweets DIGITAL trailblazer Huffington Post will start auctioning tweets and Facebook comments to advertisers in a bid to increase revenue. Graph 2 Graph 3 Graph 1 Share this article on Twitter by scanning the QR code with your mobile * Some of the titlesdid not providedata on both advertising and circulation and therefore are not included in all the charts . 8 | The PANPA Bulletin | MARCH 2010