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Panpa Bulletin : November 2010
www.panpa.org.au NEWSPAPER companies can dominate the 24-hour media cy- cle if they seize the opportunities presented to them. That was the message from this year's Future Forum. A diverse array of speakers cov- ered everything from how to make money out of a newspaper board game, to what the future of iPad pub- lishing might look like. A whopping 435 delegates gathered on day one, with 335 coming for the second day workshops. News Ltd CEO John Hartigan gave the opening keynote, outlining his vision for the future of news pub- lishing. Citing the rise in popularity of mobile devices as giving news companies the opportunity to move from "setting the agenda each morn- ing to actually owning the agenda. All day, every day." He based this contention on the differing usage patterns of mobile devices vs other media. Whereas newspapers' usage is highest, and peaks in the morning, the internet peaked with the highest activity around lunchtime, and both mobile and iPad had second, high peaks of usage in the evening where other media did not. Mr Hartigan suggested that to take advantage of the widening of the news cycle, the "editorial stars of the new age will be those who are innovative, creative, and entrepre- neurial". Earl J. Wilkinson, chief executive of the International Newsmedia Mar- keting Association, said the media was going through a "reformation and renaissance" and challenged news publishers to move from an "editorial culture to a market-based culture, and lower the threshold for product failure". He said in the future he expected news companies to be "smaller, with less advertising. With fewer journal- ists and more editors". "They will be spending more on sales, more on marketing, more on research. And yes, building into our culture the willingness and ability to fail, but to fail fast and move on." He added that this shift required a complete re-think of how resources were allocated to print and digital, if companies believe digital publishing is the future. He presented a case study of Norwegian publisher Edda Media, which puts out small regional dai- lies. Mr Wilkinson said the company went from spending 90 percent of their time on print and 10 percent on digital to completely restructuring the company to focus 50 percent of employees' time on digital, and 50 percent on print. In practice, this involved replacing journalists working on a single plat- form with multi-platform jobs. Sub- editors were gone, with journalists now writing their own headlines. Ad sales reps sold into multimedia and print, instead of one or the other. Overall, he said the changes had resulted in a "pretty big increase in advertising for a smaller market" and a "25 percent increase in unique visitors". Martim Avillez Figueiredo, of Impresa and former editor of the 'i' newspaper in Portugal, explained how 'i' went about bucking the trend of traditional newspaper demograph- ics -- selling a newspaper to people who don't read newspapers. "In less than one year, 22 percent of those buying 'i' were not newspa- per readers at all. They started buy- ing newspapers with 'i'," he said. "50 percent of them were between 18-45. And of these, almost 60 per- cent belonged to the 18-28 year old audience. Mr Figueiredo attributed this success partly to their design-based approach, as well as changing the lay-out of the paper to reflect a hybrid of a news magazine and a traditional newspaper. Breaking down the readership statistics allowed 'i' to get specific advertising markets. For example, with women making up 39 percent of their audience, they were able to get cosmetics advertisers, which are traditionally confined to magazines. He then outlined Impresa's foray into the search engine market, with a "brand-powered search engine" called Sab. He said the search strat- egy was based on using the trust users had with a media brand to give credibility to search for things like health insurance. For example, a search might show up a "certified" search result of a health insurance policy that has been reviewed in one of Impresa's magazines. He cited the approach would be part of their iPad strategy also, saying "information is about trust". Mr Figueiredo said that rather than transfer a magazine to the iPad and give it movies and audio, their ap- proach would be to use the informa- tion from their publications to give users content when they research their decisions on holidays, shop- ping, and so on. "We believe that we can succeed in putting our brands on the iPad in a more innovative way than just replicating the [print] content, even with movies and sound." Sandy MacLeod, vice president of consumer marketing for the Toronto Star, outlined the importance of "guiding principles" for newspaper companies. "I'm not for a minute going to suggest we have the right path or right outlook, but we have one, and I think that is critical for newsmedia organisations to have a process around making decisions," he said. "You have to try to drive change rather than have it happen to us." The Toronto Star has a guiding set of principles outlined by the first publisher of the Star, Joeseph Atkinson, which value social justice, transparency of government and other progressive beliefs. The most dramatic presentation was given by Dissica Calderaro, who began with exhorting the crowd to stand and applaud themselves, then finishing by wrapping himself in the Australian flag. In between, the director of marketing at Brazilian newspaper A Critica outlined a number of the paper's innovative marketing cam- paigns. For one campaign, A Critica turned the front page into a single letter to the heads of FIFA, explain- ing why the football World Cup should be in the paper's home-town of Manaus. Explaining the decision to re- move other news and editorial from the front page, Mr Calderaro said: "There is nothing more impor- tant to our readers than to be a city hosting the World Cup." One of the most striking features of A Critica were the promotions. Mr Calderaro said despite kids being distracted with high-tech gadgets and games, newspapers NEWSPAPERS' NEW MISSION... All day, everyday SPECIAL REPORT Nick Evershed NPA ...bucking the trend of traditional newspaper demographics -- selling a newspaper to people who don't read newspapers" " That's like taking a television and chucking a blanket over it and treating it like a radio. You can do it, but why would you?" Warren Lee - APN " Martim Avillez Figueiredo, 'i' newspaper 20 | NOVEMBER 2010 | The PANPA Bulletin