Online media and, particularly, online newspapers, would like to increase the relationship with their audience and that is one reason for a moving towards social application usages of their platform, and, sometimes, even to trying building up social networks themselves. There are, of course, other reasons, like locking in users, engagement increase, or the feasibility of a more powerful targeting. So, knowing who is behind the screen is interesting for the advertiser, and so it is for the content supplier, but online media did not find the path for doing it.
How can online media increase permission levels without damaging audience growth? Maybe some people believe that increasing permission levels is not that relevant, but from my view it is a key challenge and we have to respond on how we are going to engage audience so they are happy not just to enjoy our contents, but to belong and contribute.
March 28, 2009 Comments Off
In a document from Newspaper Association from America we find two business cases of small newspapers facing business transformation from print to mixed models (print/online): Times-Mail and Shakopee Valley News . Its title is very descriptive: How Two Smaller Newspapers Energized Their Web Strategies.
Both of them were newspapers with certain credibility and integration within their communities that were passing a critical time for their offline business.
This document tell us about the concrete transformation that took place, and it nowadays may look basic and obvious in practical terms, but there is something really not obvious for bigger companies:
1. Top management must be convinced that the change has to be pushed in a centralized (often top-down) way and taking the picture as a whole, both, in terms of contents and in terms of revenues. Revenues have to also be integrated in decision making so decisions are adopted taking into consideration impacts in both sides.
2. Workforce needs to be qualifed to really transform their skills otherwise they would be just a heavier weight in the mid term.
3. An out of the box vision and leadership may be very helpful in order to transform a media.
4. Community is a key factor, and as community leaders, we have to change the way we interact with our readers
5. Technology is not core to our business in a media company, it’s an instrument, a commodity, and it’s has to be at the service of the organization, and it cannot be a bottleneck. Of course having strong technology in-house remains an important factor but more in terms of know-how that when talking on execution. Technology is really important as rotaries were in the past (but not more than that).
These are my own conclusions from those very simple business cases and these conclusions are a kind of basic philosophy on how to transform a media. I find media companies losing their focus and goal because they believe they are something else. They believe they are a technology company, a software development company, a service provider… In other words, if we lack management consciousness, workforce qualification, out of the box visions, community interaction and technology aligned and at the service of our goals, it will be much more difficult for us to run a sustainable business.
October 31, 2008 Comments Off