There is no doubt that current news readers have different tendencies compared with past habits. 

The intense rhythm in large cities shortens available reading time. Readers have increased access to new technological breakthroughs. News media companies are compelled to adapt their content distribution and advertising offers to a constantly changing, contemporary news ecosystem.

I see that more than a revolution or an apocalyptic prophecy, news media companies should diversify their platforms, aiming at new and different ways to enhance, complement and expand their audience. They must do this not only to reach readers (and potential advertisers), but also to conquer them during the day, when they are consuming news in different reading situations.

Fortunately, the monster is smaller (or less frightening) than it seems. 

The apocalyptic media prophets were not completely right when they predicted that the printed newspaper would soon disappear. According to different markets around the world, there are multiple options for news media companies, and print’s financial future may last longer than expected.

When we think about where digital solutions fit in the multi-media advertising mix, we must realize we’re not selling space anymore. We are — or should be — selling some unique combination of a series of platforms that can include printed newspaper + magazines + events + online news + video + mobile + something else that can satisfy our clients’ needs.

The magic of the multi-platform lies in these axes. It is a challenge, but from it comes the combination of advantages of multiple media, and we can make that combination available to readers and advertisers alike.

The power of credibility and documentation are mainly privileges of the print media. That power is added to the agility, swiftness, and, multiple Internet consumption possibilities throughout the day. We enrich news text and photos with video, audio, animation, graphs with movement, and benefit from the omnipresence of mobile devices.

When a news media company can harmonise these news distribution platforms and maintain relevance, it becomes more important to the consumer’s life. With that importance, the chances the consumer will consider it his most important updating tool are higher. And then, the newspaper will become more attractive within the advertising market.

A real example of this is a successful case study that Folha de S.Paulo recently developed with Ambev, one of the world’s largest beverage companies and Loducca, its advertising agency. 

In Brazil the negative image of the alcoholic beverage segment is mainly represented by beer. We had a big challenge to create an annual commercial project not necessarily focused on brands, but on the beer category.

The project needed to convey the idea that this industry represents part of the Brazilian culture. Beer is linked with our stories, behaviours, rituals, and cuisine, as well as environmental care, contributions to the economy, benefits to health and wellbeing. It also needed to convey the idea to drink responsibly and in moderation.

For weeks, we dedicated ourselves to carefully understanding the advertiser’s needs, selecting Folha de S.Paulo’s sections, topics, and environments (print + digital), with adherence that could contribute to the image of the beer category. 

In the context of a large multi-platform media pack (which delivered print and online ads) we sponsored research on the best bars and restaurants in Sao Paulo, then developed and released the unprecedented collection, “Folha: The World of Beer.”

This series of 12 books show the power of beer to bring people together. Subjects included parties, music, recipes, history, beer from different origins, how it is made, how to taste and enjoy the best that beer offers, how to evaluate a good beer, etc.

We met all expectations with the campaign. The advertiser has considered this commercial project its best partnership of the year and invested 53% more in advertising in Folha than in the previous year. Now they are awaiting our new proposal.

We can see this scenario of market transformation with optimism or pessimism. However, we can’t ignore that we are living in a rapidly changing news media world. We can use these changes to favour us, not to hinder us. We can see them as opportunities instead of threats. It depends on each of us.

The puzzle pieces are on our tables. They can remain fragmented with no meaning. Or we can fit them together and discover new solutions.