http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stBSARKYYqU&fmt=22&rel=0

More than 300 delegates from 47 different countries met on Monday for the first full-day session of INMA’s 81st World Congress. Attendees heard from a broad range of newsmedia experts about the importance of audience awareness, looking inward to achieve corporate change and willingness for businesses to take a risk – even if that risk means failure.

“The change needed to happen five minutes ago,” INMA President Michael Phelps told a packed ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in New York City.

Some key advice came from Earl J. Wilkinson, INMA’s executive director: Organisations should not plan around today’s revenue but around today’s audience. Capturing the audience was a recurring theme throughout other presentations as well.

There was an added emphasis during the day’s program on making corporate change by looking inward. Rishad Tobaccowala of Vivaki advised companies to look at the culture of some of the people working with their organisations: “Some of the best people in your organisation are 10 years younger than you – so listen up and take their advice.”

Larry Kramer, “C-Scape” author and founder of Marketwatch.com, provided his four C’s as a guide to navigate the changing business landscape. In his book “C-Scape: Conquer the Forces Changing Business Today,” he explains how consumers now have full control, content is king, curation is a new and essential art form and convergence separates one from the competition.

“I think the good news is there is a future for news,” Kramer said. “But we have to start moving quickly to do things the way people want it.”

Audience members got very involved in the conversations through what Wilkinson called an “echo chamber” effect he sought to create using advanced social media techniques. Participants even got a brief training session in the morning, courtesy of a team of fusion journalists from Western Kentucky University, on how to use Twitter and the conference’s #INMAWC hashtag. The result by the end of the first day was a mushrooming number of tweets, numbering into the hundreds, on dozens of hot-button topics. With a large portion of the audience sporting iPads and other mobile devices, the time it took for a provoking comment in the room to go from voice to blogsphere measured in much less than a minute.

At the end of the day, moderator Juan Senor summed up some of those key thoughts:

  • Suppress the words ‘digital’  & ‘Internet’
  • Think ‘connection agent’
  • All roads lead to roam – mobile roam is the new home
  • We live a digital renaissance
  • Twitchering is a new behavior to tap into
  • Future comes from slime, not the heavens
  • We’re not relevant enough
  • The print culture of our industry is choking our industry
  • Resign and re-apply for your job
  • Ecolab - Colombia
  • Brand academy - Schibsted
  • Slavery of shareholder reporting
  • Charge for context around content vs. content – Daily Mirror
  • Aftonbladet  - weight and insomnia clubs
  • Place little bets
  • iPad platform for young urban consumers – Axel Springer
  • You better be Number One
  • Train employees on social media – Chicago Tribune
  • Advertisers don’t want advertising
  • Help advertisers launch social media spaces
  • Rediscover your USP
  • Get rid of change conflicts between legacy and digital ad representatives
  • Good cop/bad cop between integrated and legacy departments
  • ABCD model – Audience/Bundle/Creative/Deal
  • We are a multimedia company with printing presses
  • TAF - total audience formula
  • Sell SEO
  • Sell wallpaper
  • $3.50 per Facebook fan
  • ADGA – Average daily readership across print and digital
  • Content revenues to match print and advertising revenues in 2011
  • Research is essential
  • Integrate – no more print or online
  • Do not forsake print revenues

Participants ended the day by unwinding at a short reception sponsored by INMA partner NewspaperDirect.