INMA World Congress starts Sunday, focused on taking measured risks and not fearing failure


The 82nd Annual INMA World Congress starts Sunday, May 6, in Los Angeles, and more than 325 delegates from 38 countries will assemble.

Themed “New Oxygen, New Growth,” this year's INMA World Congress will give publishers a platform to demonstrate how they are changing cultures to drive multi-media revenue that funds great journalism.

The three-day conference at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live in Los Angeles will be covered in this World Congress Blog. Please check back regularly for updates throughout the week.

You may also follow along with conference coverage via Twitter using the hashtag #inmawc.

Conference delegates are ready for breakthrough presentations and a unique mix of traditional and emerging media.

“I believe we are already in the midst of radical transformation now, although clearly, different countries are experiencing change at different rates and are in different stages,” said Anne Wong, director of marketing at the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.

Wong sees that developing countries see significant growth and potential from print products alongside developing technologies. Meanwhile, she said developed countries' print editions are declining faster because tablets and smartphones are more readily available.

“The shift is gradual,” Wong said. “But it won't be complete, as I believe there will always be a market for print, albeit a more specialised one, and inevitably smaller.”

Kylie Davis, network editor for News Ltd. in Australia, said the current business model for advertising and circulation has long passed the point of “maintenance.”

In fact, transformation was needed five years ago.

“The trouble with the industry is that it has spent too long engaging in incremental change hoping that putting our existing products into new platforms would suffice,” Davis said. “Total radical transformation — which is about thinking in totally new ways about our businesses — is now the only option.”

David said it is still to be determined where revenue growth for news organisations will come from over the next three years. Said Davis: “Monetising our brands and audience connections in new ways — many of which have yet to be invented.”

According to the Pew Research Center's State of the News Media 2012 report, U.S. consumption continues to move to the Internet. Online outlets saw a 17.2% growth in audience while print products like magazines and newspapers saw declines.

Wong said growing readership and advertising are different sides to the same coin. Challenges in boosting audience lie in getting content on appropriate platforms, while the biggest impediment in growing revenue is advertiser perception of digital media versus print.

“We are embracing more open dialogue and brainstorming internally about how we can grow based on our core strengths, inviting experts who have achieved similar results in different markets to learn and think outside our own box,” said Wong, adding that it's about “taking measured risks and not fearing failure.”

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