JoongAng Ilbo connects with theme park, creates membership magazine



Chang-hee Park, who serves as the managing director of JoongAng Ilbo, explained to delegates at the INMA World Congress Brainsnacks session about how the spectacular is possible.

Although newspaper subscription rates in Korea have been declining since 2002, the country has the fastest Internet speed in the world.

“Korea was considered the most poorest country in the world 65 years ago — today it definitely is not," Hee Park said.

Hee Park noted that knowing this contrast is important. It highlights the economic and political dynamics Koreans have achieved. The contrast can also be observed in newspaper marketing methods.

He brought up a marketing idea that Korea has used for long time: giving readers a free gift for every new subscription they sign up for. However, this type of marketing created a negative impact on P&L. Cherry picker readers were the cause of the loss.

Hee Park provides the answer to how to maintain subscribers while spending less on marketing: “It is not easy to seek and find the right partners for this type of marketing," Hee Park said.

He introduced a new type of marketing based on capability to generate quality media and bartering for new readership. Joongang Ilbo approached KidZania, a theme park for children, with the idea to provide a quality membership magazine called KidZania.

This model was successful however difficult, so the company is now working to introduced a new method.

If newspapers can maintain a realistic profile of readers that are attractive to advertisers, then journalism can endure and survive, Hee Park said.

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