Newspaper companies have unique value in the emerging media universe and can leverage revenue and profits by focusing strategic energies on brand, content, total audience, change, and new business models. These were the key themes at the 77th Annual INMA World Congress in Paris April 25-27.
The conference drew more than 525 delegates from 50 countries, punctuated by industry leaders who shared their visions and stories that are transforming newspaper companies worldwide.
Speaker after speaker chipped away at the arguments surrounding the newspaper company’s core value propositions in a multi-media universe. Those value propositions include:
- Brand: The brand is central to value creation, and newspaper companies must shift resources to its development and nurturing.
- Content: Content regardless of platform is what newspapers own in the emerging media universe.
- Audience: Total audience is the new metric for newspaper companies. Print audiences will continue to have higher value for the foreseeable future. Each medium has its own unique value to readers and advertisers.
- Change: Newspapers must change their internal cultures or die.
- New Business Models: Advertisers, advertising agencies, and media buyers are seeking new marketing business models. Newspaper companies must be a part of the solution, not an impediment to this goal.
Citing a new Bloomberg report, Innovation International consultant and World Congress moderator Juan Señor said that stocks of publicly traded newspaper companies outside the United States rose 25 percent in the past year. Bloomberg concluded that newspaper companies growing shareholder value were embracing the digital revolution and expanding beyond their geographical markets.
Working under the theme of “Re-Imagining Newspapers in a Multi-Media World,” INMA World Congress speakers shared their analysis on what newspapers need to do to survive, compete, and transcend into an unpredictable future where innovation and fearlessness will work hand-in-hand with brand positioning, media convergence, and the creation of product portfolios. The ultimate goal, speakers said, was to maintain the newspaper company’s role in the future media landscape and defend its position as an equal player among similarly converging media industries.