15 January 2009

“Revenue Solutions” For News Media

Twelve ways for newspapers to improve their turnover in the future are offered by Steve Outing in his monthly column.

Writing in Editor & Publisher, the new media expert says his 12 suggestions by no means represent a “silver bullet” for the industry, but they’re a place to start.

He writes: “Let’s shoot for a panoply of revenue solutions to keep newspaper companies afloat in print, online and in the mobile world.”

So here are five of his dozen recommendations:

* All platforms are equal

Outing asserts that sales teams should sell ad space across all platforms, identifying the best one for each particular client.

“This may mean selling a retailer who targets a younger customer base on Web, search, blog and/or mobile ads and not trying to talk them into more expensive print placements as well, or bundling print in with the package.”

* Cut print issues

This strategy is already being put into effect by a number of titles in the US and Outing reckons that the costs saved can be invested in new digital services to attract alternative advertising revenue.

“One of the newspaper industry’s big impediments to digital innovation over the last decade has been the distraction of putting out the daily newspaper.

“As those demands lessen, more innovation and executive focus on monetising digital content and services is possible.”

* Embrace “micro-personal” news

“‘News’ to today’s digital consumer runs the gamut from what trail your friend hiked today (and posted news of it on Facebook to her personal online social network) to how many people died in the latest Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip.”

* Recruit a “VP of social media”

Outing says this person would be responsible for building traffic via social network communities etc.

* “Newspaper as ad agency”

In other words, sales teams work with long-standing customers to find them ad deals which may not be with the news company itself.

“Facilitate getting them into other venues that will achieve the client’s goal. Set up systems that support that with the client business going through you - and you get a referral (or agency) fee.”

Visit E&P for the full column.

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