Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Bits from the Media & Broadcasting Congress

Mark Fletcher
November 23rd, 2006 · No Comments

The two day Congress in Sydney earlier this week was worthwhile beyond what I have already covered. Here are some of the other highlights as I saw them:

Magazines and the Internet: Patsy Keegan of Vanishing Point Media reinforced how important an online strategy is for magazines. She made sense talking about how successful titles use the Internet to engage with readers. Good local example: Girlfriend – brilliant reader engagement.

Old media adapting to Internet opportunities: Rohan Lund, Director, Digital Media and Strategic Investments, Seven Network took us behind the scenes on how Seven has embraced Yahoo! and embedded Yahoo! people with TV shows and magazines to create a more valuable relationship. The Yahoo! Side of things is providing a level of engagement that a pure broadcaster cannot achieve.

Today’s media Company: Tony Faure, CEO, ninemsn was opening keynote for the conference and set the tone. The world has changed. Media companies are not what they used to be. Those in the media need to adapt. This is an era of engagement and personalisation. Of course, the newspaper folks who followed Tony – see earlier blog entry – weren’t listening.

See the theme – engagement. We have engagement in newsagencies with every customer contact. However, few of us really engage – certainly not in a way which is comparable to the liberating engagement of a good website.

The biggest highlight of the Congress, from a small business perspective, is the opportunity to listen to representatives from suppliers and major media companies talk in broad terms about the new world and do some naval gazing about that. Back in my newsagency this morning dealing grass roots issues, it’s easy to forget the lofty ideas swirling around my head during the Congress. Day to day newsagents have little time for naval gazing and business planning. Their twelve to sixteen hour days are overcommitted with heavy labour, customer service, accounting, dealing with reps who are always ‘dropping in’, putting up displays, taking down displays, putting out new stock, processing returns … and so on. Back in they day they had more employees to do this work. As wages, rent and competition increased, newsagents kept busy and have not modified their businesses to address these very issues. Now, newsagents face, in my view, a tsunami. Newsagents and those who lead them need some serious naval gazing time to plan for the future – but they better hurry because the future will be here sooner than they think.

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Category: Newsagency challenges

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