Australian newsagencies grew up with the purpose of distributing and retailing news and information product. We established a world class network along the way and while we added other products and services, our connect with news and information remains our most important traffic generator and business focus. Through this journey we have been (for the most part) willing servants of newspaper and magazine publishers and distributors, another cog in the supply chain.
Now, thanks to broadband, the Internet and wireless technologies, the need for such a cost and labour intensive supply chain is changing. Yet we’re not about to close down. We need to find and create opportunities for our commercial relevance going forward.
Our future will be found in being locally focussed. Our local connect is a core value of newsagencies. We need to embrace that more. We need to stop watching this giant wave of change from the sidelines and jump on and ride it. We need to create content, product.
Imagine if you were the publisher of an online local newspaper which focussed on local reporting. No one size fits all here, such a venture would be about your local community with content developed by them and even supplemented by professional local writers. In such a model newsagents step out from being part of a challenged supply chain and become content creators, we start riding the wave. This model would make local news more valuable than the fluff of many local newspapers.
While taking such a step will not generate significant traffic for our shops, it will put us in play in this new online space in an exciting and leadership way. Our shops can become a beacon for the local community and help create a future model for our viability.
It’s easier to see the way forward from the front of the pack than from behind or under.
How do we do this? Watch this space.