Posts Tagged ‘Media’

Back To A Print Media Future

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

 

When you are skiing down a slope into a descending fog and suddenly lose sight of the blue, red or green piste signs, a sudden “fear” engulfs experienced and inexperienced skiers. That very same “fear” is pervading management in most global print media companies. The fear that erodes trust in their own judgement. Talking to BBC broadcaster, Evan Davis, last week about what advice he would give to a 24 year old “Evan” considering a career in journalism today. His honest response was that he couldn’t see a viable career path in mainstream broadcast, print or digital media, at least one that is reasonably remunerated. “It’s is nearly all in an irreversible decline.”Traditional reference points have gone or are heavily obscured (distributors, customers, advertisers and so forth).

The future is a divergence into two dominant forms,

  1. “Convenience Media”, where the customer experience is all about shorter, snappier bite-sized reading, knowledge and entertainment.
  2. “Immersive Media”, where the  customer is able to direct their passion, energy and time towards in-depth learning, knowledge acquisition and entertainment.

It is about two axis: “speed” of absorbing what I need to now (convenience media ) and the “customer experience”, how easily does it conform to each customer’s preferences.

A world where “quality” is THE key determinant in attracting customers, converting them into paying subscribers and building loyalty.

Look at at The Wall Street Journal. 2.5 million daily newspaper readers are roughly split 50/50 print versus digital. The European and Asian  print versions ceased in 2017 largely driven by the impact of changes in advertisers’ behaviour, on the management’s judgement. The future they scream is all about an adaptive paywall, allowing users to test-drive the digital offerings, and through targeted global promotion and offers to lure them as subscribers into a vast array of offerings including the WSJ+ Benefits program. Yet old habits die hard.

Reading a print newspaper is both the easiest form of convenience media and immersive media for an urban dweller. I can pick it up, put it down at any point, no need to tap into a backlit screen to access it, no need to squeeze it onto a narrow picture frame, no tired eyes and an easy way to “gift it” to customers in a company waiting rooms. A three-dimensional brand offering.  In their wisdom, the WSJ have struck out that option for its’ European and Asian audiences. The reality is that a reliance on higher tech is creating a lower touch customer experience, less brand loyalty, less volition for advertisers to spend and increasing irrelevance in Europe and Asia.  Why would you do that unless you are paralysed by fear of the future, you default to cost saving, increasing consolidation and reducing customer choice in a multi-media world?  Think bigger.

I am with Tyler Brûlé, Editor-in-Chief of media publication, Monocle, high quality print media has a very strong future in a commercial world so long as management don’t stop trusting their own judgement.

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Brexit Backlash

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Close to 60 million people are daily waking up in the UK and countless millions in Europe are doing the same with the intent of improving they and their families lives. Their accomplishments are hugely impressive and yet we are swamped by a news media that insists on overlooking those achievements and fuelling fear about the consequences of Brexit. Why? Is it that a great many of those working in, and owning, media companies are themselves failing and using Brexit as a soft excuse for their own poor judgement and declining skills? Is it that their enthusiasm has morphed into blind zeal? As with all zealots they seek to convert everyone and find compromise impossible to accept? (OK, so Britain will stay in Europe on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday to satisfy them.)

© James Berkeley 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Nothing But The Truth

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Beware the tendency today to have opinions proferred by eminent people confused with facts by trusted media sources.

Today, the BBC’s Kamal Ahmed in a story about the growth of the UK’s gig economy, quotes Lord Adair Turner, a British economist and policy adviser, as “correct” in expressing his opinion that the failure to see a real rise in average UK wages since 2007 proves that the capitalist system is not living upto its’ promise to “raise all boats over a decade”.

The capitalist system promises to create an environment for maximising wealth creation. There is no better system at doing that. It doesn’t “promise” anything other than in fostering competition, there will be winners and losers.

A capitalist economy’s fault line comes in how it deals with both groups and how it distributes wealth fairly and equitably. Should a public company CEO earn 10x that of a brain or heart surgeon who saves lives or 300x their lowest paid employee? I happen to believe everyone, who is seriously intent on working, and contributing to society, should be able to have a job.

Where we are on unsafe ground as a society, is when prominent journalists with dominant global media platforms don’t self-check opinions expressed as facts. For who are we to believe?

© James Berkeley 2017.

 

The Media Mirror

Friday, April 1st, 2016

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Why do so many business media interviews tell us less about the individual’s story and more about their fears? If the objective of talking to a “friendly” reporter is to increase the likelihood that you are seen as an object of  interest (credibility, intellect, empathy) amongst your key constituents (clients, prospects, shareholders, employees, business partners etc), you would be wise to start by understanding the reporter’s objectives.

1. What logical and emotional priorities is he/she seeking to accomplish?
2. Why interview me? (unique story)
3. Why now? (event or occurrence)
4. Why in the manner suggested? (environment, conditions etc)
5. How is the reporter better off or better supported after the interview is published?

I see a great many successful business folk, investors and board chairs expressing anguish at what they see in the “media mirror”. “He twisted my words”, “She portrayed me in an ugly or vulgar light” or “They lied to me”.

The reporter is the easy soft target for their frustration when the real culprit is the individual themselves. They failed to ask themselves the right questions before agreeing to the interview and they walked into the interview I’ll-prepared with their ego dangling out front.

Media promotion is an important part of building a marketing gravity to businesses that  want to lower acquisition overheads and accelerate top line revenues. Doing it right is more important than not doing it at all.

 

Copyright James Berkeley 2016. All Rights Reserved.