Archive for the ‘Media Future’ Category

Sliding newspaper circulation? Not in India

Thursday, May 12th, 2011 by Mark Perry

 

Who said newspaper circulations are falling? Well, not in India they’re not.

Circulations on the sub-continent have seen a solid growth over the last year according to the recent Indian Readership Survey.

The growth is put down to rising literacy rates, increasing population and low cover prices – some as low as 3p.

Some of the circulation figures are mind-boggling compared with what we are used to in the UK. The Hindi daily Dainik Jagran gained an extra 120,000 readers in the last quarter of 2010 and now has an average issue readership of 16.07 million.

Despite having 29 regional languages, the English language newspapers such as the Times of India, with an average readership 7.42 million, are seeing a surge in sales. This is helped by English speakers wanting to improve their use of the language –  seen as vital to being successful in the business world.

The circulation boost may not yet be threatened by electronic versions as the internet penetration is still relatively low on the sub-continent 8.5% in 2010 compared with 82.5% in the UK.

There is some way to go before the internet is widely available which means that the Indian newspaper circulation growth could continue along with the forecast 100 million population rise by 2020.

 

About Mark Perry

Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in PR and corporate communications. He is a founding director of B2B consultancy Melville PR.

Local news lives on with Newspaper Week

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 by Jenny Mason

 

This week is Local Newspaper Week (9-15 May) – the Newspaper Society’s annual celebration of the strength of regional and local press in the UK.

Editors across the country will be taking the opportunity to remind their readers of the important role that newspapers play in their local area.

For years, local newspapers have acted as the champion of their communities – putting council decisions under the spotlight, giving perspective on arguments around controversial developments and sharing their readers’ stories.

Local newspapers remain the first media that 60% of people turn to if they want to raise awareness of a local issue or problem. But, with the second half of last year seeing a year-on-year fall in circulation for the vast majority of paid-for weekly local and regional papers in the UK, is their role changing?

The latest ABCes make far more comfortable reading for local newspaper editors, with 90% of publishers growing the unique user figures on their regional websites last year.

Titles such as the Lancashire Telegraph and Liverpool Echo succeeded in growing the number of daily unique visitors to their websites dramatically – by 59% and 44% respectively.

Guardian News & Media’s recent decision not to progress its Guardian Local experiment raises questions as to the ongoing role of local journalism in a digital age.

But, with thirty four million unique users continuing to rely on their local newspaper websites every month, could this be indicative of a reluctance of communities to abandon the brands that they have seen as championing their needs for generations?

About Jenny Mason

Jenny joined Staniforth in August 2007 and is now an Account Manager in the B2B team.

Radian6 Nets £215 million Price Tag

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 by Rob Brown

Five years after launching, social media monitoring company Radian6 has been sold by its founders Chris Newton and Chris Ramsey for £215 million ($326 million)  The company has been acquired by Salesforce the company that provides cloud based sales management software.

Radian6 is a software solution that allows organisations to monitor, measure and engage in conversations on-line  It claims to track over 150 million social media sites.   The system provides an interactive dashboard that measures and interprets results and can be used to provide reponses via the Radian6 Engagement Console.

Achieving that valuation in such a sort space of time shows just how important social media monitoring is becoming to the PR industry as a whole and to big businesses like UPS, Kodak and Dell all of whom are Radian6 customers.   It’s also a something of a risk for Salesforce as the social media monitoring market is fast paced, fast moving and fast changing.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce said: “We see this as a huge opportunity. .. this acquisition will accelerate our growth”

We should expect to see more consolidation in the market over the coming months.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann Erickson and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Old and new media – parallel lives

Friday, September 24th, 2010 by Jon Clements

 

As the announcer used to say at the start of 70s Sitcom, Soap: “Confused? You won’t be after the next episode…”

I wish the same could be said of the Deloitte media research shared at this week’s Insider Business of Media event in Manchester.

What it suggests is a tale of two worlds colliding – or, rather, assumptions about the state of modern media behaviour being overturned like an overfilled wheelie bin.  

Where new developments in media have – naturally – attracted the lion’s share of commentators’ and marketers’ attention, what is interesting is the resilience of old media to predictions of its demise. But, then again, how long will it last?

According to the Deloitte research, 68% of US consumers read print media. However, the Indian subcontinent loves its print media, with a whopping 90% loyalty to hard copy. These are the reasons why – back in 2005 - the country’s “dead tree” readership was booming, although this report suggests those days are numbered.

Meanwhile, in the UK, we apparently watch 30 hours of television per week (though Lord only knows what we’re watching). And TV advertising “remains the form with the greatest perceived impact, even among the youngest”, says Ed Shedd, Deloitte’s technology media and telecommunications partner. He adds: “The belief that the young are not affected traditional media formats is not true. They are still ‘superusers” of them.”

And, harking back to the 2010 general election, Deloitte’s figures suggest that TV was the dominant news source as well as being the biggest influencer of voting choices.

As Shedd says, “The UK is fascinated by new forms of media consumption”. However, he opines, it doesn’t mean that successive shifts in media innovation cancel out what went before: “The more formats there are, the more people use to consume; it doesn’t mean that any get ditched.”

So what does this mean? Well, as you will know, PR Media Blog is the first to say that an understanding of social media for companies and brands is essential. However, it would be premature to dismiss the value and effectiveness of old media as a route to getting your message across.

The challenge is being able to integrate successfully your activities across the old and the new and be sufficiently creative to stand out in both.

Until the last person turns off the “old media” light and shuts the door, you’d better believe there are still people in there.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

The Independent Sold for Just £1

Thursday, March 25th, 2010 by Rob Brown

This blog has charted decline of newspapers for the last two years but the sale today of The Independent for just £1 is proof if any were needed that the value has gone out of print.  Less than ten years after the New York Times paid over a billion dollars for a city paper (the Boston Globe), a UK national title changes hands for small change.

The Independent has been bought by the Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev, who acquired the London Evening Standard last year, and has been in the market to secure for the Independent for some months.  The deal includes the Independent on Sunday and follows a year in which the Independent titles lost £12.4m.

Even though the titles have been snapped up for close to nothing there must remain a question mark as to whether the ex KGB man has actually got a good deal.  Earlier today at the AGM of the North West Creative & Media Industries, Sara Wilde-McKeowan the Regional Managing Director of Trinity Mirror who acquired the Manchester Evening News a few weeks ago decribed being in the newspaper business as “like skiing downhill unsure as to whether there will be a soft landing”.

It’s an odd and sobering thought to think that for the price you paid for a single copy of the Independent at your local newsagents this morning you could have bought the whole shebang. 
 

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann Erickson and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

China, Google, Censorship and the Web

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 by Rob Brown

 

Google has made global headlines today with the revelation that it is redirecting users in mainland China to its unrestricted Hong Kong site in order to avoid complying with the Chinese laws that direct the search engine to censor results.  Chinese firewalls however mean that results for searches such as ‘Tiananmen Square’ still come back censored.

For those who want to delve behind the headlines you can replicate the experience of one of the half a billion Chinese internet users.  Internet browser Firefox has a plug-in that simulates the great firewall of China.  Users who add the Firefox China Channel to their browser can experience what it is like to surf the internet from inside the republic. 

You may have heard the factoid that if Facebook were a country it would be the world’s third largest behind China and India.  The web is seen as the borderless, global and free but it isn’t.  States like China filter and block content that they don’t want citizens to access. The so-called Golden Shield Project is policed in China by an estimated 30,000 strong task force who deny access to politically sensitive or regime critical content.  

The battle between Google and the Chinese government is symbolic of the rise of web communities and the decline of the power of the nation state.  Challenging censorship is an honourable aim but before we celebrate the rise of the web community too much we should spare a thought for the fact that the leaders at Google aren’t elected either.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann Erickson and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Guerilla Marketing

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 by Rob Brown

In the brave new world of social media we are told that content is king and if the content is good enough it will find an audience.  We don’t often use this blog to talk about projects that Staniforth is involved in but this Nissan campaign is an exception – incidentally the creative work here was delivered by another agency.

Advertising is changing and this is a great example of how and why.   What we have here is an innovative three dimensional installation (I won’t spoil the ending of the clip by saying any more).  We also have a really engaging short film that takes the installation out to a whole new audience, it also tells a story with a twist (quite literally) in the tail .   Car manufacturers are not always known for breaking the mould, but this is a great example of how to do things differently.  Fasten your seatbelts.  

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann Erickson and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Manchester App School opens doors

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 by Jon Clements

As a recent convert to the iPhone and the wonderful world of the “app” (Planet Rock, anyone?), it’s good to know that the future of app development is being bolstered by a Manchester-based course for young people known as The App School.

Creative consultants, The White Room, are running the free course - backed by the city council, Cornerhouse (Manchester’s centre for visual arts and cinema) and Manchester Metropolitan University - for 18-24 year olds interested in designing new iPhone applications.

And with the mobile app market forecast to reach $6.8bn this year, there’s a potential money making machine for the creative person with the right ideas.

But techno-phobes need not be discouraged. This is about people with potentially commercial ideas and not necessarily those who dismantle computer hard drives for fun.

According to Phil Birchenall, project director at the White Room: “What we need is plenty of enthusiasm and ideas, that’s all.”

I eagerly await the “help your kid with his maths homework app”, and soon.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Google Buzz on Social Networking

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 by Rob Brown

todd-jackson-google-buzz.png 

In a live press conference broadcast through YouTube, Google today announced the launch of Google Buzz a social networking application built onto Google Mail.   Todd Jackson, Gmail Project Manager explained how it uses Gmail contacts to create a ready made friend list but then allows users to pull in contacts from other social networks.    

It borrows a lot of the ideas born out of twitter but adds a new level of sophistication.  For example the recommendation engine will over time filter ‘good buzz’ from ‘bad buzz’ – if you like an intelligent retweet system.

Google Buzz has some stunning features that set it apart from other social platforms, particular when it comes to smartphones.  It uses GPS to locate where you are and integrates with a new version of Google mobile maps.  Posts from mobiles including pictures will be automatically geo-tagged (or located to place) which will allow you to broadcast and recieve the buzz around shops, restaurants or visitor attractions, nearby.

Perhaps the biggest new feature is the inclusion of voice to text.  This means that you can speak directly into your mobile phone and it will appear automatically as a text in your Buzz profile.   In one fell swoop Google is taking on Friendfeed, Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook and, oh yes, the iPhone.  The mobile features of Buzz will be available on the Google Nexus One and other Android handsets but not (at least for now) on Apple’s market leading smartphone.  When will Buzz be available?  It launches now.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann Erickson and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Trinity Mirror Buys Manchester Evening News

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 by Rob Brown

The Manchester Evening News and its associated titles have been acquired by Trinity Mirror for £45 million in a deal announced today.  It spells the end of the long association between the Guardian (once The Manchester Guardian) and the MEN.

Sly Bailey, Chief Executive of Trinity Mirror , commented: “GMG Regional Media is a perfect strategic fit for our Group. This acquisition, which includes the Manchester Evening News with its proud and rich journalistic heritage, together with the weekly titles and associated websites extends our reach across print and online and is a further step towards our strategic goal of creating a multi-media business of real scale.”   The deal doesn’t include the TV station Channel M. 

If you drill down into the detail of the deal, £37.4 million is to realease the papers from a long term printing contract - but it is still a lot of money to pay for a regional title when the sector is under so much pressure.   The deal may be good news for the title because it moves from a group that does not really believe in the future of regional print to one that is committed to it.   For that reason it probably ensures a longer future for the MEN but whether Trinity can stem the flow of advertising and readers away from regional newspapers in the long term is quite a different question.
 
 

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann Erickson and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).