Can Local Bloggers Help Newspapers Grow Revenue? - John Wilpers

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Information about Can Local Bloggers Help Newspapers Grow Revenue? - John Wilpers
Business & Mgmt

Published on October 3, 2008

Author: inma08


I AM A DEDICATED PATRON AND PARTICIPANT IN THE BOSTON ARTS COMMUNITY John Wilpers, Senior Consultant, INNOVATION International Media Consulting Group The 36th Annual INMA Europe Conference, “The News Channel of the Future,” Oct. 2, 2008

THE NEW INFORMATION CONSUMERS & CREATORS: Attracting, retaining & involving them John Wilpers, Senior Consultant, INNOVATION International Media Consulting Group The 36th Annual INMA Europe Conference, “The News Channel of the Future,” Oct. 2, 2008


NEWSPAPERS FACE A NEW WORLD A world where top-quality content is being consumed AND created by the people formerly known as the audience, many more expert in their field than our reporters.

THAT AUDIENCE IS LEAVING NEWSPAPERS EU paid dailies saw a 2.37% avg. drop in circulation in ’07 & almost 6% drop since 2003; non-EU countries also saw significant drops.

AND IT’S NOT BEING The single biggest threat to the REPLACED BY YOUNGER future of newspapers is the decline in youth readership. READERS The 2008 Newsroom Barometer queried 700 senior news executives from 120 countries, March 2008.

WHY ARE WE LOSING TODAY’S YOUNG PEOPLE? They are: • Time-crunched • Wired (Facebook, MySpace, iPod, Twitter, blogging…) • Creative (creating content in many forms) • Looking for connections • Focused on specific interests • Expecting interactivity

EUROPE’S 15-34 YEAR-OLDS DO NOT FAVOR NEWSPAPERS They prefer: Internet (46%) TV (35%) A book (7%) Radio (3%) Newspaper (3%) Magazine (1%)* They think your papers are irrelevant: neither about them nor by them nor by anyone like them. * Online Publishers Assn. Study

WHAT DO THEY WANT? 1) Local news relevant to their lifestyles & interests 2) Information & community around shared interests 3) Variety of viewpoints 4) Chance to participate

What can newspapers do to attract, retain and involve these new information consumers and creators?

BLOGS Their blogs Their content, their thoughts, their interests Written by them or by people like them On your website AND in your paper, NOT in a “blogger ghetto”

BEFORE 1994, THERE WERE NO BLOGS Internet users had no voice. The Web was, well, quiet.

IN 1994, THE FIRST BLOGGER… … emerged erect from his cave (Actually, it was Justin Hall from his Swarthmore College dorm room.)

BY ’02, THERE WERE 200,000 BLOGGERS By 2003, 3.5 million bloggers

BY ’06, 35 MILLION BLOGGERS; BY ’07, 70 MILLION Today, 133 million bloggers; tomorrow: ?

THE BLOG FLOW IS A TSUNAMI • Twelve new blogs every minute • More than 100,000 new blogs by day’s end • Nearly 1 million posts/day • 41,600 posts every hour • 700 every minute • 12 every second Technorati, State of the Blogosphere Annual Report, Sept. 2008

BLOGS ARE EVERYWHERE & ARE ACCEPTED • 184 million people worldwide have started a blog • 346 million people worldwide read blogs • 77% of active Internet users read blogs (COMSCORE MEDIA MATRIX/August 2008, eMARKETER/May 2008, UNIVERSAL MCCANN/ Mar, ’08)

BLOGGING IS SPREADING TO ALL CONTINENTS AND DEMOGRAPHICS Technorati, State of the Blogosphere Annual Report, Sept. 2008

BLOGGERS ARE HARDLY THE PAJAMA-CLAD SEX FIENDS EDITORS FEAR Technorati, State of the Blogosphere Annual Report, Sept. 2008

AND THEY ARE WRITING ABOUT A WIDE VARIETY OF TOPICS (NOT JUST SEX) Technorati, State of the Blogosphere Annual Report, Sept. 2008

THEY DO IT FOR LOTS OF REASONS Money is not the top reason, it’s not even in top five! Technorati, State of the Blogosphere Annual Report, Sept. 2008

AND THEY ARE REAPING REWARDS • Becoming semi-famous • Getting promotions • Changing professions • Getting more executive visibility Technorati, State of the Blogosphere Annual Report, Sept. 2008

LOOK AT THE PHENOMENAL NUMBERS OF BLOGGERS IN YOUR COUNTRIES Hundreds, even thousands of text and video blogs are available to you every day.

HARNESS THAT ENERGY & TALENT High-quality local bloggers: A great bet to increase your • REACH • RELEVANCE • REVENUE

SOME DISAGREE The Brazilian paper, Estadao, compared local bloggers to monkeys banging on keyboards. It was a funny campaign,but it was short-sighted, ignoring a legion of high-quality bloggers.

EVEN IF 50% OF THOSE BLOGGERS ARE ESTADAO’S MONKEYS… … that’s still a TON of good LOCAL content.

INCREASE REACH AND RELEVANCE With high-quality local bloggers, readers see your paper and website as being created by them and for them.

BUT GATEKEEPERS STILL RULE Most mainstream media reject or discourage user-generated content.

THE NEWSPAPER MAGIC STILL EXISTS Bloggers are thrilled to be asked to be part of your paper & website.

YOU JUST HEARD POWERFUL, VIRAL, GRASSROOTS MARKETING Word of mouth: the most effective, most trusted means of marketing. Publish local bloggers and unleash a legion of cost-free marketers! Photo by looking4poetry on flicker, CC

YOUR BRANDS STILL RESONATE Your brand = the best in information; Extend that brand to blogs & vlogs. Be THE source of all the best info in town, even if you don’t create it! Aggregate and point off. Or host the blogs. Who could resist a blog address like:

IT IS A WIN-WIN: You get: • Great web content • Great print content • Increased ad inventory, and • Viral grassroots PR from happy bloggers The bloggers get: • Big-time exposure in your newspaper and on your website • Increased traffic • Increased income • Prestige and fame!

BLOGGERS BRING TRAFFIC • BostonNOW hosted 3,900 bloggers; 900 of whom posted regularly • Four of the top 13 page view URLs were blogs or the blog home page • Our longest time on a page was a blog • Our highest unique page view page was a blog

BLOGGERS BRING TRAFFIC • Between 12-20% of BostonNOW’s site traffic was to blogs; much of the classic “long tail” variety • In less than 12 months, we attracted 773,000 unique visitors • Who viewed more than 2.1 million pages

5 free papers, all the same -- but we, YOU GET RESULTS! BostonNOW (the top line), had bloggers! Paper closed April 2008 BostonNOW Launch dates: MetroBoston (’00) Denver (‘01) Dallas (’03) TampaBay (’06) BostonNOW (‘07)


BLOGS ARE YOUR SALES DIFFERENTIATOR: Demonstrating: • Connection with young readers advertisers want • Community involvement & loyalty • Interactivity

BLOGS CAN BE USED BY ADVERTISERS • Clients can own a segment & deliver their message their way • Clients can interact with their consumers • Clients can use print to promote their Web presence

EXAMPLES OF SALES RESULTS • A $90,000 deal with a large regional bank mixing web and print budget to reach young college grads with text and video content, and banners • Two $10,000 deals with real estate developers to offer content, interact with consumers, and run print ads and web banners in the real estate section.

BUT NEWSPAPER EDITORS ARE NERVOUS Are we risking our hard- earned credibility opening our pages to outsiders? NO! You are still the gatekeeper. Don’t publish ALL the blogs, only the BEST blogs. Photo by CayUSA on flickr/CC

THEY WORRY ABOUT THE UNKNOWN How can I take responsibility for authors and content I know nothing about? EASY! You vet them like you would any columnist or freelancer… …& pull them if they err. Photo by SarahFelicity on flickr/CC

THEY WORRY ABOUT PROFESSIONALISM Don't you see any difference between blogs by journalists & by readers? ABSOLUTELY! Reporters are trained to collect and check facts; bloggers aren’t. While many bloggers are excellent, you should brand them graphically to make the distinction. Photo by Reinvented on flickr/CC

THEY FEAR NEFARIOUS ULTERIOR MOTIVES Isn’t it just a clever idea for publishers looking to cut costs? NO! Most bloggers are not reporters. We still need reporters Bloggers are an addition to your local news products. Photo by St Stev on flickr/CC

THEY WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE Will community bloggers will be willing to produce their content for free in the future? YES! Traffic is more valuable than a freelance check. Photo by Red5StandingBy on flickr/CC

THE ALTERNATIVE? Do nothing and the competition will eat your lunch “Newspapers are going to see the relentless emergence of new forms of media that might not even be … positioned as competition, but which have the potential to siphon off audience.” — Andrew Nachison, Co-founder iFOCOS, a media think tank

A NEW BUSINESS MODEL Incorporate professional AND citizen content, new advertising models, and new audiences so we can continue to fund our journalistic mission.

A NEW VISION: INCLUSION quot;Stop pretending your organization is an oracle. It's not. You don't know everything, and even if you did, you couldn't publish as much as you'd like to. Pointing to outside sources of information — especially local blogs and other media — is a great start … blank

A NEW VISION: CREATING TOGETHER “… It does not mean that you endorse what these folks are saying or vouch for it, but it does mean that you recognize that others in your community are creating media with at least some information other people might want to see.quot; Dan Gillmor, Director, Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, Arizona State University

SEIZE THIS NEW DAY Welcome the reader as a content creator into your website and newspaper, and expand your world

. Take-aways: Start today Start slow Start safely But START NOW John Wilpers, Senior Consultant INNOVATION Media Consulting Group 001.617.688.0137 /

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