Hold the flowers – newspapers ain’t dead yet

Two newspapers literally worlds apart are growing readership and developing new business models. And that’s good news for communicators.

Courtesy of Statistica

Courtesy of Statista

In recent times many people have questioned how newspapers can survive in the digital age. With so much online information how can a traditional newspaper break even let alone turn a profit?

Yet some mastheads are doing just fine and redefining what it means to be a newspaper.

Which is good news for content marketers and PR people because the oldest of the traditional media is reaching more people than ever before and telling stories in new and different ways.
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Major media release fails

Prime Minister Ben Chifley was responsible for the worst media release in Australian history.

A media release from Prime Minister Ben Chifley was among the most damaging in Australian history

Recently a strong community backlash forced the cancellation of a scheme to put black-clad officers of Australian Border Force on Melbourne streets checking visas.

The Government reacted by saying it was a big misunderstanding and named the culprit – a poorly worded media release cleared at a ‘low level in the organisation’.

Border Force media release – right thing but the wrong way

This media release did all what media releases are supposed to do. It captured attention. Unfortunately it was the wrong sort of attention and spiraled off into a media and social media storm, street protests and public ridicule for Border Force.
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The man who invented content marketing – in 1917

Today content marketing is all the buzz but its origins go back to 1917 and a newspaper man named George Creel.George_Creel_view1

America dons khaki

When the the Unites States declared war on Germany in April 1917, the Allied Powers had been fighting since 1914.  America mobilised over 4 000 000 military personnel and the infusion of American manpower and materiel into Europe changed the course of the war.

Close on 2 000 000 Americans served in France and by November 1918 nearly 10 000 soldiers or doughboys were arriving in France every day. By the end of the War America had suffered 110 000 deaths – almost twice as many as the number of Australians who died in that brutal conflict.
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Who’s telling your story?

Australians expect Ministers and CEOs to shoot for the positives and downplay the negatives when presenting an issue. But do we trust authority figures and could ordinary people do a better job?

Jules and Amber

Real people can be the best spokespersons. Norma, Adrian, Amber and Jules spoke during the Cocos campaign.

Who’s your spokesperson?

Default setting

Most organisations choose a default setting when it comes to presenting an issue to the public. They choose the most powerful individual in their agency or company, then he or she steps forward to speak on everything for everyone.  It’s fine if they succeed but if they don’t then everyone in the organisation tumbles over the metaphorical cliff.
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Australian media five years on

Question three respected Australian journalists about the future of Australian media and you’d be surprised how similar their views are.

IABC Canberra recently hosted a discussion with News Limited’s Malcolm Farr, Karen Middleton from SBS and ABC Political Editor Greg Jennet.   The three Canberra Press Gallery veterans shared predictions about the media in the next five years, with communicators at the National Press Club.

The media landscape may be changing but all agreed newspapers will remain important and be influencing opinion well into the medium term.  Viewers will have less appetite for traditionally scheduled news bulletins and will press TV networks to deliver a great variety of news formats via their digital channels.
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Branded Journalism: Texas Style