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INMA conducts its first Global Forum in the Indian market

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INMA conducts its first Global Forum in the Indian market

The International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA) has spread its wings to the Indian market as well. INMA conducted its first ever global forum in India, in Mumbai, bringing internationally seen newspaper marketing and commercial opportunties here.

The event commenced on Novemeber 10, 2005 and is spread across two days. Designed to highlight issues, case studies, and best practices of newspapers in Europe, North America, and Latin America, INMA’s Global Forum saw some of the who’s who of the Inian print market make their presence here. The forum’s theme was ‘Bringing the World of Newspapers To India’ and the host of the day was BCCL’s Executive Director, Ravi Dhariwal.

The forum will be an importnant one, given that it marks the first time an INMA conference is held in India, further accentuating the rare position India is currently in, where it is seeing a year-on-year growth in ciruclation, set to see only some more in years to come.

The day focussed on circulation and advertising development, new product development, integrating the Internet into business plans, and strategies for the future. The attempt was to identify threats newspapers face, and the opportunities that newspapers and media companies have, going forward and the first day of the session sure had much to ponder upon.

Dhariwal kicked off the processions of the day emphasising on the need of sharing ideas in print today and what India can learn from international experiments, where innovation is need to survive. He said, “It is time to re-look at some of the best practices and given INMA’s years of experience in the domain, there is much that we can see, learn and take from the rest of the world to grow our own industry.”

With this, he introduced the first speaker of the day, Ross McPherson, President, INMA and Managing Director, McPherson Media Group, Shepparton, Australia. McPherson explained to the audience more on INMA’s history and the vision of the organisation.

Tracing the association’s growth right from its inception in 1930. He spoke about the growth of the association across the globe, “Our core business is to see the evolving vision for the growth of newspapers industry. We explore global trends and identify what newspapers around the world are talking about and what they will talk about in the future.”

Delving further into how newspapers were brands that were seeing extension to other mediums like digital, radio, pay promotions and so on and drew examples from the group itself, giving instances of its Ideas Magazine,, McPherson said, “We are growing – fast and the idea is to explore cues which will benefit the industry at large.”

With this Earl Wilkinson, Executive Director, INMA, Dallas, USA, took the floor speaking on ‘Global Trends In Newspaper Publishing’. The session explored more on the series of historic and current trends that newspapers are caught in, which portends opportunities and threats in the years ahead.

Wilkinson began with the fact that a big problem in the newspaper industry was the fact that people weren’t well equipped with the developments in the field, “To quote UNESCO, there are 8,391 dailies today and how much do we know about even a fraction of this.”

Some of the historic trends that Wilkinson pointed were the development in the role of creating a wealth market. “There are four requirements here,” he said – property rights, scientific rationale, capital markets and creation of a fast and efficient communication.

He spoke about the evolution in marketing from mass to niche to one to one. With the demographic changes coming in, some of the emerging trends are the development of citizen journalism, blogs, e-papers and so on, clearly indicating that the growth of newspapers will come from multimedia.

Wilkinson also spoke about various futuristic trends emerging from the past trends – some of them being development of free urban daily newspapers, development of ‘lite’ or miniature newspapers, the change from broadsheets to compacts, the compacting of content trend, the quality popular versus tabloids trend and finally the paid promotion trends.

While free urban dailies and paid promotions were already declared a success, the verdict on ‘lite’ and moving to compact size is still to be given. He concluded pointing that in addition to multimedia the future held brand portfolios coming in newspaper to fuel growth in the publication.

The next in line was Jan Wifstrand, Editor-in-Chief, Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden, who spoke on ‘To Be Or Not To Be the Leader In One of the World’s Strongest Newspaper Markets’.

The session took a closer look at the publication ‘Dagens Nyheter’. He explained that although being the newspaper that set the agenda, covering 35 per cent of the households in a European Capital, Dagens Nyheter was struggling to keep its position. “Because there’s a warlike battle about the advertisers going on in the Stockholm newspaper market,” explained Wifstrand.

The other speakers, too, devled into various problems to point out what the threats were and how they were dealt with. The rest of the day saw names like Shaun Higgins, Director of Marketing and Sales, The Spokesman-Review, USA speak on ‘Secrets of ‘The Hive – Using Databases and Web Techniques to Grow Print Revenue’; Michael Muir, Chairman, The Gisborne Herald, New Zealand discuss ‘Newspaper Publishing In New Zealand: The Challenge and the Response’.

His presentation focussed on the newspaper industry in New Zealand, a country of four million with 23 daily newspapers, 113 community newspapers, and three Sunday newspapers. Ownership changes have recently meant a more commercial approach to industry organisations. The presentation will conclude on a more personal note regarding how a small daily serves a community of 45,000.

The final session of the day was on Text Messaging Revolution: Communicating With the Mobile Generation, conducted by Mark Challinor, Managing Director, Buzz Mobile Marketing, Ltd., London, England, and President, INMA Europe Division. Associated Newspapers in England, publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, UK Metro and London’s Evening Standard, have been at the forefront in recent years in leading the market with its high profile promotional campaign, in one of the most competitive markets in the world.

In the last three years particularly, they have honed their activities to reach a younger and more commuter-based audience by introducing SMS mechanics, using extensive research and implementation of 21st century communication techniques. Hear a practical overview of what Associated Newspapers have been doing and looks at future opportunities.


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