WAN-IFRA re­port stresses in­no­va­tion

Newspapers & Technology Magazine - - In­dus­try Merg­ers & Ac­qui­si­tions - ▶ BY KIRSTEN STA­PLES CONTRIBUTING WRITER p

When it comes to news me­dia, in­dus­try lead­ers have two op­tions. They can do their best to be in­no­va­tive in an ever-chang­ing in­dus­try, or they can fall be­hind and be­come “old news.” To help com­bat the lat­ter of these two op­tions, WAN­I­FRA has col­lab­o­rated with Fran­cois Nel and Coral Mil­burn-Cur­tis from the In­no­va­tion Re­search Group to pro­duce the World News Pub­lish­ers Out­look 2017.

The 86-page re­port sur­veyed ex­ec­u­tives and de­ci­sion-mak­ers around the world in 11 lan­guages: Ara­bic, Chi­nese, English, Fin­nish, French, Ger­man, Ital­ian, Per­sian, Por­tuguese, Rus­sian and Span­ish. The re­port had 235 re­sponses across 68 coun­tries.

WAN-IFRA’s web­site says that the sur­vey an­a­lyzed the fol­low­ing ar­eas:

1. The pro­file of re­spon­dents, in­clud­ing the na­ture and ac­tiv­i­ties of their firm.

2. Cur­rent rev­enue streams, fi­nan­cial per­for­mance dur­ing the past year and an­tic­i­pa­tion of fu­ture rev­enue sources.

3. Spe­cific pri­or­i­ties for change and in­vest­ment in the next year and in the medium term (three to five years).

4. How lead­ers ex­pe­ri­ence change and risk. “The big­gest risk to fu­ture suc­cess is not seen to be chal­lenges to busi­ness mod­els, tech­nol­ogy dis­rup­tion, ad­ver­tis­ing de­clines, or po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity— but firms' own re­luc­tance to in­no­vate,” says a WAN-IFRA sum­mary of the re­port.

Re­lated to cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion, the most im­por­tant change to be im­ple­mented into news me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions in the next year was or­ga­ni­za­tional cul­ture, ac­cord­ing to re­spon­dents. Twenty-one per­cent of re­spon­dents agreed this was the most cru­cial change, mak­ing it the top re­sponse. The re­port says that when in­no­va­tive in­di­vid­u­als were al­lowed to spread their wings, firms saw rev­enue in­creases.

“Val­ues man­i­fest them­selves in how peo­ple be­have and spend, more than in how they speak. Truly in­no­va­tive en­ter­prises spend gen­er­ously on be­ing en­tre­pre­neur­ial, pro­mot­ing cre­ativ­ity and en­cour­ag­ing con­tin­u­ous learn­ing,” re­ports WAN-IFRA.

In the re­port WAN-IFRA out­lines seven build­ing blocks of or­ga­ni­za­tional cul­ture: re­sources, pro­cesses, val­ues, be­hav­ior, cli­mate, suc­cess and in­no­va­tion role mod­els. The sur­vey showed that lead­ers who use the seven build­ing blocks in their fa­vor to cre­ate an in­no­va­tive work en­vi­ron­ment are more likely to see rev­enue in­crease as op­posed to those who do not.

The sur­vey sug­gested news me­dia lead­ers cre­ate a work­place that grows in­no­va­tive em­ploy­ees by us­ing the three Fs: fun, fail and feed­back. IFRA out­lines the three Fs for lead­ers as fol­lows:

Fun: The fuel for cre­ativ­ity is hu­mor and laugh­ter, a great rem­edy for a neg­a­tive work en­vi­ron­ment.

Fail: You test—and when you re­al­ize things don’t work, you it­er­ate un­til it works; learn­ing from fail­ures is part of an in­no­va­tive or­ga­ni­za­tion’s DNA.

Feed­back: The young gen­er­a­tion is raised on com­puter games with in­stant feed­back in the shape of sounds, col­ors, points and lev­els for ev­ery move they make; they crave know­ing if they are do­ing well. So, are you telling them — and ev­ery­one else?

The sur­vey says that 60 per­cent of news ex­ec­u­tives re­ported a de­cline in tra­di­tional plat­forms. Find­ing new sources of rev­enue will be a big key point mov­ing for­ward.

“In the short term (next 12 months), 70 per­cent of re­spon­dents say they will need up to a third of their in­come to come from non-tra­di­tional sources (i.e. tra­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing and ex­ist­ing con­tent sales) to meet com­pany rev­enue ex­pec­ta­tions. That fig­ure flips when asked to project into the medium term (3–5 years) — and nearly a quar­ter (24 per­cent) of all re­spon­dents ex­pect more than half their in­come will need to come from new rev­enue streams,” the re­port says.

To see the re­port, go to www.wan-ifra.org/ re­ports/2017/09/13/world-news-pub­lish­ers-out­look-2017

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