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Newspapers’ survival and what it means for us

16 Oct

John Ridding, CFO of the Financial Times notes that, counter to most reports of newspapers dying, the FT is growing. Especially now.

As Reuter’s reports: “Newsstand sales rose 30 percent in the United States in September, and about 20 percent in Europe and Asia. “We basically couldn’t print enough copies and retailers were running out.”

His story is echoed in another market – the Middle East. “Don’t panic! says the editor of National says, “don’t head for the hills yet.” The Abu Dhabi newspaper was launched earlier this year.

But over here, it’s all doom and gloom. My hometown newspaper is cutting back, too. I don’t believe the struggle is between print vs online. That’s too simplistic, and from a marketing point of view, we communicators need to look deeper into these ‘death of’ stories.

The real struggle is not for this platform or that, between dead trees and PDF. The challenge we are up against is fighting for a finite amount of attention.  You got this far reading this? I am flattered! Here’s a quick quiz:

  • When was the last time you read more than three articles in a magazine?
  • When was the last time you read an entire article in the newspaper. Be honest!
  • Do you spend more time on email than with any one medium?

I’d love to hear. It only takes a minute to respond!

Attention-deficit communication strategies will soon be front and center of everything we do, whether it is a press release, a podcast, a white paper (who reads those, you ask!) or a 20-page report. The printed word will survive, but like the way newspapers have been forced to adapt, so will we.

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