Whitehead wins global achievement award

Australian media industry veteran Robert Whitehead has been awarded INMA’s highest recognition for individual achievement, the Silver Shovel, at the INMA World Congress in New York.

Former Fairfax and PANPA executive Robert Whitehead.

Former Fairfax and PANPA executive Robert Whitehead.

Mr Whitehead has worked as both the head of marketing and communications at Fairfax Media, as well as the editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. As Herald editor he was responsible for the paper’s coverage of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

He was a co-creator and board member of The Newspaper Works, and served as president of the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association (PANPA) before its merger with The Newspaper Works in 2012.

He now describes himself as a “self-employed disruptionist” and is on the board for the McPherson Media Group.

Mr Whitehead has had “a career of great achievement and outstanding contributions to INMA,” the association’s president Mark Challinor said in a statement.

The award has been presented since 1949.

DVD promotion adds 100,000 to print readership

News Corp Australia mastheads lifted readership by more than 100,000 through a David Attenborough DVD promotion which provided close to $1 million in additional revenue, the company’s group director of sales Damian Eales told the INMA World Congress in New York.

The outcome has led News to ramp up giveaways and newspaper tie-ins, Mr Eales said this week.

“Newspapers still play a vital role for value seekers,” he told INMA.

Mr Eales highlighted last year’s network-wide DVD promotion at the conference, which won an INMA Award.

“We actually sold, in 14 days, 3.4 million DVDs, admittedly at $2.50 each, and that represents six per cent of the total DVD market for the full year [in Australia],” Mr Eales said.

“These promotions were folklore in our business because of their past popularity with customers, but [they had] been cancelled because they were also deemed unprofitable,” Mr Eales said.

“I felt we had thrown the baby out with the bathwater with these traditional promotions.”

Mr Eales said that giveaway promotions had caused a surge in readership over the period they ran. “The circulation declines afterwards but we held it for probably one week [after that] but we think the cumulative effect of all these promotions is significantly slowing [the circulation decrease] over time,” the INMA website reported.

While the promotions as reinstated by News were not yet profitable, Mr Eales said, they would be next year.

News brands should embrace online video: Mark Hollands

A significant audience can be built from online video on platforms like YouTube for publishers who do not have broadcast media options, The Newspaper Works chief executive Mark Hollands said at the INMA World Congress.

Mr Hollands was speaking to media news website Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen in a video interview. He referred to a short presentation at the conference by Grzegorz Piechota, head of Polish media company Agora, entitled “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire In Online Video?”

Brands should create YouTube channels, Mr Piechota argued, and said the biggest difference between viral video viewers and a TV audience is the average age of the audience.

This presents an opportunity for newspaper publishers, Mr Hollands said.

“There is nothing to stop a newspaper company who is now a media company just saying, well I may not have broadcast options, but if you create fantastic content in various ways you can create an audience,” he said.

“And if you can do it sustainably, then your audience becomes a market.”

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