Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Your Career Plan--Think a sort of corporate executive

You've been going 6-to-late; exhausted by running the supersonic treadmill of life and need you had a distinct job. However you cannot as a result of you've got no time and you are left spent at the tip of each day. Conversely, you are gut tells you that everything would vary if you will solely realize the correct career match. You'll stop striking the snooze button each morning and acquire back to enjoying the sport of life. 

You might be shocked to be told that thinking somewhat a corporate executive can teaches you lots concerning career coming up with. Marvel how? Then browse on and find out how being a corporate executive has the everything to try to with mapping out a no-hit career. 

1.        As a Chief Exploration Officer, your start is to have the interaction in self-exploration. It's the key to career coming up with and decision-making. The higher you recognize yourself, the a lot of au fait career selections you may create. One between the simplest ways in which to hone in on your natural skills, interests and strengths is to re-visit your childhood years, dreams and passions. What did your keen on to do? United Nations agency did you relish being with? What did you wish to play most? What were your favorite sports and interests? Did you've got any hobbies? Wherever did you image yourself within the future? The passed typically holds the simplest clues. You may conjointly need to hunt the assistance of a trained career counselor or coach to help you outline career choices that suit your skills and interests, and help you explore current and future labour markets and trends. Slim down the alternatives and seriously examine one or two career choices that fit your needs. Trust your heart or intuition. It most frequently leads you within the right direction. 

2.        As a Chief academic Officer, you would like to look at the competencies and skills needed in your alternative of labor. Once you establish one or a lot of career choices, list the talents and competencies you would like to maneuver foreword. What does one got to know? And what does one presently know? Create a concept to fill the gaps weather or not through college, situation, reading, volunteering, etc. 

3.        As a Chief Experiential Officer, you would like to speak to the people that are literally within the career you have known for yourself. It takes you from dream mode to reality check. Search out a minimum of five people that square measure operating within the career field you've got known. Hint, the a lot of folks you interview, the better. You'll realize common themes and knowledge that may be valuable to your career coming up with method and judgment. Do not hesitate in creating the calls. The majority like to name themselves and their experience. If doable, raise to satisfy with them in the flesh. It provides an a lot of high bit approach. After you meet, be candid and curious. This is often your chance to be told from people that square measure operating what you are still brooding about. Preplan some queries rigorously. Do they relish their job? What reasonably education and skill do they recommend? What do they like and dislike? Arouse their recommendations and what they suppose you would like to achieve success within the career. You may conjointly need to have the faith in inviting  one between them to be your mentor as you progress foreword in your personnel career aspirations and goals. 

4.        As a Chief Engagement Officer, you will have to be compelled to continue prime of your game. Keep self-motivated, energized and engaged within the career coming up with method. Here's the reality. Career coming up with, exploring and creating career selections take energy and time. Have faith in what you will want from yourself, similarly as from your surroundings, schedule and support network to stay yourself engaged and moving foreword. have the faith in what nourishes and nurtures you. What feeds your energy level? 

5.        As a Chief Employment Officer, you are your greatest resource find the correct employment. In the end, the career coming up with method leads you to finding the correct job for the correct cash. A mix of statistics and interviews still prove that networks square measure the quantity one resource to finding your next job. Keep well connected and share your plans. Within the finish it's you who's getting to flip career coming up with and aspirations into reality.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Silver Bullet For Success: Revealed

Looking for the magic formula or the whiz-bang approach that will unlock your
business success? Are you willing to pay hundreds for it? How about thousands?

Guess what, you are not alone.
Just as people, for ages, have searched for the fountain of youth, entrepreneurs and
small business owners around the world are looking for the silver bullet for success: that one sure-fire way to achieve the success that they want without doing a thing.
This demand for this magic "success" pill has grown even more desperate and confusing. This need, especially for entrepreneurs, is understandable; time is limited, budgets are not yet created and... lives are at stake... yours.

Well you can rest easy.  Your search is over.  Are you ready for the answer? There is
no silver bullet.... or is there?

While speaking at seminars around the country with dozens of other experts in their
field, I'm amazed at the amount products that can... and will...help business owners
create more successful businesses. I mean we're one of them.  The plethora of
information available today is astounding and often... overwhelming.

This hit home a few weeks ago while I was speaking at a multi-day seminar for
small business owners. I was honored to be among a select few outstanding experts
speaking about marketing for small business owners. I watched the confusion grow
in the audience as program after program (mine included) was rolled out throughout
the three days, as the business owners tried to determine which product best served
their need at that particular moment.

I watched them.  No, I studied them.  And, my heart went out to them... mostly
because I'm just like them.  I'm just like you-- a small business owner with a vision
for my business and looking for help to accomplish it.  While some people at this
seminar invested in a product that met their biggest problem at that specific time,
some didn't at all. Often these purchased products are listened to for a short period
of time; some are even applied... for a short period of time. These tools are often
relegated to a closet or bookshelf-- abandoned for another new tool at another
seminar at another time. Thus begins a vicious cycle that leaves the purchaser
feeling empty, without the business power they were looking for in the first place. I
refer to this to as "shelf-help"--serving only the shelf that these products sit on.  
Watching and talking to these business owners... no wonder they wanted the silver

And even though my business success tool, BrandU, breaks down the powerful
brand development process into a easy to follow step-by-step system, once in a
very blue moon one of my students finds themselves sitting with the power they got
from creating their brand asking "Is this it?"  "Am I done?" "Where's my success?"
While they carefully chose, and found value in, BrandU what they really wanted
was... yep that's right... that darn silver bullet.

The bottom line is no matter how much external work you do, learning and
application, emulating and testing, there is no single silver bullet to assist you
reaching your success goals.  Success is more like silver buckshot-- a shower of
focused impact full hits. These focused efforts can be distilled down to four major
"pellets" or keys of success:

o Deliver Value.

This may sound overtly obvious for most of you, however you must always think of
your customer first and be sure that you are delivering the most helpful and
valuable content.

o Consistency. Consistency. Consistency.

You just can't get away from this key-- and you shouldn't.  Everything you say,
write, show and do must support your vision and your... brand.  In your
presentations, your e-mails, your web site, your content, your marketing materials.
The ability for your customer to completely experience your brand depends on
consistent communication from you. Only then, will they value you.

o Finish What You Start.

Once you commit to yourself, a partner, your staff, a client or customer always
follow-through-- to a fault. The corollary of follow-through is under-promise and
over-deliver.  Set and keep expectations where they belong-- calm, reliable and
consistently in-favor of the other party.  You will be rewarded.
And finally,

o Own Your Power.

Now for the most misunderstood key. You've heard it stated in a number of ways.  
To us it means know your power and own the path you travel on and the results you
get from it.  If your "inner house" is built on a solid foundation, it is imperative that
your own the power you know you have. No confusion, no avoidance, no
'victimhood' and no excuses.  Be a voracious learning sponge. Stand strong, watch
for helpers, take bold steps, lovingly adjust and stand ready to reap the rewards!

With these pellets in your shell, your silver buckshot is sure to hit your target.

Come to think about it, the four keys do have one thing in common: they are all
completely in your control.  Could that mean there really is a silver bullet for
success after all? There is one true, fail-proof thing that you can depend upon for all
your business success and that thing is... you.  Weld yourself wisely; your success
depends on it!
Make a plan that is supported by your vision, surround yourself with the right
people and tools that specifically support that plan and put the silver bullet that is
you in action.  You will experience all the success than you can imagine.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Business Success Tips - once Is It Times to put in writing A Press Release?

Why create it some extent to put in writing press releases on a daily basis? Chiefly, as a result of they work and produce you the special attention you and your business be. They supply you with the right avenue for saying a giant event, (such as associate degree coming teleseminar or speaking engagement); or sharing a good accomplishment, (such as a bequest for your book); and different interesting events.Iit is your chance to brag a bit, and by all means that you ought to be taking advantage of this. Typically we discover it laborious to toot our own horns; that is completely intelligible. However, in your business, this can be one thing you ought to be doing. You would like to let the medium and potential consumers grasp what you are up to. Think about it this way-if you do not have it away, who will?

Some fail at their promulgation efforts as a result of they solely do not do them well or they create essential mistakes, that stop them from obtaining the exposure they must. Fortuitously, with the following pointers you not have to be compelled to. Let's bit in brief on the fundamentals for a promulgation and the way to urge the most effective results once causing one out.

Press Release Writing Tips:

• in a very shell - A promulgation is one page; 350 to 550 words. It starts along with your complete contact info, followed by a killer title. The discharge itself ought to begin with (City, State) and date that proceeds the gap paragraph. You then enter a dynamite gap paragraph that leaves the reader wanting a lot of, followed by two to three supporting paragraphs that embody a quote from you. Currently shut with associate degree action paragraph telling the readers specifically what you wish them to try to to (i.e., obtain my book!). To high it off, add associate degree "About Us" section (your transient bio). feels like lots, however it very is not. Once you produce a guide exploitation this define and really write a couple of releases, you will see however simple it will be.

When writing your unharness, clearly state the foremost necessary interesting details. Create it compelling and embody all the very important parts together with UN agency, what, when, where, and how.

Press Release Submission Tips:

• Be consistent. Write and submit press releases often. For instance, write an unharness after you initial publish your book, however do not stop there. As before long because the next huge event happens, write a replacement unharness. After you do that systematically, individuals tend to expect to listen to the good things happening in your business. They appear foreword to your next unharness to stay them up-to-date on what you are doing.

• Add all your press releases to the press page on your web cite. That way, once anyone stops by your web cite, they are going to see all your nice accomplishments in one place. This alone are useful to your business for years to come back.

• once causing associate degree email pitch, be terribly conscious of the topic line. The standard of the topic line in a very promulgation can dictate weather or not it'll even get opened. Take a look at it out. Channelise a couple of dozen with one subject line; wait to check if you hear back, and so attempt a lot of with a distinct one. It will take a time or two to nail a honest subject line, however it's well worth the effort.

• once submitting your press releases on-line, forever do a preview initial before touching the submit button. This may help you catch mistakes like having the date line double (some cites mechanically add it), having the title stop as a result of it's too long, and then forth. It is also a good chance to examine and confirm the links area unit operating.

• Use knowledgeable service likes eReleases. You cannot beat the results you get. Not solely will the discharge gets bent on major medium, however oft their employees can go the additional mile and help you produce a more practical title or with the expression within the unharness.

These basics ought to help you master the art of writing and causing out press releases. The a lot of you write them, the simpler it becomes. Do not desire to try to to it alone? Then look to the services of a web support specialist UN agency will handle everything from writing an excellent unharness, to obtaining it nice exposure for the most effective results.

Monday, August 6, 2012

NBC's Olympic Coverage Shows Audience Expectations Aren't in Its Cross Media Strategy

NBC’s Olympic coverage in the U.S. reveals the conflict media companies face as they try to simultaneously manage traditional media delivery and digital distribution.

The company is getting it right with the traditional broadcasts, garnering excellent audiences and more than $1 billion in advertising—a figure that surprised even its most optimistic executives and may allow the broadcaster to break even on the games which have traditionally been a loss leader for the company.

The company is also giving audiences more coverage than every before by streaming additional content on cable channels and digital live streams. These are provided on platforms that consumers have come to expect will give them the power to choose when, where, and on what device they will be viewed.  

In order to support its traditional, advertising supported services, however, NBC has used tape delays on the broadcast services and has excluded many sports or blacked them outs on live streams—angering millions of consumers and setting off one of the greatest storms of criticism in the history of social media.

In trying to put its feet in both distribution markets, NBC is forcing the digital community to live by broadcast rules and in doing so has disrespected the audience and norms of cable and online platforms. The result has been widespread audience frustration and anger.
The only thing keeping audiences from going elsewhere are the exclusive national rights and the fact that most users don't have enough technical skills or inclination to bypass the ISP-based protections against streaming material from other countries. 

Hopefully, NBC will learn from the experience and get the formula better for the 2016 Olympics.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Daily’s rocky performance shows legacy brands create digital advantages

The News Corp’s launch of the tablet newspaper The Daily in February 2011 was heralded as the future of news and revealing opportunities for major new entrants in the news market. After a year and a half of operation, the digital newspaper has lost more than $30 million, managed to gain only 100,000 subscribers—not a trivial amount but low for a global player, and has just announced that it is cutting 1/3 of its editorial staff and ending original production of sports news and commentary.

Journalistically The Daily is not a bad news product and its app is facile and effective. So why hasn’t it been more successful? The fundamental problem is that the digital-only paper has been overshadowed by the success of legacy print newspaper brands in the market for digitally delivered news.

The Daily has never been so brilliantly written and edited that it could gain the significant attention and acclaim needed to overcome the brand advantages of legacy news providers. Major newspaper—such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Financial Times—have used the strengths of their reputations and brands to make the largest inroads in digital subscriptions. Concurrently, larger
local and regional players have also been grabbing paid digital customers in their markets and providing additional competition to the digital startup.

The Daily has also had to compete with widespread availability of free digital news from news providers such as BBC.com, CNN.com and aggregators such as Yahoo! and Google. These have all been successful in attracting consumers who are less attached to print news providers and paid services.

Those who predict the demise of legacy newspaper companies often forget the critical importance of the credibility and trust those companies have with news consumers and many assume that print organizations cannot transform themselves into digital players that may become so successful they may one day drop their print editions. 

Brands are important for habitual news consumers and they tend to be highly loyal consumers of specific news brands. The Daily has been unsuccessful in breaking that loyalty, but more successful in creating relationships with persons who have not been strongly bonded to legacy brands. It remains to be seen whether News Corp. will be willing to maintain a relatively small news digital brand among its holdings, even if it manages to move The Daily into operating profitability.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Facebook's business problems are symptomatic of many large digital firms

Facebook is wrestling with a business challenge more traditionally found in legacy media: how do you translate consumers that don’t think they have a commercial relationship with you into relationships that that other firms will pay for?

Despite 955 million active users and increasing revenues, the company has lost a third of its share value since its IPO in the spring.  The exuberance that surrounded its IPO and overpriced its shares has worn off and investors are realizing that being big isn’t enough to ensure business success. Its latest earnings reports show the firm lost money, $157 million, in the second quarter on income of $1.18 billion.

Facebook’s challenges are symptomatic of a long line of “successful” digital firms that are experiencing monetization problems, including Yahoo, You Tube, AOL, and Twitter. Despite large numbers of users globally, they still lack effective business models to generate revenue levels congruous with their size. They may provide great communication functions for users, but they are not transforming very well from innovative users of technologies to highly profitable commercial enterprises.

Part of their challenge is that they have to focus so much effort on non-paying customers and those customers think of the services as personal communications—making them resistant to many efforts to monetize them. This problem has long plagued traditional media, but they are conceived as mass rather than personal media and have been around so long that many people are now used to a certain level of commercial exploitation. They also have a proven track record of return on advertisers’ investments that digital media have not yet been able to deliver for many types of advertisers.

Large digital players will continue to evolve and can be expected to improve their financial performance over time, but it will take a good deal of innovative thinking about the business rather than about the technologies and social value of their services.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Digital journalism reaches sustainability, but transitional business problems interfere

The income streams of digital news providers continue to grow and many have now reached the point of sustainability. Fundamental financial and business problems, however, are keeping publishers from moving out of print and becoming digital-only operators.

This leads many publishers and journalists to continue bemoaning the fact that digital media do not provide as much income as print and many still argue that organized, regular newsgathering and distribution cannot survive in a digital-only environment. They point to the fact that digital advertising produces only about 15 percent the income of print advertising—largely because it does not appeal to retail, display advertisers--and that paid circulation for digital products is growing slowly.

Their analysis is flawed, however, because publishers do not require as much revenue online as offline because the costs of digital operation are so different.

Editorial operations account for only about 10-15 percent of total costs of operation of print newspapers, but they are the primary cost for digital operations. About half of the costs of print are taking up by printing and expenses for getting papers to readers; when the costs of paying for and maintaining buildings and land used to house presses and circulation equipment are factored in, those costs rise to about 60 percent of total costs. Expenses to maintain the large advertising operations found in print newspapers add another 10 percent to overall costs and the managerial costs due to the large number of personnel and functions in non-editorial activities add about another 5 percent. Thus, switching to digital operations can take out at least three-quarters of the costs of print newspaper operation, making the lower revenue of digital operation sustainable.

A growing number of newspaper companies are already generating 15-20 percent of their total revenue from digital operations, making nearly enough money to sustain the kinds of journalism practiced by legacy news media. So why does negativity about the future of journalism remain so high and why are newspapers not yet moving to digital-only operation?

There are three primary reasons:
  1. Print newspapers still continue producing above average returns compared to all industries. No publisher is willing to throw away those operating profits even if the costs of print operation are higher than digital.
  2. Retail advertisers get more return on investment from newspaper advertising than any other form of advertising, including digital. As long as they remain willing to advertise in newspapers, no publisher is willing to give up the revenue stream and operating profits that they now provide.
  3. Owners of print newspapers have a great deal of capital tied up in facilities, printing and distribution equipment that cannot be withdrawn because few buyers want to acquire the used equipment today.
The fundamental challenge today isn’t that digital journalism has not reached sustainability; its how does a publisher transition from the print to digital-only operation in a way that is financially feasible and desirable.

The transition is critical for society because it will bring with it the reportorial strength and organization that exists in newspapers. That is something that digital startups do not provide because they generally lack the capital to build and sustain staffs as large as those of print newspapers and because they lack the reputations and brand identity of established papers.

Newspaper owners, publishers, and journalists then need to stop decrying the digital revenue problem and start focusing on solutions to the business challenges of when and how to realistically reduce and end the print operations. It will happen at some point in the future; the problem is how to plan and manage the switchover.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cable firms and Facebook Continue to Disappoint their Customers

Serving and satisfying customers is a crucial part of  value creation in any business,but U.S. communication firms continue to struggle with the very basics and are being heavily criticized for poor service, price gouging, billing problems, and generally poor customer relations.

40 percent of the top 15 companies that most dissatisfy customers are communications firms, according to the latest data from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.

The companies American most dislike include Facebook and cable systems, which operate as near monopolies and consumerss have no real competitors to turn to for better service. The scores for the companies are:

Direct TV: 68/100
Facebook: 66/100
Comcast: 61/100
Time Warner: 63/100
Cox Communications: 63/100
Charter Communications: 59/100

These are failing scores on any grading system.
The companies have little incentive to spend time and money to improve service and relations with customers because there is no real competition that can discipline the market and promote consumer benefits. The problem is compounded because cable services are largely unregulated and there are no watchdogs to demand better behaviour in the absence of market-imposed sanctions.
That means the only thing that can drive improvement is company pride, but it is abundantly apparent that these firms have no shame and really don't care what their customers think.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Letting go: Making sense of social magazines and news readers

Applications that aggregate articles based on what others in one’s social network are reading and reformat them into an attractive magazine and presentation formats are growing in popularity, but they are raising concern among some publishers.

The processes build upon the referral and curating functions of colleagues and friends in social networks and reduce the need for users to go to multiple sites for content on their own. Some of the best known social magazines are Flipboard, Newsmix, Currents, and Pulse. Some publishers are starting their own social reading apps, such as New York Times that has a Facebook app pulling together stories that friends have read in NYT.
Many publishers are fearful of these developments, however, because they represent another step away from publishers controlling when, where, and how readers use their content, reduce the impact of the publishers’ brand strategies, and diminish control over the presentation and marketing of their content.

But publishers really don’t have a choice whether or not social magazines and readers grow in importance. That ship has sailed. The real choices is whether publishers use them for best effect and whether they are willing to accept the benefits of having more readers driven to their content and reaching persons who haven’t used their content before.
In coping with this and other disaggregation of content, however, many publishers need to adjust their own ways of presenting digital content. Because readers from social magazines, other aggregators, and search engine are directed to individual articles, it becomes more important to think about how that material appears to these new readers and what can be done in its layout to attract the new readers to stay on the site and sample more content. They are not entering through the home page so greater thought needs to be given to what appears on article pages.

Social magazines provide another mechanism by which deliver content to new readers and to existing readers in new ways.  They are not the ‘silver bullet’ for solving publishers’ digital challenges, but they are another means by which benefits can be obtained and pursued. 
Focusing on what control social magazines transfer to users and their branding downsides is a distraction for publishers who are beginning to learn the value of letting go of the control in the digital environment. Digital media are now bringing 15-20 percent of the traffic to many publishers’ digital content and they are feeling the benefits of letting readers decide the means and uses of that content.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Is the future of digital journalism an outside job?

Making small digital news providers sustainable has become the holy grail of journalists and the search continues for workable business models and revenue streams.

Advertising may produce some revenue, but it will never generate sufficient resources to support digital journalism because so little advertising money is available for sites with small audiences. About three-quarters of all online advertising goes to the top 10 sites and Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo account for about 60 percent of all online revenue. This leaves very little advertising expenditures to be contested among all other players--of which news providers are only a small fraction. At the same time, the prices paid for online advertising are falling because there are so many sites offering advertising, the advertising inventory is nearly infinite, and audiences continue fragmenting.

This means the majority of funding for start-up digital journalism must come from elsewhere and online news sites—especially start-ups—are having mixed success trying to construct multiple revenue streams from philanthropy, memberships, events, consulting services, and payment systems. Both large legacy news organizations that dominate provision of news in the digital space and free automated aggregators are hampering efforts of small sites to develop audiences. The primary successes that can be observed have been for start-ups carrying out special forms of journalism or concentrating on highly specific topics.

The answer to sustainability may not lie in the business creation and business operational approach. The key to making emergent digital news providers sustainable may lie in the 18th and 19th century approaches to journalism, in which journalism was an avocation and not a profession (or at least only a part-time profession).

If one reviews the history of newspaper start-ups around the world, one finds that the bases of journalistic compensation were not journalism itself. It many cases it was funded by public employment—serving as postmasters, teachers, or other civil servants—or by operating commercial endeavours—such as printing firms, taverns, and retail shops (Even brothels funded the costs of newspapers in some towns in the Western U.S. during the nineteenth century).

The current inability to effectively fund small-scale digital journalism means that we all need to be thinking more broadly about how we can support the functions and people involved in them. If the past is a guide, we may need to return to provision of local journalism as community activism, political activity, or business support service—all of which played significant roles in establishment of news provision in years past.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The thorny problem of media pluralism

The term pluralism is regularly used in critiques of media and in arguments for public intervention. It is employed so loosely, however, that it allows varied interpretations to be attached and this makes it highly challenging to turn general support for the concept into specific policy. Much of the lack of clarity is the consequence of indefiniteness of the term and because it is used as a proxy for more involved concepts.

The term is derived from “plural”, an indistinct quantitative concept indicating the existence of more than a single thing and plurality itself merely indicates a state of being numerous. This alone allows the term plurality to be used in various ways when applied to media.

For some it means a plurality of media outlets. This is indicated by having multiple types of media and multiple units of each media and the existence of a range of print, broadcast, satellite, and Internet content providers can represent pluralism. For other observers pluralism means plurality in ownership, that is, a range of owners and different types of ownership. For others it is indicated by the existence of public service as well as private commercial firms so some provision is made by an organisation(s) without direct individual economic self-interest(s).

The amount of media, its ownership, and its operation are not in themselves the objects of concern about pluralism, however, and these usages are merely shorthand semantic devices that indicate a collection of political, economic, and cultural concepts and ideologies. Because that collection is not universally agreed, the term pluralism is disparately employed.

The term encompasses fundamental concepts in liberal democratic media ideology and neo-Marxist critiques of media. It incorporates ideas of the benefits of free flow of information, ideas and opinions and the value of a variety in artistic and cultural expression. It recognizes the amount of content that can be offered by any one provider is limited by temporal and spatial factors. It accepts that the abilities of individuals to obtain and attend to content are affected by monetary and temporal limitations. It recognizes that operation of media is accompanied by political and economic benefits such as access, privilege, influence, and power and that those can be used for personal advantage and interests.

Those who accept these concepts underlying the term pluralism differ widely about the proper means for its pursuit, however. They have divergent beliefs about the roles of the state and the market and differ widely about whether policy should promote beneficial outcomes through regulation or incentives and whether—and the extent to which—non-market provision of content is desirable.

The difficulty of achieving the ultimate objectives is further complicated by the fact that public policies promoting pluralism tend of focus on the overt evidences of plurality in media outlets, media ownership, and media operation. Although multiplicity of media outlets, ownership and operation increase the possibility of achieving the objectives of pluralism, they do not guarantee because they are not necessary and sufficient conditions for its existence. Thus ‘external pluralism’ is sometimes not enough. This has led many to advocate for ‘internal pluralism,’ meaning that within a single broadcasters or publisher as variety of content and perspectives are provided. The provision of internal pluralism is typically used to justify public service broadcasting and narrow internal pluralism is a typical critique of private media.

The contemporary world creates lower barriers to participation in communication by making production easier and shifting distribution away from technologies that limited the number of providers and content available—the fundamental rationale for concern about pluralism. In the digital media world, the fundamental challenge involving pluralism is not limitations on producing content, expressing divergent ideas and opinions, or access to distribution systems. The primary challenge is the ability to effectively reach audiences.

In this environment promoting pluralism must focuses on reducing control over what flows through new digital distribution systems so dominant owners of production and distribution systems are not able to marginalize alternative perspectives and make them difficult to locate. And the fundamental content and attention problem remains.

Although digital media provide many more opportunity to be heard, the issue today is not ‘share of voice’, but ‘share of ear’. We need to seek ways to promote knowledge about alternative content and to make it more readily accessible. Otherwise the concentration of where the audience goes—in terms of aggregators and sites—is every bit as damaging to pluralism as limitations on spectrum and concentration of ownership. This is especially true by the Internet service providers, content aggregators, search engines, and video on demand services that pursue their own interests through in-transparent practices and algorithms that skew the access to and distribution of information, even when it is ‘personalized’ by individuals.

Those who hold that pluralism is no longer an issue in the digital world argue that its underlying infrastructures are neutral. That technology may be neutral, but the systems necessary to make them function are under the control of companies with their own agendas and the abilities to limit or direct its use in ways that harm pluralism.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Changing social power is reflected in the sales of newspaper offices

Newspapers across the US are shedding large downtown buildings in favor of more modest facilities, often away from the center of cities.

The downsizing is the consequence of reduced need for office space following staff cuts, changes in production technologies that reduce space requirements, and the outsourcing many printing and distribution activities. Examples include:
  • The Miami Herald has sold its bayfront building and the 14 acres around it for $236 million and is planning to relocate elsewhere next in 2013. It will use the proceeds to pay down debt and pension liabilities.
  • The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram has sold its home for the past 90 years and will be moving to new offices this spring
  • The Boulder Daily Camera in Boulder, CO, sold its downtown facilities for $9 million and is moving to facilities outside the center of town.
  • The Tribune & Georgian in St. Mary’s, GA, shed its former building by donating it to United Way of Camden Country in February to be used for work space and a training resource center for charitable organizations. The paper no longer used the building because it had moved to other facilities after outsourcing its printing operations.
The changes are not just indicative of the changing financial and operational characteristics of newspapers, but of the position of newspapers as major institutions in society. Over the past 150 years, newspapers used the wealth they generated to construct buildings in the center of towns—sometimes monumental and architecturally significant edifices—that reflected their importance and power in the community and their location at the center of society.

Social, economic, and technology developments have stripped that wealth from the newspaper industry. But cities are also changing and many downtown areas are no longer the locus of economic and political power in communities. As we continue to move more firmly into the digital age, the physical manifestations of where the center of society is located will continue to change.

Changes in media and media industries reflect deeper social changes that will continue altering our lives in may ways for many years to come.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Newspapers increase use of co-opetition practices

U.S. newspapers are increasing their use of co-opetition practices, that is, cooperating with competitors to reduce costs, create synergies, or reduce risk in new markets. Such activities are permissible if they are not designed to create cartels or control prices for advertising or circulation.

The latest example occurred this week when the Boston Herald announced an agreement with the Boston Globe for its competitor to print and deliver the Herald. The move creates cost savings for the Herald by allow it to cut printing, trucks, and delivery personnel, while simultaneously creating production and distribution economies and an additional revenue stream for the Globe--a win-win for both companies.

Such service agreements do not violate antitrust laws because the papers remain independent, set their own prices, and create their own content. If papers were to engage in such actions they would have to apply for an antitrust exemption under the Newspaper Preservation Act (see John C. Busterna and Robert G. Picard, Joint Operating Agreements: The Newspaper Preservation Act and its Application. Ablex, 1993), but those agreements have not proven successful in the long run.

The Boston agreement comes on the heels of numerous printing agreements, including that of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, that have been made among publishers in the last couple of years.

Another example of co-opetition is seen in the 59 newspaper and information companies—including New York Times Co., McClatchy Co., Washington Post Co., E.W. Scripps Co., A.H. Belo, and Associated Press—that have now banded together to create NewsRight to track use of digital content and ease its licensing. By cooperating with each other, the companies have brought more than 800 content sites into the operation and created a significant player in the digital industry.

Daily newspaper companies have historically disliked cooperation unless it was absolutely necessary—as in the case of news services. The new types of cooperation emerging show that the preference to go it alone is being eroded by contemporary financial conditions and the difficulties of operating independently in the digital environment.