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Newsroom Summit in Madrid


Nearly 230 news executives from Europe, Africa, the United States and a few from Indonesia and Australia attended the 7th International Newsroom Summit in Madrid last wee.

I was the last speaker, and my topic was Branding for Print and Online.

Being the last speaker at a two-day conference is always tough. The participants would have died a thousand deaths by Powerpoint by then. And besides, they have had to concentrate on speaker after speaker, many of whom were excellent. Worse of all, it was close to lunch time and people were waiting to eat rather than listen to yet another speaker.

But I think I pulled it off, keeping my presentation short and sharp, with a four-letter word they would remember.

That four-letter word is not what you think. It is S-U-C-K!

S is for Space

U is for Uniqueness

C is for Content, and,

K is for Customers (spelt the German way with a ‘K’ of course, this being a conference organised by the Germany-based Ifra).

I urged newspapers to think about their space and position in the online world. Too many news websites looked and read alike. There is little distinction in news since most newspapers subscribe to Reuters, Bloomberg, AP, AFP and such like.

So they have to think of a unique space and even give up their traditional role of a newspaper.

Readers today are in charge! They would rather choose what they wish to read than being told to read what editors think they should! They have the power to determine that today, and therefore newspapers need to rethink their online content.

For more on the summit, go to www.ifra.com.

Newspapers interested in doing more with their print and online products can contact me anytime.