INMA Report – News Media’s Pandemic Leadership Opportunities

INMA – Covid management opportunities for media – digital, data, culture

News Media's Pandemic Leadership Opportunities Screenshot INMA
News Media's Pandemic Leadership Opportunities Screenshot INMA

A new INMA report spells out Covid management opportunities for media: digital, data, culture. It says the Covid-19 crisis has provided the management opportunity of a generation to accelerate a digital- and data-led growth strategy that was otherwise mired in cultural crosswinds.

The report released on 14 August 2020 by the International News Media Association (INMA), says, ‘News Media’s Pandemic Leadership Opportunities’ is a CEO-level look at how news publishers should navigate through today’s pandemic environment. The report covers – Accelerating change through the chaos; What areas of the company to accelerate; Broader opportunities for a post-pandemic future; and, How publishers are embracing their change opportunities.

The report draws on the management expertise of author and consultant Lucy Küng of the Reuters Institute at Oxford University, INMA CEO Earl J. Wilkinson, Boston Consulting Group’s Neal Zuckerman, futurist Ross Dawson, and the experiences of Africa Community Media, El Espectador, Infoglobo, Schibsted, South China Morning Post, and USA Today Network.

Together, the report identifies the strategic opportunities for media companies during the pandemic:
Accelerating transformation paths.
Permanently unfreezing cultures to promote speed and data-based decision-making.
Prioritising digital, data, and subscriptions above all else.
Making internal organisational changes to support the ‘new normal.’
Elevating product, data, and HR to the management table.
Infusing lower- and middle-level managers with leadership training.

‘News Media’s Pandemic Leadership Opportunities’ is based on extensive interviews and coverage surrounding the recent INMA Virtual World Congress. The report looks at how Covid-19 has opened the door for profound change at media companies and what priority initiatives should be. Examples are monetizing trust, focusing on subscriber retention, tying community outreach to business objectives, and accelerating a first-party data strategy. The report also bluntly asks what media companies will look like in their rear-view mirrors on 1 January 2021.

Beyond media, the report examines societal trends like remote work, expanding governments, changing industry, and polarised societies. How to reinvent and fuse news brands to relevance are also covered.

The International News Media Association (INMA) is a global community of market-leading news media companies reinventing how they engage audiences and grow revenue in a multi-platform environment. The INMA community consists of nearly 15,000 members at 850 media companies in 70 countries. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, INMA is a news media industry ideas-sharing network with members connected via conferences, reports, Webinars, virtual meetings, and an unparalleled archive of best practices.

The report is free for members and costs US$ 795.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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