INMA outlines its agenda for 2021

Adapting to post Covid world

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INMA
INMA will produce 80 webinars produced live this year

The International News Media Association (INMA) has outlined its plans for 2021 and set out priority initiatives. INMA will run three topical initiatives this year aimed at lifting the knowledge base around subjects and connecting to professional communities around those subjects.

Here are some of the highlights of those subjects:

Subscriptions: INMA aims at benchmarking and securing subscription gains of the Covid year. It will help members find new avenues of growth for members by moving focus from heavy to light readers, reinventing news experiences, and getting smarter with pricing by growing beyond our consumer business with group subscriptions and partnerships.

Product: INMA’s new product initiative led aims to spotlight issues such as product design methodologies and structures, measurement and KPIs, prototyping and experimenting, and more.

Data: INMA will publicly announce a third initiative focused on what it calls “smart data” — tying data initiatives to business objectives and incorporating a data-first culture. It will focus on the practical applications of data to engage audiences, grow reader revenue, and reinvent advertising in the post-Covid era.

Two other initiatives also are on INMA’s 2021 agenda:

Digital Platform Initiative: INMA believes that what is happening at the regulatory level with the big tech platforms will have a profound impact on the news industry. Along with new contributors experienced in regulatory reform, INMA said it aims to distill and decode these developments in what will undoubtedly be a pivotal year on this front.

Media groups: INMA also aims to promote the role of media groups — notably central services across properties and titles — in the year ahead. This will manifest itself in its Global Media Awards competition and blogs.

Training and development

INMA will return to physical conferences in 2022 when full health and safety can be assured. Yet it feels its virtual entrepreneurialism in the past year will pay dividends for members in 2021. Meanwhile, INMA is working with the Facebook Journalism Project and the Google News Initiative on data- and subscription-related projects that will yield town halls later in 2021 for INMA members and the broader news industry.

Webinars

In a span of three years, INMA went from producing zero Webinars to 73. Much of last year was Covid-related and just-in-time for its members. A lot of what was created and scaled is now going to be a part of the “new normal” of INMA membership experience, it said.

INMA has outlined its webinar plans for this year:

Global Webinars: The best-case studies and the occasional newsmakers are featured in its global webinars. Roughly, INMA will do three of these per month.

Meet-ups: Each of its three initiatives — Readers First, Product, and Smart Data — will conduct 60- to 90-minute meet-ups bi-monthly. These are multi-speaker, interactive meet-ups that include audience participation.

South Asia Webinars: INMA community in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka is supporting monthly webinars: South Asians talking with South Asians about South Asian matters. These are trending toward a mix of strategic and case study and are held monthly.

Latin America Webinars: INMA’s Spanish-language Webinars aimed at Latin American publishers have evolved into practical, case study approaches surfacing the best among our members in the region. These are being held monthly.

French-speakers Webinars: INMA tested a Webinar for French-speakers worldwide last year, and it was such a success that it aims to expand this to quarterly webinars this year.
In total, that would be up to 80 webinars produced live by INMA — and then recorded and archived for you at your leisure. As a bonus, each presentation is also archived by INMA for your 24/7 review.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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