Based on a dipstick survey among top newspaper advertisers, and a focus group comprising media agents, media researchers, and marketers, it is apparent that the challenges facing newspapers are significantly complex.
The state of newspapers is indeed a reflection of the crises that all media platforms face. This is the reason Wag the Dog Publishers in collaboration with Avusa and Print Media South Africa (PMSA) have organised a “Demystify Forum” on newspaper media research in South Africa. The event, taking place on November 29, will primarily be based on a panel discussion involving eminent industry stalwarts Gordon Muller, Barbara Cooke, Virginia Hollis, Clive Corder, Sarel du Plessis and Gordon Patterson.
The panel are tasked with illuminating hot and controversial topics regarding newspaper research. The need for these to be raised is important, considering we are hovering on the precipice between hope and despair and ought to swing back onto more fruitful, promising terrain.
What will be discussed? We aim to debate the following sticky points, questions and assumptions about newspaper research: the need for an interrogation of the AMPS questionnaire (what else would make it effective?); If it’s the marketers’ money, why don’t they take ownership?; Newspaper owners are poor marketers; How and why readership figures increase when circulation doesn’t; Media agencies fail to present media owner research to clients; PMSA should be compelled to promote this mass media platform more aggressively; Would marketers buy into media owner research if they were involved in driving the questionnaires?
We have encouraged the input and presence of newspaper sector stakeholders. It will be an enlightening and helpful event about the future of newspapers generally and research specifically.
Sandra Gordon is the publisher of TheMediaOnline and The Media magazine.
For more information or to RSVP to the event, please contact Arhlene at Arhlene@stonesoup.co.za; Please note the event will be held at the Gordon Institute of Business Science on November 29 at 16h00 promptly.