How News Publishers Are Thriving in Our Digital World

It’s a recurring theme in marketing circles that the publishing industry has been set back on its heels by digital media and isHow News Publishers Are Thriving in Our Digital World image V F Digital WorldHow News Publishers Are Thriving in Our Digital World struggling to catch up to this new world.  While there have been challenges for the industry with protecting content rights and monetizing digital assets, for example, there have also been tremendous innovations.

Flexibility in both thought and practice are essential characteristics of the publishing organizations that I’ve seen get and keep their competitive advantage.  Longevity comes from an ability to acclimate quickly to new technologies.  Here are a few lessons in adaptive thinking that other publishing organizations can glean from leading news publishers (disclosure:  AP and Digital First Media are DBE clients):

Embrace digital (and mobile) technology:

Digital First Media is a prime example of a publishing organization that is working hard to create strategic partnerships with leading-edge technology firms in the digital and mobile space.  In 2012, Digital First Media developed its new Social Media Wire in concert with Crowdynews, a Dutch technology company, to facilitate the real time delivery of local and topical social media, news, and video posts in an audience facing newswire format.  The organization’s most recent partnership connects it with real time video pioneer Tout, which empowers journalists to truly show, not just tell, newspaper readers what’s happening in real time.  Tout captures quick video news updates on its smartphones and instantly publishes them online to the company’s national media network.

Pay attention to what your audiences want: 

The Associated Press redesigned its commercial photo unit,, and relaunched it at the beginning of this month based on feedback from its customers.  The e-commerce site now offers customers streamlined access to AP’s comprehensive collection of breaking news, creative, and archival images.  And I invite you to take a look at AP’s digital annual report that offers a dynamic view into how the organization is leveraging new technology to drive its coverage forward while staying true to its mission.  It’s a very different kind of annual report with engaging storytelling at its core.

Get creative with social media:

From Twitter and Storify to Google+ Hangouts, news organizations are finding that social media tools offer creative options for engaging readers. Vine, a mobile video sharing app, is among the newest shining stars on the social media scene for capturing and sharing breaking news.  It made headlines in more ways than one in February when a journalist used Vine to document the suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Turkey.  Meanwhile, local newsrooms are adopting tools, such as ScribbleLive and DocumentCloud, to help broaden reach while improving delivery efficiency.

What are you seeing news publishers do that says they’re thriving, not just surviving?

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