'Power of mind' extends print business models for SPH

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Mind over matter is securing a bright future for Singapore Press Holdings, despite the decline of print.

Speaking at the Ifra India conference in Delhi, market development managing director Geoff Tan said staff were encouraged to "think analogue, act experimental" with programmes to encourage staff to come up with creative ideas.

"Never underestimate the power of mind - start with your staff," he said.

Among ideas he cited were 'Readeem' (read + redeem) and a clever augmented reality character called Moomoko which is helping extend and diversify

revenue models.

Originally created by SPH Magazines for its Chinese and English magazine Nuyou, Moomoko is now being shared with multiple brands which collaborate with the publication to leverage it for their campaigns.

"Moomoko took a Chinese magazine to another level and became a virtual influencer," says Tan. "It was so successful that we were able to take her to catwalks in Paris and Milan along with other models."

Tan says retail therapy is something the team keeps in mind as they continually look for ways to partner and make new revenue streams. He suggested encouraging staff to come up with creative ideas and signing them up for design-thinking workshops, "thinking analogue, acting experimental" and creating an inspiring office as well as work environment.

In a discussion of new revenue streams, he urged delegates not to be too protective of your print, restricting digital so that it never grows. He recalled how, when digital was just starting to take over, his team thought that if they tried hard to sell digital, it would cannibalise the print.

"The decline of print is never the end of the road for a media organisation," he said. "Revenue models can be extended and diversified in many different ways."

The way forward for media organisations was to build a polymathic organisation and be as diverse as possible. "It's no longer jack of all trades and master of none, but jack of all trades and master of insights," he concluded.

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