An INMA report urges publishers not to miss out on the COVID-driven "management opportunity of a generation".
It spells out management opportunities for media arising from the pandemic to accelerate a digital and data-led growth strategy "that was otherwise mired in cultural crosswinds".
'News media's pandemic leadership opportunities' is a CEO-level look at how news publishers should navigate through today's pandemic environment:
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 chief executive Earl 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; and
Infusing lower and middle-level managers with leadership training.
The report is based on interviews and coverage surrounding the recent INMA Virtual World Congress. It looks at how COVID-19 has opened the door for profound change at media companies and what priority initiatives should be. Examples are monetising 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 January 1, 2021. Beyond media, it 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.
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