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© Readership Institute The Readership Key: Are You Ready To Innovate ? NAA Readership Conference, April 19, 2004 John Lavine, Readership Institute

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Presentation on theme: "© Readership Institute The Readership Key: Are You Ready To Innovate ? NAA Readership Conference, April 19, 2004 John Lavine, Readership Institute"— Presentation transcript:

1 © Readership Institute The Readership Key: Are You Ready To Innovate ? NAA Readership Conference, April 19, 2004 John Lavine, Readership Institute

2 © Readership Institute 2 Progress and Threat year olds 25+ year olds Source: Readership Institute national RBS studies

3 © Readership Institute 3 Need Insights Beyond Impact Success came with changes to:Success came with changes to: –News content –In-paper content promotion –Service Scratched surface on:Scratched surface on: –Ad content –“Brand” –Culture

4 © Readership Institute 4 Wednesday and Beyond WednesdayWednesday –Discuss RI’s findings from New Readers study (52 markets) After WednesdayAfter Wednesday –Develop new research on how to enhance ads’ impact –Explore web readership based on user types and their use of newspapers’ content

5 © Readership Institute 5 Grow New Readers Develop strategy to grow New ReadersDevelop strategy to grow New Readers –African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and year olds are your future Hispanics are one in five children todayHispanics are one in five children today Advertisers go to medium that delivers themAdvertisers go to medium that delivers them Wednesday focus on themWednesday focus on them –Figured out how to quantify readers’ feelings –Strength of research results surprised us

6 © Readership Institute 6 Breakthrough: Profound Reader Experiences

7 © Readership Institute 7 Employee-Reader Connection Consumer Engaged new readers, higher RBS Organization Engaged, reader- focused employees

8 © Readership Institute 8 Key Recommendation Your newspaper must build an organization that isYour newspaper must build an organization that is –Strategically focused on readership –Expects continuous readership innovation –Rewards new readership growth

9 © Readership Institute 9 How We Reached That Recommendation What your employees told usWhat your employees told us –Reflects your expectations Papers know where they should goPapers know where they should go –Clear what constitutes readiness to innovate In our researchIn our research –Few are there –Disconnect with leaders and staff Bottom LineBottom Line –Your job is to get them there

10 © Readership Institute 10 New Readers: Organizational Studies We analyzed input from 6,600 employeesWe analyzed input from 6,600 employees –All levels and every department –By race/ethnicity, gender, age –By position in newspaper Then, looked at organization’s relationship to growing New ReadersThen, looked at organization’s relationship to growing New Readers Listen to your employeesListen to your employees

11 © Readership Institute 11 What Your Employees Are Saying “It’s not my responsibility”“It’s not my responsibility” “We’re not encouraged to take risks”“We’re not encouraged to take risks” “We just carry out decisions somebody else makes“We just carry out decisions somebody else makes “There’s lot of talk about input, but in end our ideas are not really valued” “There’s lot of talk about input, but in end our ideas are not really valued” Hallmarks of newspaper that resists changeHallmarks of newspaper that resists change

12 © Readership Institute 12 As leaders, they reflect your expectations You can change their focus and actions

13 © Readership Institute 13 What Your Employees Should Say “I’m expected to know the business and take on challenging tasks”“I’m expected to know the business and take on challenging tasks” “I’m expected to think differently and to innovate to win”“I’m expected to think differently and to innovate to win” “I’m expected to take risks”“I’m expected to take risks” “I’m rewarded, even if I fail”“I’m rewarded, even if I fail” These are hallmarks of newspaper that embraces readership changeThese are hallmarks of newspaper that embraces readership change

14 © Readership Institute 14 This kind of organization is positioned to win We need more newspapers like that

15 © Readership Institute 15 Ideal vs. Reality Newspapers know where they need to goNewspapers know where they need to go –Your “ideal” organization is strongly constructive In all departmentsIn all departments –Newspaper is almost twice as defensive and half as constructive as you want it to be

16 © Readership Institute 16 Not as constructive as you know you need to be (newspaper Ideal)Not as constructive as you know you need to be (newspaper Ideal) It’s an issue for all departments It’s an issue for all departments

17 © Readership Institute 17 Defensive behaviors much too strong in every departmentDefensive behaviors much too strong in every department (Here, less is better - your ideal)(Here, less is better - your ideal)

18 © Readership Institute 18 Ideal vs. Reality for Leaders Leaders across newspaper must lead / get a gripLeaders across newspaper must lead / get a grip They have rosier view of their organization than everyone elseThey have rosier view of their organization than everyone else That is dangerous for them and their newspaperThat is dangerous for them and their newspaper

19 © Readership Institute 19 Disconnect between leaders and rest of newspaperDisconnect between leaders and rest of newspaper They think organization is more constructive ….They think organization is more constructive ….

20 © Readership Institute 20 ….and less defensive than it really is

21 © Readership Institute 21 “Ready to Innovate” Index RI research has new index that measures:RI research has new index that measures: –How well managers create and communicate reader-oriented mission –How focused whole newspaper is on readers’ needs –How newspaper responds to changing market Higher “readiness” scores linked with higher RBSHigher “readiness” scores linked with higher RBS

22 © Readership Institute 22 “Ready To Innovate” Newspapers Are more constructive, less defensiveAre more constructive, less defensive Readership is higher in general and among target groupsReadership is higher in general and among target groups Leaders share readership strategy with employees at every levelLeaders share readership strategy with employees at every level –Involve employees in decisions that set strategy and affect them

23 © Readership Institute 23 “Ready” Newspapers, cont. Do more training and developmentDo more training and development Employees are more engagedEmployees are more engaged –Often perform above requirements –Help newspaper innovate to reach goals Have more women and minoritiesHave more women and minorities –More women and minorities in positions of authority

24 © Readership Institute 24 Internal Diversity Matters Women managers Non-white managers NPs best positioned to innovateNPs least positioned to innovate

25 © Readership Institute 25 Warning Just having “right” people won’t bring success Must have readership strategy that informs everything your newspaper does

26 © Readership Institute 26 Changing the Culture Readership Institute research identifies 20-plus practices that are sub-parReadership Institute research identifies 20-plus practices that are sub-par Begin your efforts with top three:Begin your efforts with top three: –Employee involvement –Hiring –Coaching

27 © Readership Institute 27 Employee Involvement Bring your staff into creating solutionsBring your staff into creating solutions –Not just execute solutions that management devises Involve staff in real lives of New ReadersInvolve staff in real lives of New Readers Dispel big, self-deluding myth:Dispel big, self-deluding myth: –Most newspaper employees still believe young adults will read more as they age

28 © Readership Institute 28 Hiring and Promotion Look for people with diverse backgrounds and experiencesLook for people with diverse backgrounds and experiences –They can help you connect with under- served readers Do not hire or promote to decision- making positions people not committed to making readership strategy happenDo not hire or promote to decision- making positions people not committed to making readership strategy happen

29 © Readership Institute 29 Coaching Require staff to learn, first-hand, about young and diverse readers’ lives and experiencesRequire staff to learn, first-hand, about young and diverse readers’ lives and experiences Make it safe for people to take risks to grow readership and to failMake it safe for people to take risks to grow readership and to fail –Recognize and reward risk-taking

30 © Readership Institute 30 Lavine’s formula Adopt multi-year strategy that says”Adopt multi-year strategy that says” –“We’re going to significantly grow young adults and diverse readers” Make your employees – and yourself – accountable for achieving that strategyMake your employees – and yourself – accountable for achieving that strategy –Set stretch benchmarks to get there Don’t be afraid to leadDon’t be afraid to lead

31 © Readership Institute 31 My Thanks to You and to… Mary NesbittMary Nesbitt –RI Managing Director RI Team Members PresentRI Team Members Present –Todd McCauley –Limor Peer –Regina Glaspie Mike SmithMike Smith –Media Management Center Managing Director

32 © Readership Institute Thank You Download this presentation at:


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