mediaXchange 2011: Affinity Express Helps Newspapers Transform Their Business
I was at mediaXchange last week with President of Creative Services David Grant. The event could have easily been named, "It's the Digital, Dummy," because that's about all that was discussed. Virtually every exhibitor and speaker focused on the predominance of online content—both editorial and advertising. At times, there was a tone of desperation ("Why haven't newspapers figured this out yet?") but it was tempered with optimistic sessions delivered by those who have found a way to capture and retain new online consumers and, perhaps most importantly, how to move online toward being the primary revenue stream for newspapers.
One of those sessions featured John Paton, CEO of the Journal Register Company. His "Ten Tweets to Transform Newspapers," was inspirational, if not overdue. We at Affinity Express were particularly glad to hear John endorse the relationship Journal Register has with Affinity Express. His tweet that "newspapers must invest in content, sales & disruption--sell or outsource everything else," included the confirmation that Affinity Express is the industry leader for successful business process improvement, for both the traditional print market and the burgeoning online demands. More than one passerby of our booth acknowledged John's "shout-out" and wanted to hear more about our offerings.
From an exhibitor standpoint, mediaXchange 2011 was improved greatly by having several meals and receptions inside the exhibitor hall. Traffic was better than in years past and we were particularly happy with the quality of conversations we had with potential newspaper customers and exhibitor partners. The NAA organizers should be applauded for this strategic change and we hope it's repeated at future events.
One significant observation—there was plenty of activity between national advertisers/agencies and the represented newspapers. There's an obvious and considerable effort by the NAA to get these parties talking more about how they can help each other. There were constant meetings outside the exhibitor hall—from the various and visible dining establishments to the more secluded sitting areas at the edges of the Hyatt Regency convention area. Everyone I spoke to was encouraged by the level of engagement and hopeful for resulting business.