Print embraces digital
MANILA, Philippines - The 2nd Print Congress last September 6 to 7, 2012 at the Manila Hotel was a wake up call to a remarkable — if highly traditional — Philippine print media industry.
As digital puts institutions of the printed word to the test, the United Print Media Group (UPMG) — the organization dedicated to the development of print — pushes the industry to modernize and embrace new media.
UPMG brought in print veterans to the congress to bridge the past and the future.
Retired journalist, author and researcher Professor Crispin Maslog, PhD stressed the values of research and continuing education in the profession.
“Improve your product,” he said. “Research to come out with better newspapers.”
Journalist Malou Mangahas also called for improvement. She was a political prisoner in the Marcos era, who finished her journalism thesis on the run with a portable typewriter. She graduated with honors.
“For all the glory that it is — or was — print, the Internet and technology are changing and reordering patterns of life, relationships, business, governments, journalism and our audience the world over,” she says.
“Because we all love print so much, we must make sure print overcomes — and even outlasts — these changes.”
Prof. Maslog and Ms. Mangahas are both icons of the industry, yet both believe it’s time to leap off the pages and learn how to make print relevant in the golden age of digital.
“Embrace change and adapt, adapt, adapt in the new conversation defined by the Internet and technology,” said Ms. Mangahas.
Digital shouldn’t have to be the enemy of print; especially not when it serves to open up communication, to strengthen ties between print and its readers.
The print congress also opened up to experts in the field of digital marketing and technologies this year.
According to the authorities on cyberspace, there is more than enough room in it for print.
New media is the playing field of the young and the affluent. Going online is a way to attract more readers, as print is traditionally more relevant to the upscale, older audience, revealed Ipsos research firm managing director Carol Sarthou.
Manny Fernando, president of the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines, recommended being found in more than one channel. In 5 years, smartphone and tablet owners would have increased tenfold.
“Make yourself easily consumed and user friendly,” he said.
“It’s not enough anymore to just have a website. Harness the available technologies to engage.”
Print’s advantage is that is still enjoys a “high level of trust and relevance,” stated Nielsen Philippines managing director Stuart Jamieson.
Trust can translate into credibility online.
“Leverage on the media’s brand in providing journalistic excellence and story telling, because audiences still have the same content needs in an interactive world,” Mr. Fernando said.
It’s also important for the brand to extend its look and feel online.
“Find a way to make sure your brand feels exactly the same online,” Mr. Jamieson said. “Your website must be an extension of your brand’s masthead.”
As the 2nd Print Congress ended, the industry saw itself standing at the beginning of its future.
The future rests on its ability to utilize new media.
More significantly, print’s future rests on upholding readers’ trust — journalistic excellence — in print, and now, online. - Rappler.com
Ivy Ong is a management graduate of ADMU who pursued a journalism MA in Australia for the love of writing. She believes in using words to inspire world peace, kindness and integrity.