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Changing Media Trends and what they mean to you: One editor’s view Jane Wooldridge The Miami Herald October 2008 The tipping point? Many magazines are shrinking Newspaper travel section – and/or dedicated editors – are diminishing Websites abound Social-networking sites continue to gain

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Changing Media Trends and what they mean to you:One editor’s view

Jane Wooldridge

The Miami Herald

October 2008

The tipping point?

  • Many magazines are shrinking

  • Newspaper travel section – and/or dedicated editors – are diminishing

  • Websites abound

  • Social-networking sites continue to gain

  • Upscale publications are likely to gain ground

  • Regional emphasis is becoming stronger

  • Mobile devices will become more important

Why now?

  • Advances in technology

  • Growing influence of younger generation

  • Economic downturn

So, what are key trends?

  • Travelers are returning to trusted voices

  • Digital is only part of the answer

  • Newspapers are down but not out

  • Not all “new media’’ are created equal

  • Social media are here to stay

  • Social media can’t be controlled – but it can be managed

  • Multimedia presentations will become increasingly important

  • Mobile devices will become even more important

  • Think high, low and close-to-home

TMI: Too Much Information!

  • So many (websites, magazines, TV channels), so little time

  • Even the multi-tasking generation is subject to overload

  • This is resulting in a return to trusted voices, such as authoritative editorial publications and travel agents

Digital is the future

  • 108 million North Americans (about 73 percent of the population) use the Internet today; 105 in the U.S. alone are counted as active surfers

  • The global total is about 1.4 billion

  • The global total will increase by 44 percent between 2007-2012

BUT…digital media are only part of the answer

  • 154 million Americans read a Sunday newspaper in print

  • 187 million Americans read magazines in print

  • Consumers use online and print media differently

Despite the obituaries, newspapers are not dead

  • More people read the Sunday Miami Herald in print each week than watch American Idol each week

  • Newspapers remain a or the dominant media company in most markets

  • In 2007, more than 60 million unique viewers visited newspaper websites each month

  • In McClatchy markets, newspaper print circulation and websites together offer more than 50 percent penetration

  • More than 5 million unique visitors came to the Miami Herald’s website in September

Web traffic at magazine websites is also growing

  • 70.7 million unique monthly visitors went to magazine websites during the first quarter of 2008

Not all “new media’’ are created equal

  • 175-million-plus sites on the Web

  • News and the offbeat often dominate traffic

  • Among travelers, the importance of blogs has dropped in the past year (Yankelovich)

  • Popular online doesn’t always equal widespread acceptance; remember Snakes on a Plane?

Windows Live (

Microsoft Network (

Most popular U.S. sites (

The Huffington Post

Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide



Boing Boing


Ars Technica

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

The Official Google Blog

Free Travel Blog to Share Your Tips (

Most popular blogs (Technorati)

Top 5 Digg Stories / past year

  • Digg’s April Fool’s Day Joke; 31,803 diggs

  • Digg this if you are sick of Scientologists burying articles; 25,698 diggs

  • Heath Ledger dies; 22,472 diggs

  • George Carlin has died; 19,793 diggs

  • Ninja cat comes closer while not moving; 18,308 diggs


Google maps

Yahoo! Maps


Southwest Airlines



Yahoo! Travel


Cheap Tickets

American Airlines

Delta Air Lines


Local Live



Northwest Airlines

United Airlines

Top Travel websites by traffic (Hitwise, September 08)

Social Networking is here to stay

  • YouTube ranks No. 3 among all U.S. websites by traffic

  • Facebook ranks No. 4 among all U.S. websites by traffic

  • TripAdvisor ranks No. 13 among top travel websites

  • According to the Yankelovich Travel Monitor, friends and neighbors are the most trusted source for travel recommendations (8 in 10 surveyed.) 25 percent are confident of what they read on TripAdvisor)

Social networking can’t be controlled – but it can be managed

  • Know what is being said about you

  • Address it on the website where it is posted

  • Encourage reviews from happy guests

  • Explain on your own website how you are addressing concerns

  • Create a Facebook group and use it to promote specials

  • Host your own blog – but keep it real

    TSA blog

    John Heald’s cruise blog

    VisitFlorida blog

Multi media is increasingly important

  • YouTube, you got it

    Ritz Carlton short film

  • Magazines and newspapers are adding video stories daily (but no, they aren’t really paying for it.)

    Doug Lansky’s souvenir slideshow

    Survive a bear attack

    Travels with Jane

Don’t ignore mobile devices

  • 256 million in the U.S. subscribe to wireless phone service

  • China has 540 million users; India has slight more than the U.S.

  • Abacus International estimates 1.5 billion cell users in the Asia-Pacific region

It’s all about the economy

  • Checked your 401K lately? The Dow has dropped more than 40 percent in the past year.

  • Despite this, experts predict that the luxury category will rebound quickly.

So what does this mean to me?1. Think high and low

  • Luxury or budget, value is the key.

  • Deals, packages and cost-wise strategies get editors’ attention…but be ready to explain the value.

  • Fixed-cost vacations – cruises, all-inclusive experiences and packages – find favor with consumers and editors.

  • Travelers likely will be making plans last minute; look for ways to promote last-minute deals in stories and on websites.

  • Unless it has a value hook, save “green’’ for upscale publications

2. Think regional

  • Travelers likely will stay closer to home. Whether you’re a writer or a PR professional, your best hits are going to come from regional media.

3. Think short

  • The trend toward short vacations will grow even stronger

4.Focus on other “best bets”

  • Niche travelers are driven by passion – and passion often outweighs economic sensibility

Know that editors are more short-handed than ever before

  • Give them story ideas that are fully developed and involve sources beyond your own.

  • Be sure information about packages and deals is complete and includes pricing.

  • Be accurate. Fact-check everything…twice.

Do I need a website?

  • Yes. Yes. And yes. (And that includes journalists.)

Do I need a blog?

  • If you’re looking to make money, maybe not.

  • If you want to brand yourself and/or serve a niche market, maybe yes.

  • BUT…if you start a blog, you must feed, bathe and clean it.

Do I need to be multi-media?

  • If you’re a travel supplier (or represent one), you can get additional exposure if you have high quality B-roll and audio clips.

  • If you’re a journalist, it’s not essential…but it may be soon.

Where can I find out more?

  • Forrester Research:

  • Jupiter Research:

  • PhocusWright:

  • Hitwise:

  • Yankelovich Travel Monitor:,

  • TIA:

  • Multimedia:

  • This presentation:

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