Newsletter No 31 11 July 2006
Online Publishing:
Evolution - Not Revolution

Presentation by Katie Vanneck, Group Marketing Director, and Annelies van den Belt, New Media Director, The Telegraph, UK, at the 59th World Newspaper Congress, Moscow, 4-7 June.

The Telegraph was the first newspaper in the United Kingdom to offer its content online and the first to offer podcasts. It has embraced the digital future completely. Katie Vanneck and Annelies van den Belt spoke at the congress about how to integrate new media into the newspaper culture.

Be consumer centric. The Telegraph has a reader panel of 20,000 readers whose insights help drive the direction of the business. It also uses its online presence as a conduit for reader comments – 2,000 were received in the 24 hours after Parliament banned smoking in public places, for example. Not only do the comments offer reader interaction, but they were also used by journalists for the next day's reaction story.

Be brave and innovative. "Online content is quick to develop at relatively low cost, so it allows experimentation. Introduce new products on a trial and error basis and don't be concerned with failure -- you'll learn from your experience and be able to introduce what you've learned next time," said Ms van den Belt.

Invest in core assets. This includes the brand, human resources and quality content. "Quality content is absolutely king in the multimedia world. Newspapers can do it better than anyone else."

Digital integration. "It cannot be an afterthought and it has to be integrated. Every department needs to think and act digitally. It is easier to talk about than to do, but we have to follow through."