Crossing the river from print to digital: advice from Peter Kreisky

Peter Kreisky, president, Kreisky Media Consultancy, USA, addressed some 470 delegates at FIPP’s Ibero-American conference in São Paulo, Brazil yesterday, about keys to digital success for media owners.
Kreisky detailed the challenges facing traditional companies with the event of digital and technological developments, using a number of examples from the industry. He said that strategies of industry leaders include the following:
  • Thinking digital first
  • Embracing vast array of new business models
  • Developing new products and services on a segmented basis
  • Empowering organisation – including structure, culture
Kreisky cited The Atlantic as one of the leaders here, saying they’ve transformed from a “sleepy mag to a platform for ideas”. He also talked about the success of Condé Nast’s ‘Glamour Universe,’ Politico and The Huffington Post, which in his opinion are all good examples of ‘digital first’ thinking. 
As well as using the tools that have developed so much in recent years, Kreisky advised the audience to “think like digital natives”. “There are plenty of pure players who are interrupting traditional media businesses, like Buzzfeed. They are disruptors, and you need to think like them.” 
Another example of a company embracing new tools and the digital ecosystem is The Huffington Post – “there, the story begins when they hit ‘publish’” said Kreisky. “They think about their audience in segments,” he said, “and they treat each segment separately in order to engage and monetise.”
A traditional magazine media owner adopting changes, said Kreisky, is Hearst. He quoted the company’s CEO, Duncan Edwards, who said that they are “moving from months to moments” in terms of editorial thinking. This thinking has been initiated by the creation of new unit Hearst Magazines Digital Media, said Kreisky.
Of course, making money using the new tools and developments is key. Embracing new revenue models such as native advertising, programmatic advertising, ecommerce and data are just some examples of this. Kreisky said Forbes is one of the companies leading the way where native advertising is concerned, by offering advertisers branded content – they even have a platform to enable this.
One of Kreisky’s final points related to creating richer experiences for brands’ communities and those who  pay a premium. Hearst are doing this, he said, along with The Time and Wall Street Journal – who have transferred communities/subscribers into club members.
In summary, Kreisky gave some advice for companies looking to embrace these new business models and tools
  • Deemphasise print
  • Create additional measures of success
  • Make sure you’re optimised for digital rather than print
  • Rethink competitors
  • Read more like your readers
  • Build digital first capabilities
  • Create new positions to address new needs

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