IFRA Releases reports on Advertising , Content Management and Printing

IFRA has announced the release of three reports from the Flashlight series about latest developments in the media industry, including online content use and Web 3.0. In addition, four new Special Reports dealing with a wide range of different topics, such as semi-commercial quality, printing blanket specifications, multi-channel publishing systems and strategies in the advertising business. IFRA research reports are obtainable in various languages both in print or PDF form .

Do not be put off by the jargon or fooled into thinking the Robots.txt/ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol) debate is another tiresome squabble amongst programmers. It is true that when you boil it down the whole issue revolves around nothing more than a line of instructions hidden away in a web page, but the implications go right to the heart of the publishing business and its fight for the future.

In 2004, Web 2.0 stood for a period of major innovation after the bursting of the Internet bubble. The goal was to return to the roots of the Internet: restore a space where everyone can participate. At the end of 2006, the term 3.0 appeared to describe the emergence of another important space that meets the requirements of knowledge organisation, groups and communities on the web. In parallel, this term is used to describe the acceleration of the impact of web technologies on the computer industry.

What does the term ”semi-commercial” stand for? There have been discussions in the news publishing industry for many years about what can be done to use newspaper presses for more than just coldset printing on newsprint. IFRA has published at least eight Special Reports since April 1987 dealing with various aspects of improving the quality of newspaper printing.

Today, semi-commercial is once again at the heart of the discussions about newspaper production in the future – for two reasons: On the one hand, because newspaper publishing houses are seeking possibilities to turn their printing operations into profit centres; and on the other hand, the newspaper product itself is changing, as in the past newspapers – as the first mass medium in history – had to be produced as fast, simply and economically as possible. Today, there are modern rotary presses installed in America, Europe and Asia that cannot be unequivocally categories as coldset or heatset due to the fact that they combine both production possibilities for all the pages of a print object. The IFRA Standardisation Working Group Semi-Commercial Printing set out to develop a definition of a new semi-commercial printing quality. This document presents the results of its work.

Printing blankets, by means of their properties, have a major influence on the quality of the printing process. In order to have a higher degree of safety when changing blankets, also with a view to process standardisation in newspaper printing, it is essential that the composition of the blankets be known in advance and described in a way that makes it as comparable as possible. For this reason, users initiated a working group with the objective in the long term to standardise the de scri ption of the properties of printing blankets. Representatives of the press and blanket manufacturers, users and IFRA, under the leadership of bvdm, discussed blanket parameters from the point of view of their relevance to practice and agreed on the now available specifications for printing blankets

This Special Report explains how multi-channel publishing systems differ from models for print-centric publishing. It explains the key foundation technologies for multi-channel publishing systems and puts digital channel production and traditional print driven newspapers into a common context. It is about multi-channel publishing environments and their potential for evolved relationships between newspaper publishers and their customers. The digital revolution, media fragmentation and new media experiences have created new opportunities for business and the digital media model extends far beyond print. Printed newspapers are no longer central to the majority of peoples’ media experience, especially for younger generations weaned on digital media and media on demand. Multi-channel publishing exploits media complementarity and has the scope to use all available media channels including but not limited to print, information websites and pages, blogs and forums, social networking sites, electronic newspapers, on demand printed newspapers, SMS messaging, radio and television, and any other channel used to communicate a message.

Customer Centric Communication (CCC) is a new marketing concept for newspaper media. It covers an area that is of major importance for the future of newspaper publishing houses: the future-oriented marketing of the newspaper media products. CCC concerns the core business of regional newspapers in the market, i.e. the newspaper media and their regional marketability. The concept is aimed at Germany. The CCC concept reacts to the conditions of a media industry undergoing dynamic change and to the also changing media consumption behaviour of readers, listeners and viewers who, besides their role as recipients, have long become participants and customers. The concept builds on the development of society, customers and media. The new appreciation of Customer Centric Communication enables the regional newspaper media to benefit from the increasing networking of the digital industry. In future the emphasis will be on the localisation and personalisation of information as well as the corresponding appeal to the customers.

The IFRA research initiative was launched in March 2006 with a budget of more than one million euros. The accompanying IFRA reports are published as original versions in the English language, with summaries in other languages (translated).

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