Friday, February 25, 2011

Newspapers: Lessons Learned

This piece, by John Temple, former editor, president and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, is a couple years old, but I hadn't seen it before. It tells the story of the demise of the 150 year old newspaper, with some powerful lessons for media and digital executives.

He notes: "Being a “great newspaper” isn’t enough in the Internet era. You have to know what business you’re in. We thought we were in the newspaper business. Working on the Web, you need to think of now and forever. At a newspaper, people largely think about tomorrow. Thinking about tomorrow isn’t enough anymore. Consumers today want services when, where and how they want them, and they want to be able to participate, not just receive."

His list of lessons learned:

Know what business you’re in.
Know your customers.
Know your competition.
Know your goal.
Have a strategy and be committed to pursuing it.
Measure, measure, measure.
Keep new ventures free from the rules of the old.
Let the people running a new venture do what’s best for their business, regardless of the potential impact on the old.
To compete in a new medium, you have to understand it.
Invest in R&D.

It's an important and worthwhile read!

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