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September 3rd, 2014

Five things you may not know about the German media

Five things you may not know about the German media

Newspapers#1           Germans published the world’s first newspaper

In 1605, Johann Carolus from Strasbourg (then part of the German Empire) published the first newspaper titled ‘Relation’, which included news from all over the world. About four decades later another German, Timotheus Ritzsch, a printer from Leipzig, published with ‘Einkommende Zeitungen’ the first daily newspaper, which was issued six or seven times each week.

#2          For centuries, it was the country with the largest number of newspapers

Until the Nazis came into power in 1933, Germany was the country of the largest number of newspapers. Of the 4,700 newspapers published in Germany before the Third Reich, no more than 1,100 remained after World War II.

#3           It has one of the largest selections of newspapers

Germany offers the widest variety of newspapers in Europe: With 329 daily newspapers, Germany supplies a larger variety of papers than any other European country. Spain offers 130 newspapers, followed by Italy (97 newspapers) and the UK (95 newspapers).

#4           It has the world’s tightest newspaper dealer network

With 1.4 newspaper sellers per 1,000 people, Germany hast the tightest network of dealers in the world. In addition, over 400 sales outlets at airports and train stations make German and international publications available to travelers.

#5           The German press is (mostly) privately owned

Compared to many other countries such as the US or the UK, most of the German press is privately and family-owned. Axel Springer AG, one of the largest newspaper publishing companies in Europe, and Bertelsmann, one of the world’s largest media companies, are still in private hands.


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June 4th, 2013

Read all about it! Are print newspapers fated to fold? (continued…)

Read all about it! Are print newspapers fated to fold? (continued…)

Perhaps the most obvious sign of changing times for stalwart newspaper readers has been the increasing pervasiveness of online ‘paywalls’.

It’s likely that most of us first started bumping into paywalls after reading a few articles in The Times, the FT, The New York Times or the WSJ. It’s that familiar sinking feeling when a pop-up window demands your cash payment or subscription before you’re allowed to flip to another visible page. But paywalls are nothing new – the WSJ was actually introduced the first newspaper paywall back in 1997 (and pretty effortlessly gained over 200,000 subscribers within a year – most likely with a lot of help from business expense accounts).

Today more than 400 US papers have erected paywalls, and there are more announced every day, with even the holdout Washington Post succumbing. In the UK the Telegraph announced its paywall plans in March , and News International confirmed that the Sun would go down a similar route to stable-mate the Times this summer. But despite this rapid adoption, a digital-only, paywall-dependent vision isn’t an inevitable future for all newspapers. Some highly-regarded figures in the global newspaper industry now regard the paywall as an intermediary solution – a short-term patch for declining traditional revenues that will not be here for the long-haul.

In the UK the most notable hold-outs to date are the Guardian, the Observer, the Mail, the Mirror and the Express – newspapers that believe they can still produce sufficiently attractive open content in print and online to lure readers that advertisers will pay to target. But John Paton, CEO for newspaper management specialist Digital First Media is perhaps the most outspoken in his opposition to a paywall future. He says: “I don’t think paywalls are the answer to anything. If we’re swapping out print dollars for digital dimes, I think paywalls are a stack of pennies. We might use the pennies in transition to get where we’re going.” However, that doesn’t mean that he sees any future at all for print: “Newspapers in print are clearly going away. I think you’re an idiot if you think that’s not happening. I don’t think that news organizations are dying but are newspapers going to stop running in print? Yeah. Absolutely.”

So are there any ‘idiots’ left to support print, or does everyone believe that the printed newspaper is doomed already? Rather interestingly, US business magnate Warren Buffet has been buying newspapers up as if he is on a personal crusade to save print, recently acquiring more than 80 titles, including 28 major newspapers, for more than $340 million (£210 million). He now owns the whole Media General empire, as well as much-loved individual titles such as the Omaha World-Herald, and the Allentown Morning Call, and is candid about his love for print. Of course there are still plenty of other publications out there crying out for new owners, that haven’t attracted their own Buffet. As well as the Boston Globe, notable US papers up for sale include the LA Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun, while in Europe publishing giants such as Mecom must be bought, split or closed for good.

Producing newspapers is a costly business– if you’ve never worked in publishing it’s enough to just imagine the physical process of printing and distributing millions of printed papers each day, when compared to the cost of publishing online news. And that’s before you even begin to take into account the huge logistical costs of such large and distributed professional workforces. So next time you pick up a paper at the station or your local newsagent, bear in mind that the distribution model alone that ensured your news arrived on time, probably accounted for around 40% of the total cost of that newspaper.

How do you see the future of the printed newspaper? Will it continue to thrive in niches, serving traditionalists, as well as regional and specialist markets? Will printed papers complement digital editions, albeit far less publically and affordably than we have become accustomed to? Or is all print doomed now, in our lifetimes?  

Take our Prompt Poll now: 

Where will the newspaper go from here?

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Extra, extra read all about it: Software testing and regional newspapers

Extra, extra read all about it: Software testing and regional newspapers

Part five of six in the blog series,
Prompt Technology PR Snapshot: Software Testing

Whether you’re in the check-out line of a grocery store, hopping aboard the metro, or spending the morning at a local coffee shop, newspapers and national media outlets are readily available and easily found.

NewspapersCoverage in the regional and national press are considered a great hit – just think of the large audience, broad reach and public familiarity of such publications. And although a piece in the New York Times or Daily Record would certainly be something to frame, what if more of your sales prospects read a niche outlet like Computer Weekly instead? This is something to consider as you begin evaluating your PR goals and objectives – always aim for the target, despite how tempting a more wide-scale placement can be.

Now, back to the newspaper press – exactly how can a software testing firm land such a hit? That’s where the Prompt team comes in with the following insider tips:

–       Follow the national newsbeat: Stay on top of the latest news trends and topics. Are journalists discussing the flat economy and pending budget-cuts across enterprises? Offer your commentary on how software testing services, such as automation or outsourcing, can deliver efficiencies to companies, large and small, freeing up budgets.

–       Partner with customers: Customers that are well known will catch the eye of technology- and business-beat editors. If you’ve won such a contract recently, create a unique angle to market your company and be ready to pitch it to the press.

–       Think regional: Any software firm can be regional – just think of where your customers are based and emphasize the location along with any involvement in local initiatives.

If your goal is to make it into the Wall Street Journal, don’t lose hope. With key PR strategies, a great hook, and persistence (if at first you don’t succeed, try again), your software testing firm can land a spot in a well-known regional newspaper.

Tune in next week on our blog for a full round-up of all our software testing PR tactics, including a free download to share with your marketing team. Until then, let us know your comments, thoughts or questions by tweeting at us today: @PromptBoston or @PromptLondon.

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August 24th, 2011

The Last Post?

The Last Post?

The news that the Irish Post, the UK’s best-selling Irish community weekly, has gone into liquidation could be interpreted as another sign of the terminal decline of print newsmedia. It seems that with dwindling circulation figures and plummeting advertising revenue, the paper’s publishers were left with little choice but to call in the liquidators. But as the chaos continues after the recent scandals that put an end to the most popular paper in Britain, at least the Irish Post can be laid to rest with dignity.


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