Ad Awards open – minus the cardboard!

February 26, 2009

WE launched our Ad Awards 09 earlier today, and already there has been positive feedback about our new digital method of entry.

By Brett Taylor, PANPA

For years, entering PANPA awards has meant gluing tearsheets to black cardboard and sending a bulky display parcel to PANPA’s offices. By deadline week, we would have every courier in Sydney descending on our doorstep – and we’d know them all on a first-name basis.

This method served us well to a point. It was a comprehensive process and most importantly, it didn’t lack integrity. But there has been a feeling that ‘there must be a better way’.

Which brings us to our Ad Awards 09. We’ve teamed up with Workstream Solutions to deliver a system of online entry that makes participation so much easier.

In the new system, PDFs of your pages and ads are uploaded, and inserted into a digital template that is reminiscent of that good ol’ piece of black cardboard. You type in your statement of purpose and it too is dropped into the design.

A few clicks later and you can enter your payment details through a secure online system – better than putting cheques in the mail.

The system is normally used by real estate agents as a do-it-yourself ad builder. With that in mind, if you have any difficulties with your entry, give us a call or email.

I shouldn’t divert too much attention from the awards themselves. We’ve completely overhauled the categories to cater for multi-platform advertising. The circulation categories have been adjusted to create a fair playing field – this time it’s 0 – 25,000; 25,001 – 90,000; and 90,001+.

The individual awards have been expanded as well. In these tough conditions we feel it is more important than ever to recognise those who are fighting hard for the industry against economic conditions and new competitors.

Head over to our awards page here to see a full list of categories, and download the all-important briefing document for criteria and further instructions.

Awards time is always an exciting time for PANPA – we get to talk to our members and celebrate your brilliant work.

So good luck, have fun digging up your best ads, tell your colleagues about us and enter soon before you miss out!


British publisher: We wont go way of US papers

February 24, 2009

By Rob Duffield, The Guardian, Swan Hill, Victoria

Did anyone catch Lateline – ABC 1 on Thursday night (19/2)?

ANDREW NEIL: the former editor of the London Sunday Times and now publisher of the Spectator magazine was interviewed by Lateline’s Leigh Sales. This was a fabulous late night interview in the finest Lateline traditions. Neil was questioned on politics, the global economic crisis and the future of the embattled Newspaper industry. The interview was extremely entertaining and most educational.

Neil was asked the perennial question: Are Newspapers Dying? He said: “No, they are not. Some are, some deserve to die. The trend is most pronounced in the United States because the United States is dominated by inefficient high cost big city monopoly newspapers that are not used to competing.

“So, they’re really taking a hit because they’ve been fat cats they can’t handle the revolution that is the Internet and multichannel TV. I don’t think that’s true of British or Australian newspapers.

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Use your loaf, buy a paper

January 20, 2009

ONE copy costs less than a loaf of bread, a cup of coffee or a bus ticket. These everyday items are essential in their own way but do not inform, entertain or inspire. Do they provoke emotion, offer knowledge or improve lives?

By Brett Taylor, Editorial Coordinator, PANPA

Newspapers are complex: whether the staff is two or 200, the editorial, advertising and production functions must work together with intricate systems and equipment. If you compare that with a $3.50 coffee or $4 loaf, newspapers are value.

Do readers know this? And if they don’t, why haven’t we told them?

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Three steps to selling online in small papers

December 17, 2008

AMERICAN small-to-medium size newspaper consultant, Gary Sosniecki, has written a useful column about selling ads on your community newspaper’s website.

We found the article on the e-newsletter of another US newspaperman, Ken Blum (blummer’at’

Your web site should be a revenue stream, not a revenue drain, even for the smallest weekly newspaper.

Even in a recession.

The keys are for you to be passionate about your newspaper’s web site and to have a plan that turns that passion into dollars.

Online advertising isn’t charity. Advertisers can and do benefit from advertising on web sites of community newspapers – the stats from your own web site should prove it. The day you convince yourself of those benefits is the day you’ll have the passion you need to sell online ads.

Next you need a plan.

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NZ property sites hit the street

December 10, 2008

THREE of New Zealand’s key real estate sites have embraced Google’s Street View technology., and Fairfax-owned are now offering the functionality to would-be buyers. Previously, TradeMe had a similar service that was provided by a Wellington based company, called Project X. However, after two years of trials, the site management has now switched to Google and more than half its listings are already accessible through Google.

Photos of the outside of each house are taken by contractors to Google. Cameras are mounted on the cars and the snaps are taken as they drive by. Major cities in New Zealand, Australia and the central suburbs of Singapore and Hong Kong have all been catalogued in this way.

Some real estate agents have resisted the StreetView technology, believing that buyers would see the properties promoted and deal with the owner directly, cutting the agent out of the loop and denying them their 2-3 percent commission, according to

Newspaper ads due for a shape-shift

December 9, 2008

IF you haven’t read about News Ltd’s new ‘Think Outside the Rectangle’ creative book, it’s worth catching up on our news blog here.

To summarise, they have produced a high-quality publication that showcases innovative ads that have featured in their newspapers. They’re issuing a challenge to creatives to use new techniques that extract more value from the newspaper medium.

By Brett Taylor, Editorial Coordinator, PANPA

I, for one, commend the publisher for putting this together. It’s an impressive product and I’m sure they’ll get some benefit from it.

There’s no reason why the rest of the newspaper industry can’t benefit from it as well, should it help spark a bit of an industry wide re-think of advertising in newspapers.

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Check out the Caxtons

December 8, 2008

THE Newspaper Works website has this year’s Caxton Awards winners and images available, for those who haven’t seen them.

Even The Newspaper Works themselves won an award in the copywriting category, for an ad promoting the power of newspapers to tell a story.

Video games play host to Need For Spend

December 2, 2008

THERE’S a story on The Australian’s website today that any newspaper sales executive should be aware of.

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC), which is the road safety body for the Australian state of Victoria, has signed a deal to spend $A100,000 on in-game advertising.

By Brett Taylor, editorial coordinator, PANPA

The TAC is trying to reach its target audience or males aged 18-30 with its anti-speeding campaigns. That audience is spending less time watching TV and more time in front of the X-Box or PS3 (I know I am).

At this year’s PANPA conference, our CEO Mark Hollands showed an IBM-sourced slide in his State of the Industry address that showed in-game advertising had a forecasted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 19 percent for the period 2006-2010.

The TAC deal is a major real world example of this predicted trend.

(For the record, newspaper advertising had a forecast CAGR of 2 percent. Mark’s slides are available from Factiva’s PANPA conference page)

Some of the ads will appear on virtual billboards in the racing game Need for Speed, which features car chases through city streets.

It would be interesting to know whether ads in this location are likely to have a greater mental effect on young men than other channels, or whether the TAC just sees this as the most viable place to reach the right eyeballs – regardless of the context. What do you think? Leave us a comment below.

Caxton keynote now available online

December 2, 2008

The Caxton Committee and The Newspaper Works has announced that Droga5 founder David Droga’s keynote 2008 Caxton speech is now available to download as a video/podcast from the Caxton website at

Droga was the keynote speaker at this year’s Caxton Seminar, held at the Sea Temple Resort, Port Douglas from 24 -26 October, 2008.

“David Droga has created one of the world’s most respected organisations in Droga5. He has rewritten the book for contemporary ideas development and he is possibly the most successful Australian creative export. David often speaks in Cannes and is a real coup for the Caxtons,” Caxton chairman Rob Belgiovane said.

“David’s speech was inspiring and truly wowed the Caxton audience with his philosophy and approach turning traditional creative models on their heads.”

Other speeches from the Caxton weekend are also available on DVD from The Newspaper Works by emailing

Staff and systems key to sales success

November 29, 2008

THESE are testing times for the industry.

Falls in revenue for newspapers’ key advertiser segment, Retail, have hit quickly and fiercely. Top retailer Harvey Norman has this week reported a 31 percent slide in profit. Owner Gerry Harvey was on TV complaining about his margin on electronic goods, blaming that as a major issue. Though, of course, we all know his type of store uses good deals on flat-screen TVs to drive store traffic and sell other items at a better margin.

By Mark Hollands, CEO, PANPA

David Jones, another Australian retailer, has seen a 6.3 percent fall in sales – though it is not complaining about its margin. However, both these major retailers’ troubles underline the economic difficulties that our publishers are facing. And unfortunately, there are similar stories in Singapore and New Zealand.

It’s not like the old days when retailers were not the major part of a big metro’s revenue. The dollars used to come from classifieds, of course, and newspapers were never dependent on a small number of clients to be successful.

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