ATHENS, GREECE / PARIS, FRANCE / DARMSTADT, GERMANY / KIEV, UKRAINE: Launching a daily, paid-for general interest newspaper in the midst of a nation's economic meltdown is not for the faint hearted. Publisher John Filippakis is proving his mettle after doing just that with the up-and-coming Dimokratia in Greece.
Filippakis, who brought 20 years of publishing experience to the new daily, will share Dimokratia's success story at the 64th World Newspaper Congress during a session entitled, "Leadership: Steering the new news organisation." His experience is likely to provide useful lessons for any publisher facing the challenge of difficult economic markets.
The leadership session at Congress, held in conjunction with the 19th World Editors Forum in Kiev, Ukraine, from 2-5 September next, will also include: Anna Kirah, senior design and innovation anthropologist with Steria in Norway, Earl Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA), Bill McDonald, president and publisher of Metro English in Canada, and Rod Banner, founder of the advertising agency Banner Corporation.
More than 1000 newspaper publishers, chief editors and other senior newspaper executives from more than 100 countries are expected to attend the 64th World Newspaper Congress and 19th World Editors Forum, the global summit meetings of the world's press, organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
After hitting the streets in Athens in 2010, Dimokratia quickly established itself as a dynamic conservative editorial voice in the country, relying heavily on newsstand sales (85%) and little on advertising (15%). It now features a Sunday edition, as well as an edition for northern Greece.
Filippakis says connecting to a like-minded market paved the way for the paper's future.
"Contrary to some brands that are a product of extensive market research, and tone down their agenda and values so as not to alienate any potential readers, Dimokratia was born on the assumption that there was a distinct psychographic and demographic target group that held the same value set as our paper's founding team." In this case, he said that meant males who are 40-plus years old, middle class and, crucially, are also heavy readers of newspapers in print. WAN-IFRA has also launched a Congress and Forum blog, with background information about speakers, the venue, and some of the hot topics to be examined: http://www.wan-ifra.org/kiev2012_blog.
WAN-IFRA WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18 000 publications, 15 000 online sites and over 3000 companies in more than 120 countries. The organisation was created by the merger of the World Association of Newspapers and IFRA, the research and service organisation for the news publishing industry. Go to: http://www.wan-ifra.org
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