With the seemingly imminent move to a tabloid format on weekdays for The New Zealand Herald, the recent appointment of Deutsche Bank to undertake a strategic review of its media assets in New Zealand (and presumably ready some of them for sale) and the decision to upgrade its stake in GrabOne to 100 percent and buy out Shane Bradley, there are some big things happening at APN at the moment. And while times are pretty tough in the newspaper business, there's plenty of courage being shown under fire and The New Zealand Herald has been rewarded for its efforts by scoring a hat-trick of wins at the 2012 International Newsmedia Marketing Association.
More than 80 marketing campaigns from 66 news media companies in 23 countries were selected as finalists by a global panel of 24 judges from various marketing branches, including media companies, advertising agencies and trade magazines. And the Herald took three of the 30 first place awards for 'Driven - Motoring From Every Angle' in advertising sales and retention, 'Reaching Out to Rural Markets' in the print and digital subscription sales category and for Element Magazine in the new brand/product/audience development.
As for the Fairfax titles, The Dominion Post won the print single-copy sales for 'The Swift Getaway', The Sunday Star-Times Origami Campaign came second in the new brand/product/audience development category, and The Press came second in the advertising sales and retention category for 'The Press Long Lunch Competition'.
The awards function was the culmination of the 82nd INMA World Congress, held in Los Angeles. And both APN News & Media chief executive, Brett Chenoweth, and the chief executive of APN’s New Zealand media business, Martin Simons, attended the conference and accepted the awards.
Commenting on the wins, Simons said it was hugely rewarding for the company's New Zealand teams to have their work recognised in front of an international audience.
"It shows the quality of innovative thinking and client collaboration by the Herald in developing new products is world class," he says. " ... Having our efforts celebrated on the world stage is very gratifying. It means we are on the right path, but with plenty to do."
He praised the willingness of the Herald teams to embrace the challenges of converting to a multi-media organisation, which required much greater understanding of how audiences were accessing content across platforms, and how advertisers could better connect with the specific interests of audience groups.
APN was working on exciting plans to make the Herald brand even more essential to New Zealanders and further initiatives would be announced in the coming month. Reader, audience and advertiser involvement in planning these new content approaches would be an important part of the process. And Simons says the company is well placed because if its strength across online, print, radio and outdoor to offer true multi-media solutions.
Winning the prestigious “Best in Show” award was The New York Times for its multi-media marketing campaign successfully launching its digital subscriptions. Second place went to Sweden’s Expressen for its brand campaign, 'The Expressen Bus', while third place went to Brazil’s Correio da Bahia for its brand campaign, 'TweetBoard'.