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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au Street press mass readership, advertising effectiveness Ian Wakeling MD, TNT Magazine New Zealand and Fiji distributed throughout those countries, northern Europe, at selected points in North America and via various travel shows, and the annual Korean Student and Travellers Guide to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, which is largely distributed throughout South Korea and at selected points throughout Australia. TNT Australia also operates www. tntdownunder.com and publishes a weekly e-letter to a database of around 8000 independent travellers. What is the value proposition to clients with free street publications? The biggest advantage in operating a free street publication is the access to readers – backpackers and young travellers love something for nothing. By partnering with the industry in developing a sound distribution network, the publication is highly targeted and fi nds its mark. The lack of cover price and having to deal with national distribution companies and the associated costs also allows us to pass on any savings to the advertiser. What is the background of your company? TNT Magazine was launched in London in 1983 to service the growing number of Australian backpackers making the UK their temporary travel base. TNT Australia followed in 1991, and is the market-leading free independent travel publisher. TNT Australia publishes a weekly magazine with more than 600 distribution points across the nation, a quarterly TNT New Zealand title, the annual Independent Travellers’ Guide to Australia, How are you integrating online and how important is online to your off ering? We continue to work on the online model and fi nd it’s a bit like the harbour bridge – once we fi nish an upgrade or install a concept, it’s time to start all over again. This is precisely where we’re at right now, with www.tntdownunder. com being completely overhauled. We’re all excited by the product we hope to fi nish up with. I think initially, like many other print publishers, we simply tried to replicate the print product online and have been rather slow in getting our heads around the enormous opportunities provided by the internet. Our readership, however, grew up with the internet and it is very much second nature to them. It’s vital we service the travellers through this medium. What other kinds of cross-promotional initiatives are important? TNT Australia is very closely aligned to the independent travel industry, and has been the media sponsors of the annual Adventure + Backpacker Industry Conference since its inception more than a decade ago, as well as holding that same position with the Adventure + Backpacking Expo series that runs annually in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. It’s important for the industry to accept us as part of the mix, rather than being a company that seeks only to drain them of their advertising spend. TNT Australia is very much committed to the industry and its ongoing success. How has the economic downturn aff ected what your advertisers are asking for? The downturn has certainly caused advertisers to reassess their spend. Whether it’s out of fear of what might be coming in terms of slowdown or them already feeling the bite is the real question. I tend to think it’s the former, as backpacker numbers have actually been boosted by the economic carnage that has taken place overseas – especially in the UK and Europe. It’s hard for the advertisers not to buy into the entire doom and gloom predictions they read and hear about in the media. Our task has been to point out how much our sector differs from the broader travel industry. As young people leave university or school and discover their professional prospects are very limited by the economic crisis, the thought of some adventure Down Under where their currency still travels a long way is highly attractive. Once that proposition is put to most advertisers they look at the global fi nancial crisis as an opportunity to grow rather than put up the shutters. Capitalising on the cocooning factor Sandra Hook CEO, News Magazines What sort of initiatives are you undertaking to market your magazines to advertisers? We have some interesting things on the horizon. It’s Vogue’s 50th birthday in September – the great thing about that is it’s happening on the right side of both the fi nancial year and calendar year and there is some optimism creeping back in. We are feeling buoyed about the effect of that magazine’s sale. The other signifi cant point to note is that in tough times, people spend more time in the home and by themselves and the nature of our magazines – in particular, food magazines and home magazines – have been protected due to the cocooning effect that happens during an economic downturn. We believe our stable has been more protected than some of the mass weeklies that have become more vulnerable because of the frequency. Maybe people aren’t going to eat out as much, but they still have to feed themselves and their families every day. Our circulations have remained stable which has probably helped advertising revenue as well. What are the major challenges your company is facing this year in light of the economic downturn? In many ways I feel like we have gone through our toughest time: we have re-organised and restructured our business. I think it places us in a much better position to respond to market changes and needs. I believe it is important that we look after the people in our business and keep them buoyed creatively, as well as being engaged in the business. We have a year to spend time creatively ensuring that we have the best products that we can produce – it is the most stimulating and exciting part of our business. This year is all about producing the best magazines by delivering exactly what our advertisers and clients want – the stronger our product, the better it is for the end client. We aim for a year spent striving for that excellence in insight. MEDIA Trends + Strategy p32-35_consumer mags.indd 33 p32-35_consumer mags.indd 33 34 3/7/09 11:58:55 AM 3/7/09 11:58:55 AM
MT Resource 2010