Newspaper publishing companiesIntroduction:Newspaper publishing companies have to discover the most appropriate way in theinformation and communication landscapes to market it in an effective way. Thisinformation and communication landscape need to be innovative and distinguishedthan the competitors. In order to survive and prosper in the rapid changingcompetitive business environment, newspaper industry needs to make a good changewith the viable competitive strategy. They have to make adequate adaptations to thesedynamic changes and respond quickly to create or to sustain their competitiveadvantage (Picard, 2003). This paper contributes to the analysis of particularnewspaper strategy by putting the force activities in the market, Market mix, SWATand PEST analysis and strategy overall marketing and competitive strategy that helpthe newspaper to achieve success in the competitive environmentMy selected newspaper is name Headline Daily which is the Chinese newspaper, was launched on July 12, 2005 by sing to Newspaper Group Limited and become the second free Chinese newspaper published officially in Hong Kong. This is the free distributed paper, only distributed on weekdays and is aimed to the working class. The estimated average daily circulation of the paper is around 500,000 ( source: Yahoo. Hong Kong). This paper provides local and international news as well as articles on business, entertainment, lifestyle and sports.Marketing Mix:Product - It does not have to be tangible and provide value to the customers. It refersto the new product concept or improvising the existing products. The Headline Dailypresent the most important news of the in a concise way in order to make the readersup to date, beside that comprehensive news and information are also given ondifferent areas in a short read. The total number of pages is around 24-30 pages whichconsists Headline, Local news, internatinal news, financial news (including realestate, Business and stock market), sports news, life style, entertainment and rest ofthe pages uses for advertisement.Price - Price of the particular product set by considering the competitives environmentand must entail profit. There are many types of pricing strategy included comprisediscount, offer and other like. Headline Daily is the free newspaper, therefore there isno specific price fixed for selling to the customers along with no other special offers.Place - Place refers to the particular area where customers can buy the products andthe process by which that product reach to the customers. Every commodity has gottheir specific place to sell out. And product reach to the customer hand throughdifferent channels, like internet, wholesalers and retailers. The Headline Daily,normally distributed during morning peak hours during the weekdays, except onweekend and other holidays. There are more than 600 places in the city centre ofHong Kong where the Headline Daily is distributed. The Headline dailys has gotthree fixed distribution media, such as McDonalds restaurants, KCR stations (except
Tsim Sha Tsui East, Tai Wai, Racecourse and Sheung Shui Stations), and nearly 500residential estates (cited taken fromhttp://asiamedia.typepad.com/asiareview/2005/07/tabloid_newspap.htm). Moreover,the papers are distributed at commercial buildings, bus/mini-bus stops and shoppingmalls all around Hong Kong. Headline Today distributed from the eye catching redshelfs at most location and at certain location is is distributed by the staffsPromotion - Promotions refers to the process, through this company can let customersknow about their products and different types of offers and distinguished features ofthat product from the other products. Mainly it is communication process regardingthe benefits of using a particular product or service rather than just talking about itsfeatures. Since there is large number of free newspaper are appering in regular basisso there is an instance competitions among the all free newspapers. So in order todistinguished itself from other free newspaper, Headline Deaily always make someinnovation to bring new experience to the reader. It tries to implement new marketingstrategy such as such as: “lucky draws” & voting games, apple-shaped pelle which isa massage device, which working class readers can use to relax themselves andrelieve their stress, was once offered to readers along with their newspaper. They havegot some promotional issue known as Happy lucky reader where one reader israndomly-chosen in public areas (e.g. in a MTR train) and awarded HK$500 on adaily basisPeople: People are the customers, employees, management and everybody elseinvolved in it. It is essential for everyone to realize that the reputation of the brandthat you are involved with is in the Peoples hands. The Headline Daily targets theworking class people, who are usually too busy to read a large number of pages nor toread every piece of news in detail. These group of people always busy in their everymoment of their life and mostly manage time to look over through news duringtravelling or heaving breakfast.Process - It refers to the way or policy, based on one company provide service to thecustomers and measure the quality of the services provided by the company. It alsorefers whether the service is helpful and provide in timely manner. Process includesall the way of commercial activities to make customers informed in hand about theservices and many such things. The quality and services are very adequate whichmake customer satisfied. From an independent survey (2008) based on the services offree newspaper in Hong Kong, approximate 71% of the total responded agreed on thequality services of Headline daily and make this newspaper the second best popularfree daily Chinese newspaper in Hong Kong. Headline Daily consider the customersatisfaction lever as their height priorities and in every occasion this newspaper try tomake their readers involve with and makes a healthy relation by inviting readers tosubmit news articles for publication in return for rewards as a sign of its cooperationwith the public.Physical - Its an evidence regarding the experience of the producte or service uses bythe customers. When a services goes out to the customers, it is important to find outabout the customers progression and perception regarding the product. Earliermentioned independent survey result indicates the evaluation result is much favorablewith Headline Daily.
SWOT analysisSWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.PEST analysisPEST analysis is the most effective marketing tools which allows a company toevaluate the surrounding environment influences for an organization. This is the way,a company can identify the areas that need to be addressed so that continuousimprovement can be achieved. PEST stands for Political, Economic, Socioculturaland Technological. In order to use this analysis effectively it is necessary to discoverwhat environmental influences are currently affecting the organisation, and which arethe most important both now and over the upcoming few years.Political FactorsPolitical and legal influences have had an impact on Headline Daily in recent years.Recently there made a change in the health & safety legislation and that have meantthat much more emphasis has to be made on ensuring compliance. Therefore each andevery manager has sent to a weeks course in Health & Safety and there is acomprehensive induction to Health & Safety for all new members of staff. This isparticularly relevant to Headline Daily as the environment in inherently dangerouswith high noise levels and fast moving unguarded machinery. If the organisationneeds to have safeguard health and safety large compensation claims to ensue thatthere is nothing threaten the viability of the business.The ‘Working Time directive has also influenced Headline Dealy. Headline Dailyneeds to be printed in twenty-four hours, where many employees have to work atnight shift. Therefore night workers have to be given annual health checks and theirgeneral state of health monitored closely. These cause night shift off to the employeesdue to health reason. This make company confused regarding the shifting of theemployess, since during day time there is limited amount of work available for theworkersEnvironmental protection has also influenced the operation of Deadline Daily inrecent times. Headline Daily uses approximately 50,000 tonnes of newspaper a yearand has waste levels of around 4%. This equates to around 2,000 tonnes of newspaperwaste a year (cited taken from http://www.pacificnews.org/jinn/stories/2.02/960125-newspaper.html). It is important that as much of this is recycled as possible, both assome of the cost of the paper are offset by the recycling company paying for the paperand because of the general environmental responsibility of the organisation.Economic factorsEconomic factors have always an obvious impact on every business such as HeadlineDaily. But the newspaper industry is quite different than the other kinds ofcommodities and compare to those, news paper publishing industry is fortunate,because financial influences do not have a large impact.
Sociocultural factorsExternal sociocultural factors have influenced the labour force. Any changes insocioculture have affected the overall recruitment process of new staff. More over inHong Kong nepotism are found in different part of the society and this practiseinfluence the Headline Daily. It has been a process for long while, if a relative workedfor the company that was sufficient prerequisite to get a job with the company.Technological FactorsAlthough there is no major influence in the last few years, but the influence ofexternal technology is started beginning to create an influence on the daily operationof the Headline Daily. There are particular influences in the production of the printingplates due to huge amount of the automatons and cause in reduction of staff numbers.However this make makes the whole production process fast and ensure moretechnological advancement.Competitive Strategy:A firm can only posse two basic types of competitive advantage: cost leadership ordifferentiation (Porter, 1985). Other strengths and weaknesses are not less importantbut together determine either a cost leadership- or differentiation strategy. Newspaperpublishing companies pursuing a cost leadership strategy aim to become the low costproducer of information and communications products in the industry. These firmsusually have a broad scope and serve many market segments.Cost Leadership StrategyThe competitive cost advantages of publishing companies arises from the differencesin capacity costs and high first-copy costs, like the collection and organization ofeditorial and advertising copy and preparation of the printing mechanism. These costsare ineluctable to produce even one product, while the marginal production costs ofthe subsequent products are very low (Picard and Brody, 1997). Ownership of two ormore newspapers or ownership of broadcast stations and newspapers providespublishing companies opportunities for economies of size in news gathering, insecuring advertising, in financing, and in management by lowering average andmarginal costs. The costs advantages are greater for chain ownership, for highaggregate circulation, and for homogeneous products (Rosse, 1967; Norton andNorton, 1986).The Headline Daily achieve cost advantages with economies of scaleand scope in the following areas:Information technology:Headline Daily has their own effective and modern information technology which istheir great opportunity to achieve economies of scale and scope. Recently they made adevelopment in information technology which facilated an increase in efficient andeffective utilizations of information over range of products, services and customers.Information may allow for scope economies and facilitate competitive advantage topublishing companies that can offer a range of products and services to their
customers. The possibility for reusability of information across customers hasincreased. Moreover these information technology developments can bring somescope to make a differentiation of products and services. By the blessing of the newinformation technology Headline Daily has made possible to combine old and newmedia into one product with an additional element that was missing in the earliermarket.Distribution Network:This is the most important cost driver for any kinds of polishing industry which covera huge percentage of the total cost of a newspaper. Heading Daily reduce their thiscost by utilizing more intensively their transportation network within a geographicallyterritory. These cost savings refer to economies of density.Production:The production process of any publishing products involves high fixed cost. Theseproduction specific fixed costs mainly include the relatively high expenses to set up aproduction process such as the time and expenses require setting up a newspaperbefore printing. Headline Daily produce dominant design products to develop acompetitive advantages. Headline Daily has got their Economies of scale (Massproduction) which Can give Headline Daily enough cost advantage to force smallerand less efficient companies out of the market when the possibility of massproduction increase or when the industry Specific condition become less favorable.Marketing and reputation:The main purpose of marketing is to create a brand image and loyalty of customers.Image and loyalty are related to the notion of ‘reputation. A company can build up areputation with a consistent policy, marketing and highly qualified products andservices (Albarran 1996). Reputation plays an important role in the publishingindustry. Headline Today offers products that crucially depend on their reputation andreliability. In general, customers relate closely the reputation and reliability of thepublishing company to the quality of its products and services. Furthermore, theHeadline Today operates in industries that are characterized by the existence of ademand interdependence process.Innovation:The concept of free newspapers is based on only advertising income and freedistribution in and around metropolitan public transportation system. In general, thefirst movers in the geographically delimited markets had sooner or later to competewith other free newspapers. The R&D costs occurred by the Headline Daily was muchhigher than for the followers, because followers generally have to put less effort onthe legitimacy of the innovation in the market. The existence of economies of scopeand scale e Headline Daily spread the fixed costs of research and development overmore customers. The free newspaper concept of the Headline Daily marketed to alarger consumer base and/or introduced in a wider set of activities.
ConclusionsCompetitive pressure is forcing to the Headline daily to discover their competitiveadvantages, and choose an optimal configuration of services and activities. Due torapid pace of changes in the traditional publishing industry the structure of theindustry may be very different from the past. So in order to survive in the publishingindustry, the Headline Daily is forced to reconsider their strategy and productportfolio. The Headline Dailys ability to change its organizational structure andexisting activities and businesses along the evolution of technology in the industry canbe seen as a major source of their success. Their managers understand the relationshipbetween the competitive dynamics and company strategy and they have betterperspectives of implementing their strategies. The Headline dailys strategic behaviouris quite more realistic and modern which focus more on the market opportunity andmake the best possible output for the company.