Continual innovation is key to maintain relevance in the changing newspaper publishing market
UPM Communication Papers sponsored the WAN-IFRA Print Innovation Awards 2019. Martin Schorn, Director Technical Customer Service, News & Retail at UPM Communication Papers presented the awards along with the representatives from the other sponsors. Schorn emphasised in his interview in the lead up to the IFRA World Publishing Expo the importance of continual innovation in news publishing in order to remain relevant in today's changing market.
Your company is actively supporting the Print Innovation Awards 2019. Why – in your opinion – is print innovation important for the news publishing industry?
Continual innovation is key to news publishing maintaining its relevance in today’s rapidly changing news, advertising and marketing mix. Print continues to add value in the wider media mix, offering something completely different in terms of physical engagement, time of contact with the content, and a sense of trustworthiness and quality that digital cannot offer to the same extent.
As a reliable supplier, we believe in delivering innovative solutions that support our customers business. And as our customers innovate themselves through print to evolve their offering, it’s important that we as paper producers stay on top of these publishing trends and ensure that their needs can be met quickly and effectively.
Investing in new products and technologies is crucial to this and requires in-depth knowledge of both market and technology trends. Likewise, an understanding of innovation trends in news publishing helps to steer development at UPM.
There is a wide range of innovations. The Print Innovation Awards offer seven categories and there might even be more areas of innovations. Which kind of print innovations do you think are most interesting and why?
Some of the most interesting innovations are those which developed the role of news publishing and the unique qualities it brings by appealing to new audiences, playing on the strengths of print to convey a message and hold the reader’s attention, and aligning print media with the increasing environmental demands of society.
For us as paper producer a key focus is on innovating for increased operational efficiency throughout the whole supply chain, without compromising on the quality of our product, supporting cost savings and efficiency improvements. Innovations in operational efficiency and resource efficiency also deliver benefits in terms of environmental efficiency, a great example of which is the development of lower gsm papers which deliver the same performance, but with savings in cost and raw materials.
Can innovations in print help publishing companies to improve their business situation or extend their market? Do you know of any examples or case studies?
We’ve seen some truly impressive innovations both from, and in partnership with, our customers. One which shows that the future of newspaper publishing is in good hands is a young innovator from Isle of Man Newspapers in the UK, a winner of the Young Achiever of the Year award 2018 at the News awards. Together with her team, the winner has helped Isle of Man Newspapers transition from traditional print advertising with standard sized adverts and fixed shapes to bespoke advertising with custom shapes and techniques. The novel advertising approach has helped the newspaper engage with new advertisers and readers as well as generating impressive results for both the newspaper and its clients.
What has to happen that print innovations are promoted more widely in the international publishing industry? What can publishing companies do, and what should print customers look for?
There is still a lot of innovation and “life” in the printing industry, so customers and we all should proudly talk about it, wherever and whenever possible. All channels to report about printing innovations and communicate best practices in the printing industry should be used. The Print Innovation Awards is great idea and a good opportunity to do this.
About WAN-IFRA Print Innovation Awards 2019
As a global print innovation award competition, the Print Innovation Awards identifies the world's most innovative print advertising and products of newspaper and magazine publishers. Since many associate news media innovation with digital innovation, this is a critical competition to show that there are innovative opportunities within print that are not possible with digital media and other innovative opportunities that uniquely integrate the digital with the printed word.
Martin Schorn's interview was first published on WAN-IFRA's website.
Director Technical Customer Service,
News & Retail,
UPM Communication Papers