Author Archives: Beatrice Harper

2015 PPA Independent Publisher Conference and Awards



The PPA Independent Publisher Conference and Awards 2015 took place at The Brewery on 9th December.

The morning offered a huge range of presentations across two streams focusing on strategy and content. Afterwards, 400 publishing professionals attended the glittery lunch at which the 2015 winners were announced and the awards presented. These included our own Atwood Tate MD, Claire Law, who presented the Business Media Brand of the Year award to The Drum, Carynx Group.


The strategy stream kicked off with a series of case studies examining how publishers are tackling the area of live events, digital publishing, retail and mobile. Highlights included Rhinegold’s MD Ciaran Morton talking about Rhinegold Live, an innovative (free) rush hour concert series.  We also heard from Alex Beaumont, Cogora MD; Andy Salter, Road Transport Media MD; Dan Sims, Retail Director, Seymour; and Jonny Kaldor, Kaldor’s CEO.

Later sessions included “How to build and retain a strong team to drive business success”, offering top tips on two contrasting approaches from Terry Grimwood  (Publishing Director at DJ Murphy) and  Marc Hartog (Founder & CEO, Apptitude Media).  An insight into native and programmatic Advertising was offered by Richard Johnstone, Editorial Director, The Drum and Carole Jordorson , Digital Strategist at  Digital Heights.

The morning closed with a fascinating panel presentation on “20 Things you need to know about Digital Publishing” delivered by five leading experts , Jonathan Collins, CEO, Affino; Fiona Evans, Director of Publishing Partnerships, Collective; Esther Kezia Harding, Digital Editor and Designer, Page Lizard; and Michael Kowalski, Founder, Contentment.

Altogether a great day!


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Tech Talks

Tech Talks: Ecommerce is Moving into Content PPA HQ 16th June 2015, one of the PPA’s Digital Masterclass Series

The PPA is inviting publishers to take part in Tech Talks – a new series of digital masterclasses for PPA members. Each of the Tech Talks sessions focuses on a specific area of digital publishing.

Ecommerce is Moving into Content
Since Amazon emerged in the late 90s, there has not been much change in eCommerce. However, a new trend is emerging, and the largest digital publishers and platforms are introducing features and solutions, enabling users to buy what they read about, without leaving the site – reversing the flow, so the shopping experience is brought to the user, rather than redirecting the user to the shop.
This was a fascinating presentation by Simon Goldschmidt, the CEO of Atosho, which, in 2011, was the first company to launch a platform for “distributed ecommerce”.
We heard how publishers are monetising content in a different way, driving revenue as well as increasing reader engagement, by providing an integrated service.
It is hard convincing your readers to change their buying habits, and, no surprise, Google is leading the way here. But publishers such as Condé Nast are also climbing on the bandwagon.
Seasonality is key and typical purchases include DIY, beauty, home and garden and some fashion.
For the consumer, it’s a convenient and seamless purchasing experience that is offered to them when they are “inspired” to make a purchase.
Content matters – readers are more likely to make a purchase that is embedded in, for instance, the pieces written by their favourite sports journalist.
For the publisher, it is a good way to monetise what would otherwise be free content.
I’m sure we’ll all be hearing much more about this in the future!

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Fifth annual PPA Independent Publisher Conference and Awards 2013

“Don’t write off print quite yet!” was one of the messages that came through at the PPA Independent Publisher Conference held at the Montcalm Hotel on Dec 6th.

PPA CEO Barry McIlheney kicked off a packed agenda, interspersed with a series of polls conducted via hand-held voting machines (and announced by Conference Moderator Mark Frith). That said, although just over half of the audience (53%) had launched a new print product during the past two years, three-quarters (75.4%) had launched a new digital product. Some 40% saw a printed magazine as still playing a central role in their business in two years’ time, compared with 60% who saw it as one of a range of products.

We also learned that 48% of independent publishers had a full social media strategy in place while 51% tweeted occasionally, leaving a mere 1% claiming that a social media strategy was simply not on their radar.

Other gems of information we gleaned from the event included the fact that the total UK digital market is worth c £25 mn per year and that 96% of all app downloads result in no sale (Nick Howitt, Frontline). Farmers count their pennies and share their magazines – each issue of Farmers Weekly is read by 2.8 people. However, they’re not all behind the times, with 31% of subscribers owning a tablet and 23% using it for business (Luise Mulholland, Farmers Weekly, RBI). Jeanette Carlsson (@newmedia2.0) highlighted the need to focus on “useful” data rather than “big” data; Will Drew (Restaurant Magazine, William Reed Business Media) described the phenomenal success of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants which has acquired a huge social media following and made the transition from B2B to B2C. Other fascinating contributors included: Jim Bilton (Wessenden Marketing); Paul Newman (Photography Portfolio, Future); Alex Martinez (Sigaria, winner of Digital Product of the Year); Jane Toft (Mollie Makes, Future); Liezl Hollander (Dennis Publishing); and the final View from the Top panel discussion with Graham Bond (Hemming Group), Marc Hartog (Apptitude Media), Louise Kittle (IOM Communications) and Ian McAuliffe (Think, winner of Independent Publishing Company of the Year, Team of the Year and Customer Magazine of the Year).


The PPA Independent Publisher Conference and Awards 2013

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