Consultancy report for a newspaper company

Consultancy Report to the Daily Sun on how it can compete in a declining market

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report examines the challenges facing Nigeria’s Daily Sun newspaper as an agent of change and watchdog of the society. It reviews the survival strategies adopted by the company in its strategic business of nation-building and interfacing between the people and government in a largely uneducated and poverty-stricken society scorched by global economic recession and its increasing impact on the Newspaper industry. Admittedly, these daunting obligations and threats are most likely to annihilate profitability and push the publishing house out of business if adopted solutions prove ineffective. This study therefore assesses the viability of print advertising, consumer-oriented marketing strategies, responsive business models and downsizing, as tools for reducing production cost and creating value.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE REPORT

This study weighs possibilities that the Daily Sun (also referred to as the Sun) will survive beyond 2030 only if it embraces mergers and acquisitions, changes in traditional ways of gathering and circulating news, and experiment with publications in local languages, among others. The discourse is intended for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with focus on brief analyses of the company history, its business framework, and past achievements, structural loopholes, and recommendations.

 

CLIENT BRIEF

As a media organization, the Sun plays the role of a public umpire but is also a business venture which employs suitable and contextual business models for sustainability (Chesbrough and Rosenbloom., 2002). Interestingly, findings from the media in intermediate and developing countries show that the newspaper/broadcast industry is booming whereas facts from developed countries suggest a contrast (Bagdikian., 2000). Although most researchers believe the disparity is an outcome of choices in adopted business models, many other scholars point to the use of multimedia outlets and new media technologies (e-Readers, tablets and smartphones etc.) as distribution channels by internet companies such as Google, Twitter, Blogs, WhatsApp and Facebook that deliver information in formulaic manner. Although developments in these global media platforms have been criticized for the plunge in print advertising income since early 2017, this trend has continued with many previously Daily Sun advertisers switching to other competitive online podiums. From this backdrop, finding ways through which the Sun can compete favourably in a declining economy forms the basis of this research (Collins., 2011).

Lack of critical research on workable business models tend to be paying off for traditional media in intermediate and developing economies as earlier asserted. Therefore, this study seeks to identify some of the business models employed by media organizations in India, China and South Africa for further examination and to convince the Sun newspaper CEO that there are still viable business opportunities for Nigeria’s newspaper industry (Tuchman., 1973).

BACKGROUND

Nigeria is one of the world’s most populous countries, with an estimated population of over 170 million and about 250 multi-cultural ethnic groups who speak more than 40 dialects and have diverse religious backgrounds. Its background is that of a heterogenous makeup with multiplicity of cultures and interests which presents the media, and particularly Daily Sun, with an uphill task of educating, informing and entertaining the masses in line with its objectives as a business venture: building relationships, sustaining profits, and participating in social and civic activities (Wood., 2006).

According to Udoakah (2012), information has enormous powers, but in spite of the media’s colossal position, championed by Daily Sun in Nigeria, the newspaper industry has experienced stunted financial growth, with worse impact from unfavourable governmental policies, poor reading culture and the abysmally low disposable income of an average Nigerian citizen. In addition, the global economic recession which manifests in dwindling oil prices and reduced Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forcefully increased the cost of Daily Sun newspaper productions thereby requiring a dynamic business strategy that ensures value creation and sustained profits in a society with about 60% literacy level (Ekeanyanwu., 2015).

The Daily Sun gradually moved from a phase of prosperity to decreasing fortunes in the last five years and is facing a chronic existential crisis that demands new survival strategies against imminent bankruptcy. This economic situation has forced the news outlet to lay off staff and grapple with other measures to remain in competition. Moreover, several newspaper houses around Nigeria and the world have experienced drastic changes in their business operations thanks to new developments in technology and social media which significantly changed the nature of news delivery and consequentially thinned advertising revenues in print media as advertisers seek better visibility and audience for their messages (Weezle., 2010).

With newspaper circulation strength of about half a million in a country inhabited by over 170 million, there is no doubt that Nigeria’s print media is currently in crisis and requires reliable, productive and sustainable business models to compete from a position of strength.

This research aims at providing answers to the following questions:

  1. Is value creation important to the newspaper industry?
  2. What is the current situation of print media in Nigeria?
  3. How will the Daily Sun achieve competitive advantaged?
  4. How will the media house sustain profits in both short and long-term?