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What we learnt from the TOGETHER stage at PPA Festival

25 May 2022

The TOGETHER stage at PPA Festival was where the whole publishing family came together for debate, discussion and discovery. We covered everything from leadership, negotiation how tos, revenue diversity, and the keys to creating a successful company culture.

The stage was christened with two inspirational speeches from PPA Chair, Nina Wright and PPA CEO Sajeeda Merali. Sajeeda unpacked the true meaning of interest, musing it’s ultimately a reflection of connection between people and belonging. Nina spoke of unity and strength in numbers. She championed the idea that we as an industry are stronger together, putting us in the best possible position for ongoing lobbying work conducted by the PPA.

With the 500 delegates feeling energised by the uplifting commentary on their sector, the panels began…

Asset valuation: How to cultivate a successful company culture

This panel with speakers Gnosoulla Tsioupra-Lewis, Chief Talent Officer from The Economist Group, Mary Langan, Founder & Director of Nua Training, Simon Foster, Group CEO of Arc, and Tom Bureau Executive Chairman of Immediate Media, discussed the magic ingredients for creating a happy work force. The overarching focus was around investing into your people. People were discussed as publishers’ most valuable assets, with the creation of a happy company culture as the secret weapon. But how do you create such a culture? Lead by example, everyone from the top of the organisation to new starters should embody the company culture.

Take no hostages: A masterclass in negotiation success

Simon Horton, Founder of Negotiation Mastery gave the audience a practical summary of tools and techniques for avoiding friction and negotiating success. Approach the person you are negotiating with much like a lobster, get beyond their hard shell and build a genuine rapport. Easy to remember right?

Revenue diversity: The business models shaping publishing's future

For this session we had contributions from a spectrum of speakers from our sector including: Brian Morrissey, Founder of The Rebooting, former Editor-In-Chief of Digiday, Neil Michael, International Chief Revenue Officer at Foundry, Clare Dove, UK Group Commercial Director at Future and Rachael Prasher, Managing Director of the Automotive Division at Haymarket Media Group. The four different businesses represented by these speakers function in very different ways, but one thing was clear, how you treat your audience is key to the management of smooth transitions into forging new revenue streams.

Best-laid plans: Leadership strategies for turbulent times

One of the joys of the PPA Festival was the opportunity to gather titans within specialist media. this panel was no exception. We were joined by Charles Reed, CEO of William Reed, Nicky Holt, Managing Director of Commercial at Bauer Media, Nicola Bates, CEO of Autovia, and Nina Wright, CEO of Harmsworth Media and PPA Chair. The group reflected on the difficulties caused by pandemic, increasing paper costs and global conflict. Their advice was to unite under your brands to build resilience in uncertain times.

Consuming Passions: our human need for shared connections and how magazines are propelling engagement at a time of change

For our final session of the day, the Together stage was graced with an enlightening discussion from Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK, and Claire Beale, Partner at Creative Salon. Lots was covered in this session but there was one particular thought-provoking moment that stayed with our delegates. Rory argued that solely focussing on subscription generation potentially alienates a segment of audience that only want to read a few articles a month. It was argued that selling content should not be treated as an all or nothing issue. What was expressly clear through this discussion, was that magazine media continues to be deeply trusted and engaged with by its specialist audiences.

The TOGETHER stage really had a topic for everyone within specialist media and was filled with thought provoking insight from start to finish. One thing was clear making sure your communication streams with your teams and your audiences are the keys to success.

The TOGETHER stage was sponsored by Air Business

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