The Mario Blog
02.21.2017—3am
In Dubai: Gulf News launches Sponsored Content

Sponsored/Paid Content is among the most popular strategies for newspapers and magazines as they seek new ways to monetize their operations in 2017. Just this week, the Gulf News of Dubai launched its Sponsored Content initiative.

Dear readers, we are in the process of transitioning to WordPress for how we publish this blog, so the next blog post will be Monday, Feb. 27. Thanks for your patience and cooperation.

 ——

It has been in the makings for months, and the launch this week of the Gulf News’ sponsored content initiative got off to a great start with a most helpful piece about Your Ultimate Guide to Museums in the UAE.  I have been honored to have been invited to work with the collaborative team of the Gulf News, a group that included editorial, advertising, technology and marketing representatives.

With this first launched project, the Gulf News introduces its own internal agency for clients. Called REACH by Gulf News, it will work with advertising clients to make sponsored content, such as stories and video presentations that look and feel like journalistic content.  This, of course, in addition to continuing to provide traditional, conventional advertising.

More publishers are turning to sponsored/paid content as an alternative offering to attract advertisers to their online advertising business.  But, print, too, is part of sponsored content, and the Gulf News will include sponsored content as part of its daily print edition.

Advertisers and publishers are meeting to establish priorities and decide what is best for both.  Advertisers look to media companies for a full range of services, and, more importantly, to have their message appear as part of a recognized and respected media brand.

The New York Times, for example, has created T Brand, its own brand marketing unit.  Its motto: Stories that Influence the Influential.

 

T Brand Studio Sizzle 2016 from T Brand Studio on Vimeo.

Take a look inside the Times’ T Brand Studio here.

At the top of the list in terms of defining sponsored content: the stories published are those that the newspaper itself would be proud to publish.  While there is a sponsored brand behind the stories, the content itself is of high journalistic quality, and one that readers may find interesting and useful.

At the Gulf News

The REACH by Gulf News project has been in the makings for about six months, with a working group that includes a team from both the editorial and advertising teams, with marketing and technology also represented.

What the Gulf News and other media companies hope to accomplish, beyond a new monetizing strategy, is to create and distribute insightful brand content and experiences that shape opinion, inform readers and provide useful information.

“Speaking of Reach, in fact, we’ve been doing sponsored and paid content for many years through our Supplements section. It has been part of our print package. So, when the concept of paid online content and narrative ads came to life with the digital evolution, we found it to be an excellent opportunity to explore and be part of the experience that big media houses globally are undergoing. The idea and its implementation is not a surprise for us. We’ve been doing it traditionally. We hope that we will do as well with Reach as we have with Supplements. We will strive to ensure there is no compromise of quality in editorial content, so we can maintain the trust of both our readers and customers,” says Abdul Hamid Ahmad , Editor-in-Chief & Executive Director Publications

 

Speaking Engagements Coming Up

I will be speaking at these two events in the weeks ahead:


WAN-IFRA Middle East Conference 2017
March 14
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

My topic will be about the importance of Sponsored Content, with emphasis on the recent launch of the Gulf NewsREACH by Gulf News project.

For more information: https://events.wan-ifra.org/events/wan-ifra-middle-east-conference-2017

VOZ Media Conference
April 6
Vienna, Austria

I will be the keynote speaker for this event, with emphasis on Visual Storytelling across platforms, the role of print media in the digital age and the importance of sponsored content strategies.

For more information: http://www.voez.at

TheMarioBlog post #2574

Blog Post09.22.2017—4am
Mexican earthquake: front pages tell the story
Blog Post09.21.2017—1am
Saying adios to The Village Voice in print
Blog Post09.20.2017—1am
Vogue in print: “point of view, attitude”
Blog Post09.19.2017—1am
The Boston Scene
Blog Post09.18.2017—1am
Thoughts on print: still here, still full of surprises, worthy of attention
Blog Post09.15.2017—1am
New report: For publishers, Facebook is no revenue panacea
Blog Post09.14.2017—1am
Smartphones and web traffic: where the action is
Blog Post09.13.2017—1am
Paris Match: a good visit and big plans
Blog Post09.12.2017—1am
Irma: the morning after
Blog Post09.11.2017—3am
Irma: the bad girl on every front page
Blog Post09.08.2017—1am
Type Magazine: the new Roger Black project
Blog Post09.06.2017—1am
Linear storytelling for mobile: a good example
Blog Post09.05.2017—1am
For Le Journal de Montreal: article page acts like home page, sort of
Blog Post09.01.2017—1am
Facebook the new front page?
Blog Post08.31.2017—1am
When it comes to news, “designer labels” can make the difference
Blog Post08.30.2017—1am
Those fabulous print glossy ads
Blog Post08.29.2017—1am
From here and there: what the email basket brings
Blog Post08.28.2017—1am
Why I would show this Times Mag cover to my class
Blog Post08.24.2017—1am
A caricature for the ages
Blog Post08.23.2017—1am
It was the day Americans looked up!
Blog Post08.22.2017—1am
It was all about the solar eclipse of the century
Blog Post08.21.2017—1am
A day without local news? In Minnesota, readers experience it
Blog Post08.18.2017—1am
The good news about print (in the USA)
Blog Post08.17.2017—1am
What’s your lead story right this minute?
Blog Post08.16.2017—1am
Panama’s La Prensa: workshop digital media, day 2
Blog Post08.15.2017—1am
Panama’s La Prensa: digital workshop
Blog Post08.14.2017—1am
Millennials still like their Facebook
Blog Post08.11.2017—1am
All about the Eclipse: the Times nailed it.
Blog Post08.10.2017—1am
It’s the Monocle printed newspaper again
Blog Post08.09.2017—1am
Who pays for news, and who believes the news? Report tells us
Blog Post08.08.2017—1am
Workshops: linear visual storytelling
Blog Post08.07.2017—1am
For newspaper print editions: the power of the headline
Blog Post08.04.2017—1am
Behold the iPad: it’s still part of the media quintet
Blog Post08.03.2017—1am
At the NYTimes: push for customized content moves forward
Blog Post08.02.2017—1am
The Mooch’s quick departure on the front pages
Blog Post08.01.2017—1am
At The New York Times: aggressively pushing digital subscriptions
Blog Post07.31.2017—1am
Thoughts while on vacation
Blog Post07.14.2017—1am
Local newspapers, new digital strategies that work
Blog Post07.13.2017—1am
The Donald Jr. Russian story: It’s somewhere on that front page
Blog Post07.12.2017—1am
Ecuador: where print still dominates
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.