Sec.Coloma to media: Focus on local content PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 August 2012 13:47

The head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has urged local media, particularly print, to focus on local content to be able to survive the challenge of dwindling circulation.

PCOO Secretary Herminio B. Coloma said the print media should now consider its dwindling circulation and find ways to hurdle this challenge to survive, including the use of social networks.

Coloma said that he already shared suggestions to this sector during the Congress of the Print Media Organization (PRIMO) where he was invited to talk some two years ago.

In his address to the officers and members of the Zamboanga Press Club last weekend in this city, the PCOO secretary said local media, particularly newspapers and others in the print sector, should “strengthen (their) focus on local content or on community news.”

“One area where (there is prospect of) massive growth is local media as we all lose our sense of community due to our busier lives and the rise of local listing services and content that is hyper local in focus.”

“We are seeing services like Google, Twitter and Foursquare focus in on the local markets as they target the advertising dollars of smaller businesses.”

In this manner “they hope to to attract customers and newspapers and publications should be looking at supporting those business models with content focused on local markets,” he said.

Coloma emphasized that “the smaller publications are never going to be able to compete with their larger rivals for advertising models.”

However, he said that they (local media) should focus on local content that might just be to their advantage.”

He said that, “While this observation was made within a North American context, I submit that this is equally valid in the Philippine setting, given that we are also affected by the onset of technology.”

He also said that leading national broadsheets, already maintain online versions of their hard copy.

In Zamboanga City, the Daily Zamboanga Times, Zamboanga Today, Zamboanga Peninsula Journal and the Mindanao Examiner already maintain their online editions of their newspapers.

Several other journalists in this city have also put up their own on-line newspapers and blogspots, hoping to cash in on internet or online earnings.
They also engage their readers through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Coloma estimated that there “are now 33 million internet users in the country. There are also more than 75 million mobile phone subscribers, most of whom would also be internet users because of the onset of internet-capable smart phones.

“We who are engaged in communicating for our President and our government actively communicate through the social media,” he said.

Secretary Coloma also revealed that President Aquino’s “website has more than 2 million fans. His Twitter account has more than 1 million followers.”
“We monitor the public pulse continuously through Facebook and Twitter. We analyze trends in public opinion and channel the debate on key public issues on themes that promote the national well-being,” he added.

In the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), “we use SMS (or text) messaging extensively. We link up with tens of thousands of opinion leaders, local government officials, community and youth leaders and other stakeholders through text messaging,” Coloma said.

“We have linked up with the major telecommunications companies for emergency test messaging, which we did when typhoon Pedring hit Central Luzon last October,” he added.

In the Zamboanga Peninsula and the Sulu Archipelago, the media is concentrated in Zamboanga City with at least five newspapers, about half a dozen television stations and over a dozen  radio stations.  — PIA