New era at Business News

10/04/2013 - 07:00

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Business News is breaking through the white noise of the daily news cycle to offer a new service providing people with the information they want, when and where they want it, and, most importantly, in the format that best suits them.

Business News is breaking through the white noise of the daily news cycle to offer a new service providing people with the information they want, when and where they want it, and, most importantly, in the format that best suits them.

At the end of a two-year process, the company is unveiling its new digital strategy, driven by a convergence of news, analysis and data.

For 20 years the weekly WA Business News print newspaper has rolled off the presses, giving readers in-depth insight into the state’s business community and issues affecting it.

More recently, that has been complemented by breaking news updates online and through twice-daily business alerts.

That will now be backed up by a new online resource, Business News IQ, which is the tool the company’s journalists themselves use to gather data to form stories – now available for subscriber use.

In this edition, the first of the redesigned Business News paper, readers will notice more of an emphasis on images and graphics, but also detailed data drawn directly from the Business News IQ tool, which has helped form the story.

Executive chairman Elton Swarts has led the change, and says the redesigned product and new digital business strategy aligns with the changing needs of today’s modern readers.

“Our busy customers have told us that they are looking for a richer news and data combination, and we believe that we have started delivering this through Business News IQ,” Mr Swarts said.

“Our readers will get more context and numbers enabling comparisons around news – giving them more unique and compelling insights.”

The tool provides users with data on more than 3,200 WA companies and more than 9,000 executives, which Mr Swarts said gave them the opportunity to know much more about the world they operated in.

“We are now much more than just a newspaper business,” he said.

“We are embracing the opportunities of the digital age to become a news and information service.”

Matching the business’s move towards more linear production of data and news has been a rejuvenated brand and removal of ‘Western Australian’ in the name.

The focus would still be on the WA business community, but the historical name needed to be freshened up.

“We know that already everyone calls us Business News,” Mr Swarts said.

“And let’s be honest – WA Business News has just become a bit too much of a mouthful.”

The new digital business strategy is a tipping point for the company, which recognises that as well as finding out information for itself, readers may also want to be guided through the big issues.

The weekly print edition will enable this by retaining the in-depth analytical features the newspaper has become renowned for.

Twice-daily opinion and analysis of the key stories and issues will also now be included in emails delivered straight to subscribers’ inboxes.

The company is also breaking new ground by embarking on a foray into video journalism – providing a daily video wrap-up of the top breaking news stories. All of these services are platform agnostic, meaning readers can access data, news and analysis from their desktop, tablet or mobile device.

Mr Swarts said while it was an exciting time for the company, it marked only the start of a longer digital journey as Business News worked to enrich the online tools with more data.

“Our journey is akin to that of the Chinese bamboo plant; it spends five years growing its roots system with no evidence of that on the surface,” he said.

“But when the root network is established it grows as fast as 80 feet in six weeks.”

This week marks the launch of the ‘beta’ version of the digital Business News offering.

“This is the beginning of a new journey and we want to give our subscribers a service which best suits them, so we’re going to be continually working to improve our product,” Mr Swarts said.

Part of that improvement will be aided by the addition of WA digital entrepreneur Charlie Gunningham – the man behind aussiehome.com, which he sold to REIWA.

Mr Gunningham will join Business News next month and lead the company’s focus on digital media, including social media – an important part of Business News’ future, Mr Swarts said.

“At Business News we see an important role for us in sharing our insights and creating conversations with our readers around the issues that are important opportunities for them.” 

 

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