In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital age, online news providers are constantly seeking innovative strategies to adapt and thrive in an increasingly competitive market. At the Society for Online News Providers (SONP) event, titled “Survival of Online News Providers in the Changing World”, representatives from various Southeast Asian nations including Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Laos, came together to discuss and exchange insights on this crucial subject.
A Malaysian delegate emphasized the importance of brand positioning at a global level, given the media and advertising explosion currently taking place. To maintain a competitive edge, the delegate advised considering reputation management, communications advisory, customer engagement, and public education. Additionally, audience segmentation and understanding their interests and brand affinity is critical in today’s marketplace, with lead generation being highly valued by media clients.
From Thailand, the suggestion was put forth that media providers ought to identify their niche and target segments. Google reportedly favors evergreen content related to hope, mental health, global warming, and harassment. Creating customized products and content for different platforms is also deemed essential.
Despite strict political restrictions in Myanmar, which have led to the discontinuation of numerous publications as well as VPN usage to bypass these limitations, a representative from the country encouraged maintaining ethical standards even in challenging situations. The Myanmar delegate highlighted the resilience of reporters who face lawsuits and detentions for reporting the truth and insisted that one should never resort to wrongdoing when denied the opportunity to do what is right.
Similarly, the Cambodian representative endorsed the idea of dividing content into various segments and niches, while a delegate from Laos opined that news has become more immediate and inclusive. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many media organizations to adapt their business models in order to survive.
An Indonesian delegate stressed the importance of remaining agile in the face of challenges, warning that content must be accompanied by a viable business model capable of generating income to support news operations. Meanwhile, a Malaysian participant encouraged media outlets to uphold their role as watchdogs to maintain their credibility, even amidst competition with social media and influencers.
Taking place at the Pathumwan Princess Hotel in Pathum Wan district, Bangkok, on June 12, 2023, the SONP seminar proved to be a valuable opportunity for regional online news providers to share their knowledge, experiences, and insights in the fast-paced digital arena. Further information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/SONPThai.