|From: Earl J. Wilkinson [email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 5:41 PM
Subject: Newspapers and Academic Research
Last year, you and I visited at the AEJMC Annual Convention in Miami about the International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA) becoming involved with AEJMC. The feeling that I took from the Miami convention was that the academic community wanted a closer connection to the newspaper industry yet was not sure the best way to achieve this. I had similar conversations with other individuals at the convention, notably Joe Foote.
In reviewing the hundreds of academic papers that reside at Michigan State University through AEJMC, our evaluation for the newspaper executives to whom we report is that only a small percentage of research conducted since 1993 has tangible business applicability to newspapers. Having said this, some of the research that has been done is of potentially high value to top-level newspaper executives, and this should be highlighted.
Given these findings, we have launched two initiatives that may help bridge the gap between our two worlds, one with long-term implications and another with short-term implications:
• Recommendations to Academic Community –The attached document represents our core findings and the verbatim responses from a survey of INMA members this month asking them directly what issues they would like the academic community to cover in their research. The findings are tangible and illustrative of the mindset of newspaper industry chief executive officers, general managers, and senior commercial and marketing executives.
• Highlighting the Best Academic Research From the Past Decade –We have identified nearly 60 academic papers from the past decade of business or historic significance. We have created an area of INMA.org that includes the paper’s title, author, and abstract – and either linked to the MSU paper or linked to a PDF/Word document contributed to INMA by the original author(s), which we’ve solicited during the past four weeks. When enough papers have been collected, we will make this area of INMA.org available for free to the association’s global community, likely in mid- to late-August.
As you know, INMA is a unique conduit to the business side of newspapers. The community we serve today has 4,500 members in 99 countries – 14 percent of whom are marketing executives, 13 percent general management, 13 percent circulation, 12 percent advertising, 9 percent research/planning, and 8 percent senior editors. Another 17 percent are in a “business development” capacity.
I hope what we are working on is of high interest to you and AEJMC. I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
Earl J. Wilkinson
International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA)