Questions on the future of the print industry and how it can withstand the onslaught of the digital revolution abound during these times. How does one reach the twitter or instagram generation who are highly visual and have short attention spans? How does one rise above the clutter of the media out there trying to sell you something, whether these are billboards along EDSA or TV ads during your favorite game show?

There seems to be a bit of a “skirmish” when it comes to online versus print journalism where online is described as lazy, or even sometimes irresponsible journalism while print might be called the “real deal” but not fast enough, too bulky or even Jurassic. During these times when information is so easily accessible (and free), both the print and online efforts must have a very clear value proposition for a very clear target market.

And lest one still believes that the print and online industries have different markets, here is one case that actually bridged both – recently, Tricia Gosingtian, known as a photographer/blogger together with Summit Media, collaborated to produce a book entitled “Tricia Gosingtian's 150 Style Essentials for Every Girl” and according to National Bookstore, this book broke sales records of launch day sales by a local author despite the weekday launch schedule. Followers, fans, friends, and family came to support this effort which brought together the online and print worlds into one book. (Full disclosure: Tricia is my daughter.)

A pioneer in blogging while still studying in college, first about photography then on fashion and then on travel, Tricia’s blog (http://blog.triciagosingtian.com)has continuously evolved to express her various interests and talents. Since she is the brand, and her blog is her vehicle for self-expression, this evolution is natural, organic and can even be described as “painless”. I feel it is this core that has sustained her in her field.

As a father, I did not understand all of this at first. I remember seeing her always in the house and calling her attention to get a real job after her graduation in 2010. I wanted her to make use of her talent, since after all, she was awarded the Loyola Art Award in photography of her Ateneo batch and was already earning a little from some sideline photography work. She had to explain to me what this working-from-home thing was – a real job called blogging. I did not even know how extensive the reach of the internet was until she got good local and international reviews of her content that led to her being invited to cover different events in countries like US, Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Little did I know that she was already using her talents well – it was just in a way that I couldn't understand back then.

I became an instant convert after reading the content of her blog (also known as Tricia will go places), so much that I decided to collaborate with her as business adviser. Discussing her brand positioning, I realized her instinctive practice of marketing as she readily defined the three unique points of her blog, namely professional photos, original content and positive messages. She also insisted to grow organically instead of resorting to the usual freebies to attract the wrong segment of followers, and I agreed with her belief that quality content will eventually win over short-term contests.

I later discovered market research data about the declining trends of consumers visiting company websites as they increasingly resorted to the personal experiences of top bloggers to know the truths about a brand. The internet has become the zero moment of truth.

I learned several things from being the business manager of her blog for the last two years, and these lessons can be used by any other brand or blogger for that matter: order of market entry is important but continuous reinvention to stay relevant is equally important; personal branding is indispensable; consistent quality content attracts advertisers; and a business manager must understand the industry so the collaboration produces a total and unshakable belief that can do wonders. Just like a collaboration that can exist between print and online – instead of resisting each other, here is a case where the results are win-win.
 


Josiah Go is Chairman of Mansmith and Fielders Inc. He is the first and only Filipino to have been awarded the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) in business education. Follow him at twitter @josiahgo.