Saturday, February 14, 2009

OPEN LETTER TO THE BUSINESS DAILY


14th February,2009

Pesa tu

Pesa_tu@yahoo.com

Dear editor,

REF: Making the Business Daily a better read

congratulations on launching a new and unique business product. Business Daily provides us with a daily paper that gives us all the business and economic news in one package. It isn’t filled with details of the latest antics or fallouts at ODM or PNU.

Business Daily’s content quality is certainly higher than anything out of the rest of East Africa. Approaching but not next to Financial Mail (South Africa) and probably aiming for Financial Times quality. In order to make it a great paper, I have made the following suggestions and or observations.

1. CONTENT

The target audience for BD has access to Reuters and Bloomberg terminals. Therefore, any reprints from LA times, Reuters or Bloomberg were read a few hours before it was published in the paper. It is very disappointing to buy a paper and find that 40% of it is available for free on the internet (and on other people’s website)

Yes, I’m aware it is challenging to come up with fresh content daily. This can be solved by using your Africa network to deliver more Pan-African business stories. We can have Tanzanian, Zambian or Nigerian business stories as front-page.

How about a profile of African business titans? Do Kenyans know about Reginald Mengi or Gordon Wavamuno?


2. RELEVANCE

It is pointless to reprint Jeremy Clarkson’s motor review that appears on Sunday on The Times website, the following Friday. The target audience read it 5 days before. Plus, Clarkson’s’ cars are hardly on sale here (Kenya).His humor is hard to catch unless; you have an understanding of English snob jokes and sarcasm.

The better alternative would be to get the guys behind the Autozine magazine do a weekly column. Autozine tends to get the balance between auto porn (pictures of Lamborghinis, Ferraris etc) and practicability (reviews of ex Japan used cars that Kenyans buy).They had a review of the used 2001 Toyota Vitz Vs Mazda Demio Vs VW Polo. Cars that your readers can buy. Clarkson had a Ford Kuga review-how accessible is it for your readers?


3. Localise the online forums aka forget Facebook

Facebook may be great for connecting with old pals. I’m on it and love it. I don’t think I or most people would like to argue about a political or business issue on it. For that we go to Stockskenya.

Why not talk to Stockskenya and have a Business Daily tab to discuss the day’s articles. Of course, there are legal issues concerning this arrangement. For example, libel. Nobody will sue stockskenya for libeling them (they don’t seem rich) but you will because people think you have money.

I hope the observations are useful.


Your subscriber

Pesa Tu

6 comments:

Ssembonge said...

I was planning on doing a similar post but time is not on my side.

Other than the charts, there is nothing substantial. I'm not sure why the also do shipping.

More than 50% of the print copy is foreign material though the online one is a breath of fresh air for Diasporans.

Now that the stock market mania is over, the paper might cease to exist.

MainaT said...

:-)

Just go the Financial Post and make it 100% local content. If it must do the Western business feature, why not internalise the issues and look at from a Kenyan pt of view.

I like the suggestion to cover more of Africa's business. Especially in terms of the local stock markets.

MainaT said...

To make more interactive, I don't know what BDA has done what its stablemates DN and East Africa have done. Just a comment section at the bottom of the story.

pesa tu said...

@: SSembonge: i think they'll survive but they will have to add some lifestyle pieces.Hopefully,they can get the write people to write the pieces

@: Mainat: Financial Post for local content+Autozine and the few good bits of BDA would be an unbeatable format.
They don'y have open comment widgets like Daily Nation.Doing that would be better than the Facebook link.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

I hope the publication takes these suggestions seriously. In this day and age, print media is going the way of the dinosaur and must take steps to be competitive and remain relevant.

Better yet, they should hire you to help them implement your ideas...

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