New Media Group plans flag in digital sector

For the second consecutive year New Media Group has been crowned the Spark Awards Media Owner of the Year. In Hong Kong’s wildly competitive media industry, this is no easy feat.

At this year’s awards, New Media Group secured a record seven gold, eight silver and nine bronze awards, in addition to multiple team and individual awards.

Creative Content Farm, the company’s newly launched content unit, took out Best Content Team along with Best Acquisition Team, while NM+ won awards for Best Use of Branded Content, Best Custom Event, Best Media Campaign – TV and Best Use of Limited Budget.

The win cements a strategy that New Media Group has pursued in recent years to offer clients a range of advertising services that go beyond traditional advertising in the pages of its magazines.

Branded content opportunities sit at the heart of its offerings, alongside a growing events division and a multi-media sales service that is attracting diverse clients from Reebok to San Miguel Brewery, Columbia and Levi’s.

Shirley Hughes, chief executive officer at New Media Group, said the group was undergoing a digital transformation to reposition as a content provider and not just a publisher.

She said the strategy aimed to offer all-round services for its clients and readers via different channels and platforms, both in print and digital.

This strategy takes in all of its print and digital platforms from Weekend Weekly, Oriental Sunday, NM+, New Monday and Economic Digest.

In addition, social media services have been playing a bigger part of its client offerings with the dedicated social media creative department specialising in viral marketing on social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Weibo.

This is all strategically spread out across its various media platforms to create talking points, draw attention and interest on brands and products and to encourage social sharing.

The team now operates a number of its own social media channels and numerous fan pages which altogether form a sizeable network pool that covers a wide range of target groups.

One example of its new integrated media offering came from Levi’s, where NMG localised its global “Live in Levi’s” campaign not by offering up print pages, but instead saw the group create a pop-up restaurant and provide a limited edition of Levi’s toast.

The campaign used a live experience to display the history of its clothing and integrate it with a series of live events and social media extensions from live newsfeeds for the opening event at Capital Café, to recruiting brand ambassadors, to music events at Tsim Sha Tsui.

As the media industry continues to face challenges, it’s moves like this that will ensure clients will stay engaged and media remains a profitable and sustainable business.