Joanna Chan-Mojica, chief media officer of Dentsu Aegis Philippines and chief executive officer of Carat Philippines (CENTER) receives a plaque of appreciation from UPMG president Barbie Atienza, External Affairs Head of Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp., (5th from right) and a token of appreciation from Philstar Media Group executive vice-president Lucien Dy Tioco (5th from left) together with UPMG officers and directors: (L-R): Jong Arcano, Key Relations Head of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Annie Grefal, OIC for Sales and Operations of Manila Standard, Marvin Estigoy, VP for Sales & Advertising of Business Mirror, Vivienne Motomal, AVP for Sales & Advertising of Journal Group of Publications, Jay Sarmiento, Senior Manager for Program Sales of Philippine STAR and Sales and Marketing Head of BusinessWorld, Jun Aluad, Advertising Manager of Pilipino Star Ngayon, Sherly Baula, Credit & Collection Manager of Chinese Commercial News, and Badette Cunanan, PR Manager of Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.

In order to survive and possibly even prosper in the digital age, the print media industry must open up to collaborations, leverage existing strengths, and step out of its comfort zone to learn new things and experiment.

These were some of the essential points that Joanna Chan-Mojica, chief media officer of Dentsu Aegis Philippines and chief executive officer of Carat Philippines, drove home at the United Print Media Group’s (UPMG) 8th General Membership Meeting sponsored by The Philippine STAR and BusinessWorld held recently at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.

Ms. Chan Mojica’s presentation entitled “Impact of Today’s Evolving Media Landscape to Media Industry, she cited that Internet users today engage with different Web sites and apps, including social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), e-commerce platforms (Lazada, Shopee), a video-sharing site (YouTube) and Web search engines (Google, Yahoo), and encouraged print media to form collaborative relationships with them.

“What’s stopping UPMG from partnering with them? This is the year of collaboration. We don’t start from scratch anymore. We keep on partnering,” she said. She suggested looking for the right partners and doing projects with them, even experimental ones.

Ms. Chan-Mojica said that media companies can already offer advertisers many opportunities to cross over to the digital realm. Crossover is arguably the new norm, with local television companies making original movies and series available on on-demand streaming services and traditional media personalities creating their own YouTube channels.

She highlighted the ability of media companies, particularly print media companies, to create credible content, calling it their bailiwick.

“Leverage on digital because unfortunately or fortunately we cannot run away from it,” Ms. Chan-Mojica said, adding that it should be used as an engine to expand print’s content ecosystem that can deliver business solutions.

The print media industry can also take advantage of the booming influencer economy. Ms. Chan-Mojica said Filipinos are fond of influencers and see them as inspirations. “We know that in your papers you have influencers – your writers,” she said. Newspaper publishers can build communities of followers around them.

Finally, Ms. Chan-Mojica encouraged print media companies to adopt the mindset of software and technology developers – of not being afraid to make mistakes, of pivoting immediately. “If it doesn’t work, move. Change and change,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to collaborate, pilot, test, and learn.”

“We believe in your industry. Why do we believe in your industry? Because you produce content. And our client partners need content,” she said.