Friday, October 21, 2005


Yesterday it was jury day. For some years I am part of the jury of a competition in the graphic world. The jury day has been very interesting every year. Besides entries in categories, there are also live presentations of four entrepreneurs in the graphic and media sector.

This year I was looking forward to monitor the cross media movements of the printers. Last year has been a disastrous year for the graphic industry with many bankruptcies. So there should be an incentive to look at cross media projects.

Two of the entrepreneurs who presented themselves told that they had been investing in related activities. One of the entrepreneurs had co-invested in an Internet company. Another had extended his graphic activities with music magazines complemented with SMS services.

Jury members checking beautifully printed promotions for the category marketing communication

One of the categories has been instituted as a link between the graphic sector and multimedia. In this category cross-media entries can be entered which should be exemplary for the industry. Then entries yielded a discussion about the definition of cross-media. Of course the term multi-channel passed, while the term more media was interpreted as using more than one media to get a concept across. Personally I like to put more precision to the definition, as I described in the chapter Cross-Media on the Advance in the book E-Content: Technologies and Perspectives for the European Market (Springer). The term can be described by four criteria:
- Cross-media involves more than one medium, ranging from analogue and digital media or digital media only, which all support each other with their specific strengths;
- Cross-media aims at an integrated production;
- Cross-media content is delivered/accessible on a range of devices such as PCs, mobiles, TV set or set-top boxes;
- The use of more than one medium needs to support one theme/story/one purpose/one goal/one message, depending on the type of project;
- Cross-media do not just exist by the juxtaposition of different devices and platforms, but finds it relevance when the common message/story/goal is spread on the different platforms and when the supporting interaction takes place on these different platforms.
Essential to the concept of cross-media is that there are more than one media/distribution devices involved, which support the central theme of the project from their own strengths.

There was a lengthy discussion on the submitted entries as they were cross-media, but not exactly shining examples for the graphic and media industry. It is a pity for the industry could use some fine and creative showcases.

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