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Tronc-ed out.

20 June 2018 Natasha Joseph

We’ve seen it too often to count.

Times are changing, digital is on the rise, clients don’t understand the context.

The way this usually pans out is for something drastic to happen (like a name change) – something new, shiny and exciting that will pave a rainbow-like future.

The result is more often than not a ‘lipstick on the pig’ solution because there’s only so much a new name can do for a dinosaur business which is now trying very hard to catch up.

With every naming opportunity comes a responsibility to question the context and most importantly to ask if it is in fact necessary.

Sometimes, it just pays to have the courage to say no.

That’s what the Board at Tribune Publishing should have said when ‘Tronc’ first entered the room as a new naming option.

(It’s short for Tribune Online Content …we’re all for brevity, but that’s just a step too far).

Understandably, the fear that ‘print is on the out’ was all consuming 5 years ago. We worked with publishers who had the same concerns, but we were stern in putting forward a key argument – if you’re lucky enough to have it, heritage is your greatest strength and it can be your greatest asset.

There may have been a need for Tribune Publishing to change the direction of the company to be more ‘online’ but this could have taken place through internal prioritisation rather than having it emblazoned on the shop front screaming ‘We swear we’re online (whatever that means)’.

As we’ve all now learned, publishing doesn’t have to mean ‘print’ – it can just mean content.

Tribune Publishing have thankfully learned from their lesson and are returning to their old name.

Let’s hope that moving forward they think more about creating value with the content they produce and pay more attention to their channel distribution strategy.

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