The Consumers Association of Ireland to go social?

Back in February, Krishna De blogged about a digital marketing tender published by the Consumers Association of Ireland, The Consumers Association of Ireland – Digital Marketing Tender, closing date 18 February 2011.

As a former director of the CAI, it’s going to be interesting to see how this aging “old media” magazine publishing organisation can adapt to a newer market.

It seems that the gist of their “digital marketing” requirements involves a review of their website (much better now than it used to be), and suggestions as to how the CAI can get involved with Twitter and Facebook.

The mainstay of the funding the CAI needs to survive is the €96 per year subscription for the monthly magazine. Any move to a digital platform will most likely (I expect) require online subscriptions in place of magazine subscribers, and many more of them to make up for the constantly falling magazine subscriptions.

I think it’s going to be an interesting challenge to see how the Association will manage this. People familiar with online publishing know the issues with charging for content – particularly for content which in most cases is available elsewhere online for free.

I presume that the CAI will maybe seek to mirror how the UK Which? magazine provides it’s online content. Which? currently charge £9.75 per month for its online access – which would actually prove a boost to the flagging CAI coffers. I can’t, however, find out how many online subscribers Which? has at that price.

All an interesting project to keep an eye on – particularly as the tender says that:

At this time they are unable to provide a guide on the budget for the investment in these changes but due to the nature of the organisation, their budget is limited and we will be therefore determining choice of provider from their ‘can-do’ approach matched with a realistic costing.

If this all works out, it could be an good case-study for others in jumping into the social media world.

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