Heavy Chef chatted to Tanja Lategan, CEO of Primedia Online. Her excellent portfolio includes responsibilities for 365 Digital, Dash of Lime and iAfrica. She discusses the roles of these divisions, their new partnership with Umuntu, and Twitter charging for tweets. Read on to hear the scoop on Twitter.
What does your role entail on a day to day basis?
I am the CEO of Primedia Online, and I ensure the smooth running of iafrica.com, 365 Digital and Dash of Lime.
What are the distinctions between Digital 365, Dash of Lime, and Primedia Online?
Primedia Online publishes iafrica.com, which is South Africa’s most established portal with one of the largest and most loyal user bases in the country. iafrica.com is one of South Africa’s oldest and most established web brands. It publishes and produces content across a range of subject areas, including news, sport, business and entertainment. Primedia Online also owns 365Digital Publishing and Dash of Lime.
365 Digital is the ad operations division of Primedia Online that offers a complete online agency, advertiser and publisher solution for all online advertising campaign management requirements, be it ad serving, ad sales, email marketing, trafficking or campaign management. Offering a fully flexible service that is based on each client’s specific needs, means all campaigns are reserved, tested, delivered and reported on through the Adtech Helios IQ ad server. Adtech is the leading online marketing technology provider in Europe and has chosen 365 as their exclusive representative for Southern Africa. Adtech offers ad solutions for both publishers and agencies.
Dash of Lime is Primedia Online’s sales team that represents the joint sales and commercial arm of the major online assets within the Primedia Group and more. Dash of Lime positions itself as the largest premium display ad network in South Africa with a reach of over 6 million unique users. Not limited to display advertising online, commercial activities also include social media, both paid, earned and owned; as well as content syndication and distribution. Dash of Lime strives to attain a reputation as the destination point of call for digital media providing advertisers and media planners with a single point through which they can access information that will serve to increase the reach and effectiveness of their online marketing.
Can you explain the new partnership with Umuntu Media?
365 Digital’s sales team, Dash of Lime, will be responsible for all media sales for Umuntu i-portals across Africa. Through the partnership, Umuntu will be able to draw on the considerable resources of an established sales house. In turn, 365 Digital can expand its base beyond South Africa’s borders to the rest of Africa. Umuntu Media has four live portals, and will be launching two more this year. iZimbabwe, iZambia, iNamibia and iBotswana are up and running and gaining traction as the most popular sources of local content in those countries. iAngola and iMozambique are the next two additions, and Umuntu is looking to expand into more African markets by the end of April this year.
What are your thoughts on internet news overtaking print news?
This was inevitable seeing as though you can publish news instantly on the internet as opposed to waiting for your print publication’s next print run; by which time the breaking news has become old news. This has become even more pertinent with the rise of social media. A good example is how the news of Whitney Houston’s death broke on Twitter before any other news publication could publish it.
What is the most valuable advice you have received that has helped you get to where you are?
Building a great company takes teamwork. You don’t have to be the best at everything to be able to motivate people and bring teams together. Let your passion inspire them and allow them to take ownership of their contributions, as people are motivated by having a mission and a genuine sense of purpose.
Real leadership is honest, true, deeply insightful and reflective, purposeful and motivated by high ideals, thorough self-knowledge, uncompromising standards and unyielding virtue.
Lastly, what would be your ultimate April fools prank that you would love to publish?
My favourite April fools prank of all time was the announcement of Gmail Motion by Google. Who needs a silly keyboard and mouse to type all those emails when you can use Gmail Motion. There’s even a video walkthrough.
I would love to see people’s reactions if you had to publish a Twitter announcement stating that everyone will be paying R2.50 per Tweet going forward. You could even elaborate by promoting “Tweet bundles” at discounted rates. Everyone loves to complain about advertising on websites and a lot of noise has been made recently regarding Twitter’s new Sponsored Tweet advertising opportunities. People take for granted that these services are free and ad funded so it will be a fun prank to play and serve as a reminder at the same time.