TRMC releases annual report

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Industry association The Real Media Collective (TRMC) saw membership surge by 191 new businesses to 700 over the past 12 months, the numbers revealed in its newly released annual report.

Positive results: Kellie Northwood, CEO, The Real Media Collective

Metrics in the annual report show that 71 per cent of members are small businesses, 7 per cent are trans-Tasman print media companies, with 17 per cent of members now from the supply side.

Revenue growth over the past year was moderate at 1.4 per cent higher. However, over the past seven years, revenue has grown at an average of 15.8 per cent, increasing by $1m from 2013.

TRMC was formed two years ago when the Australian Catalogue Association, print environmental lobby group Two Sides, and the Australian Paper Industry Association joined forces.

TRMC said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, growth has been stabilised, and strategic review is in place to look to grow membership through an increased service offering from industrial relations, workplace health and safety, industry partnerships and sponsorship alliances.

Kellie Northwood, CEO, TRMC, said, “The team has worked tirelessly this year, and the results are a positive indicator that what we are delivering is of value to our members and our industry. Even during a tough year we have welcomed new members and retained our existing members.”

The association has been busy this year. Campaign and activity updates reported the Rebuild Together webinar series achieved 23,600 member engagements, attendances, downloads, views and/or likes/shares.

The digital engagement strategy, released in FY20, was aimed at communicating to audiences not using print, and the strategy has paid off, achieving 78,800 LinkedIn views from posts, and a 98.3 per cent year on year increase in LinkedIn followers. There have been 2,400 new e-news subscribers, 190,000 Twitter impressions, 193,000 website page views, and an average 3mins 9secs spent within the site/s.

Australia Post relaxations, Fair Work engagement, and government submissions have also driven member activities. However, TRMC says the most significant expansion this year has been the appointment of Charles Watson to GM – IR, policy and governance, and the first time the association has offered IR and workplace services to members.

Northwood said, “The board had long been reviewing inconsistency of rulings from FWC across our industry awards with some concern and determined this was largely due to an increasing range of representations from outlier associations running hotlines for the print industry. We needed to regain consistent and expert representation for our industry to assist the commissioner in judgements. Charles Watson, who has 13 years' experience across our nine awards, was the expert we worked hard to bring onto the team, and I was delighted when he accepted challenge.”

Representation and protection of the industry has seen TRMC take the lead, defending the industry from misrepresentation with the Coles catalogue and letterbox delivery announcement, highlighting the high employment levels and strengths of the industry via the Industry Insights survey, releasing a 36-page essential services submission to federal government, picking up the management of Women in Print, and building a resource and fact sheet library to navigate Covid-19.

Upcoming initiatives include advice of pending announcements regarding government initiatives across Buy Local, a new Insight Series campaign, and partnerships with industry associations across training and education.

“We are happy with these results. However, we cannot rest, our members and industry need us now more than ever to assist through the recovery phase, we must keep listening to our members' needs, work with our like-minded industry body partners and keep delivering. I, the board and the team, remain as passionate as ever about the industry’s future and the role TRMC will play in ensuring a strong and sustainable industry,” Northwood said.

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