Saturday, June 04, 2011

Gert Van Mol in Trends Magazine

43% of Wall Street Journal Europe sold by a Belgian
(translated from Dutch)
The Wall Street Journal Europe, published by Dow Jones & Company, compensates a steep decline of classically sold print copies by having copies sponsored by businesses. The model was developed by Belgian Gert Van Mol (44). Since 2002 Gert Van Mol works for The Wall Street Journal Europe. Two years earlier, in 2000, Mr Van Mol had sold his publishing house “The Publishing Company”, famous for a.o. TEEK and PlayStation Magazine in Belgium. Untill 2007 Mr Van Mol was head of distribution operations of The Wall Street Journal Europe. In 2007 he was asked to change to the marketing circulation department where he detected an opportunity to link industry and WSJE in a new way. Beginning 2007 a series of sponsors had left WSJE and Van Mol came up with an out-of-the-box idea to stop the losses. He invented an Institute, the Wall Street Journal Europe Future Leadership Institute, a virtual institute bridging university and industry. The Institute started organizing seminars and conferences in universities and business schools. Businesses can sponsor these targeted seminars. In return the logos of these businesses are published in a daily quarter page from the Institute in the newspaper. The way the businesses pay for the publicity is unique: they buy newspapers. Van Mol puts these newspapers than for free in universities, business schools, four and five star hotels and private jets. “Every day around 31.000 newspaper copies in 180 universities and business schools, 330 four and five star hotels and some private jets, are sold through the Institute. The Wall Street Journal sells a total of 75.000 copies per day. This means the Institute sells ca 43 % of the total sold WSJE copy volume”, Van Mol explains.

Students are the readers of tomorrow
Students, the WSJE readers of tomorrow, according to Van Mol, meet business executives at a series of high level seminars and networking tables organized by the Institute. “I buy, rent or barter tables at big conferences such as Davos or The European Business Summit. I then invite 5 students and 5 business executives to come together at the table to learn from each other and from the speakers at the conference. Then I ask the students to write a 'student report' of what they learned that day”, says Van Mol. “These student reports are then published at the WSJE education website,”

From 3 to 5 November 2010 Van Mol re-launches The International Student Senate, an initiative he developed some 20 years ago when studying at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. The Senate is a platform to bring together democratically elected student leaders and CEO’s. “Every university and business school has student leaders, people who already proved to be able to realize something in their lives, otherwise they wouldn’t have been elected to lead a student association. We will bring these student leaders together with CEO’s during the WSJE Future Leadership Summit in 2 Belgian municipalities, Bree and Schilde to jointly meet thought leaders in the fields of the military, religion, politics, music and sports." Why Bree and Schilde ? “Because it is hard to organize something new in London and get noticed.” Van Mol refers to Davos, a small municipality unknown to the world before the World Economic Forum. “Schilde is the municipality in Belgium with the highest income per capita, Bree is the center of a technological triangle uniting Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany”.

Benny Debruyne
©2010 Roularta Media Group Date publication: 21 October 2010 Source: Trends