What Do Key Media Figures Think of Local Media?
Local newsbrands are still viewed as a powerful asset by key figures in media. They are seen as the trusted medium to convey an advertising message by large scale media agencies while offering an effective environment to national advertisers. And they are viewed as having evolved into a unique proposition that has a strong future in the marketplace.
From an agency perspective, a trusted environment is highly valuable and something this gives local newsbrands a unique appeal. Stephen Allan, worldwide chairman and chief executive, says: “Local and national newspaper content is highly trusted and, by association, that trust is imparted upon the advertisers who use the medium. Trusted journalism provides a highly engaged environment that will always be desirable for advertisers.”
Iain Jacob, president EMEA, Starcom MediaVest Group, shares this view: “Regional media is often quoted as the most trusted form of media, and I can see why. In an ever cluttered world, where do we turn when we need reliable sources of news and information? As an advertiser you don’t need to see the stats to understand the true value of this kind of audience engagement.”
But local newsbrands deliver more than a highly trusted environment. Iain Jacob believes the platform has “evolved from just print products to grow in scale and influence across several platforms (print, websites, mobile and e-editions).” He adds: “Digital audiences are growing rapidly, illustrating that trusted news and information remains in demand and highly sought after.”
Advertisers want the best possible results and Graeme Adams, head of media at BT, believes that newspapers “offer a great environment for advertising” and play a key role in BT’s communications strategy. “Both national and regional newsbrands continue to be effective at improving our brand metrics and helping us recruit new customers,” he adds.
As a multiplatform tool for advertisers, print media is still as effective in delivering return on investment. Peter Emmerson, senior marketing manager, TUI Group, believes “a local level, econometrics has shown it delivers a stronger ROI than many of our online channels.”
In the City, analysts are looking favourably upon the activities of local publishers. Alex DeGroote, a media analyst at Peel Hunt LLP, praises the “entrepreneurial endeavors at publishers such as Johnston Press engaging with companies like Sky and Google offer clear hope that other parts of the media sector acknowledge the footprint of UK regionals.”
Overall, there is a positive investment in news “more than any other media” according to Lorna Tilbian, executive PLC director and head of media. “National and local newspapers still occupy a unique space in the marketplace, providing the highly trusted news and information which their readers rely upon,” she says.
“We are already seeing some excellent examples of innovation.. from within the industry and publishers should continue to pursue these initiatives. These will ensure that newspapers – a vital component in preserving communities, upholding democracy and keeping power in check – will not only survive, but prosper.”