Pete Markey: Local Journalism More in Demand Than Ever Before

Pete Markey, chief marketing officer at TSB Bank, has written of “reconsidering” local media as its audience continues to grow. Pete Markey is the chair judge of the Local Media Works Awards, which highlight the power local media has as a highly trusted and engaging platform enabling advertisers to deeply connect with local communities. 

Pete said: “Local newsbrands deliver large audiences with recent data from JICREG showing that local media, in print and digital, reaches 40.6 million adults a month. This growth is of course fuelled by rapid increases in digital audiences – more and more people are consuming news brands online.

“This appetite for local news must be harnessed by advertisers.

“I recently read that Coldplay had advertised the world exclusive reveal of their upcoming album and its track listings in various local newspapers.

“What made a globally famous band advertise in the Exeter Express and Echo and The North Wales Daily Echo, the local papers in the hometowns of two of the band members?

“My hunch is that they wanted to appear in a unique and trusted context whilst creating a media buzz around the launch.

“The Edelman Trust Barometer showed us just how vast the gulf in trust between social platforms and traditional media now is. Local newspaper content is highly trusted and, by association, that trust is imparted upon the advertisers who use the medium.

“Local communities are more important than ever, with people spending a lot of their time and money close to home. For brands, this is significant because it suggests that local insight and understanding continue to have a hugely important role to play in effective communications.

“TSB is a proud sponsor of the Pride of Britain Awards which celebrates individuals who have gone above and beyond by helping to make a difference to the lives of others.

“Communities thrive thanks to people working collaboratively.

“As we’ve seen with initiatives such as Journalism Matters, local news, through its trusted credentials, plays a vital role in our society and across communities in the UK.

“By campaigning on behalf of their readers, local news media can make a real difference to people’s lives and bring about change for the better.     

“For me, joining the Local Media Works Awards Judging panel was an easy fit. The Awards, aimed at media planners, challenged entrants to think about local news media, the different commercial opportunities the sector offers, and write a strategy for a national client.

“As chairman of the judges, I looked for entries that showed a clear understanding of how local press works across print and digital and how these assets can be leveraged for advertisers.

“The entries did not disappoint, with PHD Media crowned the Best of the Best with their Lego Movie 2 campaign.

“To me it is clear that local journalism is more in demand than ever before. Readers trust the local content and advertisers flourish when appearing in this powerful and engaging context. 

“At a time when trust is in such short supply, clients need to reconsider this overlooked medium and start tapping into the opportunities which local newsbrands offer. “