Donaldson: Surge In Local Media Audiences Presents Opportunity For Brands

The surge in audiences for local media seen in the latest data from JICREG Life is Local presents an unprecedented opportunity for brands to start a much deeper and more engaged conversation with their audiences, JICREG chief executive Keith Donaldson has said.  

In a blog post for ISBA following the launch of JICREG Life is Local last week, Mr Donaldson said evidence shows that the coronavirus pandemic has caused a rise of localism and an increased focus on community.

Mr Donaldson said: “The result is that there now exists an unprecedented opportunity for brands to start a much deeper and more engaged conversation with their audiences. A conversation based on the key insight that life is more local than ever before.

“Local media delivers both huge scale – 42 million readers a month – and the ability to target right down to the postcode sector level.

“But, as we move forward into unpredictable and uncertain times, local targeting will be only part of the story. Brands that want to engage with consumers in a truly meaningful way will have to demonstrate that they can be trusted.”

He added: “High levels of trust are one of local news media’s key characteristics. Our journalists are trained to a very high standard and their journalism is subject to the law of the land, a tough self-regulatory regime, and various editorial checks and balances.  

“And, crucially for brands, is the key insight – seen time and time again through various studies – that the characteristics of a particular medium are reflected on the brands that choose to place advertising with it.

“All the evidence available leads to the inescapable conclusion that local media is the best place for brands to appear. It delivers the unique combination of scale, local targeting and high trust levels which will ensure success for advertisers who choose to invest in local media.

The power of local media to connect advertisers with their audiences is one of the key drivers of success for Government’s ‘All Together’ ad and branded content campaign which has been running in national and local titles throughout the pandemic, Mr Donaldson said.

He added: “Brands must take note from the success of this campaign which has leveraged the key strengths of news media so effectively. As chief executive of JICREG, my job is to deliver a robust audience measurement currency which brands and their agencies can rely upon when buying local media.

“As we move forward, I hope that we will see more advertisers coming forward to find out what local media can deliver for their businesses. I firmly believe that local media has a crucial role to play going forward and I urge advertisers large and small to consider this carefully when planning their campaigns.”