Newspapers set the agenda: MediaCom’s Mark Pejic

In a fast-paced media landscape constantly evolving with new technology, newspapers remain the key agenda-setters – making them a powerful marketing tool, according to MediaCom Australia chief executive Mark Pejic.

Mr Pejic sat down with The Newspaper Works following News Corp Australia’s announcement that it was moving its account to MediaCom from UM.

“It’s a relationship we’ve been keen to pursue for a number of years,” Mr Pejic said of the move, adding that he had a personal affinity for News Corp mastheads – having read them growing up in Melbourne and working alongside the publisher for more than 25 years.

The partnership is currently in transition, with MediaCom set to take the reins later this year.

News Corp’s reputation for leading with breaking news was a big attraction for the media agency, Mr Pejic said.

“Newspapers set the agenda – be it social or political – every single day,” he said.

“In a world that’s changing, from a technology point of view, faster than we can keep up with, there’s one constant norm. Any time you pick up a newspaper, you can bet that if you turn on the radio or the television, they’re following the lead of quality journalism.

“That’s at the heart of what newspapers drive – and that benefits not just clients but the community at large.

“No other media connects people the way newspapers do.”

He acknowledged challenges faced by the print platform – but said that they mirrored upheaval experienced across other traditional media.

“Print still draws people en masse,” he said. While there had been well documented stories of newspapers declining in circulation, there were still large quantities of consumers reading them every single day.

“If they weren’t effective, why would we be seeing retailers fight over key positions every week? Price specials, cars are being launched every month through that media, so they’re a very powerful connection tool.”

As for opportunities, programmatic buying would change the face of media buying, Mr Pejic said. “It’s a case of when, not if,” he said. “It will change the way that we transact, the way we go to market, the speed at which we do so and the conversations we have.

“It will change in terms of the immediacy that the digital assets, in particular, and the relevancy it can bring to certain topics or agendas. Programmatic will be the norm in the future and News is moving that way.

“We fully embrace the changes taking place both at News and in the wider environment. It’s a very exciting time.”

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