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Publishers unite to sell influence of newspaper media

The influential role of newspaper media, from powerful journalism to effective advertising, is the centre of the largest ever marketing campaign launched by the newspaper industry. Positioning newspaper media as “Influential by Nature”, publishers APN News and Media, Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia and West Australian Newspapers have united to put forward the campaign. It...

The influential role of newspaper media, from powerful journalism to effective advertising, is the centre of the largest ever marketing campaign launched by the newspaper industry.

Positioning newspaper media as “Influential by Nature”, publishers APN News and Media, Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia and West Australian Newspapers have united to put forward the campaign. It is the first brand campaign in eight years by the industry body The Newspaper Works.

The campaign re-states the unique power of a medium that consumers trust and believe, according to The Newspaper Works chairman and APN chief executive Michael Miller.

“Newspaper media is inherently topical, current, relevant and local – these are all characteristics of influence,” Mr Miller said.

“Every effective and meaningful campaign needs influencers to drive trust, belief and action and we need to remind advertisers of the impact newspaper media brands still have today among consumers.

“Other media and individuals still turn to newspaper media brands as a reference point for reinforcement and for key decision making.”

Some powerful newspaper campaigns have become case studies in the Influential By Nature campaign, which appears across print and digital not only in the publishers’ own channels but across business, trade and social media.

The first execution, launched today, explores how a 40 per cent reduction in violent assaults on Sydney streets was achieved by consistent campaigning across newspaper media. In a video interview with The Newspaper Works, St Vincent’s Hospital head of neurosurgery, Dr Timothy Steel said a combination of influential journalism and political action had achieved a huge drop in violence on the streets of Kings Cross.

The campaigns for safer streets across mastheads including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph were an example of how newspaper media can connect with readers on both emotional and rational levels to achieve real results, Mr Miller said.

“[They featured] emotional pictures and headlines but the articles contained a lot of detail,” he said.

The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands and chairman Michael Miller
The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands and chairman Michael Miller

Reclaiming and re-stating the position of influence was a bid to push through the avalanche of messages that advertisers hear about how to market their brands, Mr Miller said, providing an opportunity for the industry body to “walk the talk” and for the four big publishers to work together on a positive campaign.

The challenge publishers have is not just a publisher challenge but a category challenge,” he said.

“We see that our competitors are trying to take share from us as a category and we need to respond to that as a category.

“It is a great opportunity to increase newspaper share of advertising, and for the newspaper media category to unite. The challenges we face are shared and the opportunity we want to take is shared.

“To see a message that all the publishers agree on is what has made putting this campaign together quite powerful; that unity has translated into confidence that it’s the right direction.”

The Newspaper Works chief executive Mark Hollands said the campaign was the result of enthusiasm from publishers and editors across the spectrum of newspapers in Australia.

“We began with the premise of creating a message that was true for all newspapers in metropolitan and regional areas,” he said. “This has been a real collaboration between the major publishers.”

“Newspapers have been influential since their inception. History shows that great mastheads have opinions and are unafraid to share them. Today, in the age of digital communication and media fragmentation, newspapers have maintained and grown their influence in our society.”

The campaign, created by The Hallway, will run print and digital not only in the publishers’ own channels but across business, trade and social media. With this week’s focus on how newspaper media benefits communities, the coming weeks will also see examples other editorial and commercial influences of newspaper media.

Influential by Nature will also extend to The Newspaper Works events, including the Future Forum, where influence will be a key theme.

Read more about Influential By Nature:

For more news from The Newspaper Works, click here.

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