Newsworks is the marketing body for national newspapers in all their forms – on and offline.  Reach Plc are one of the stakeholders, alongside dmg media, ESI Media,Guardian News & Media, News UK and Telegraph Media Group.

 They collaborate with the industry – including advertisers, agencies and other media – to promote understanding of national newspapers and their role as news in the multi-platform world.  They provide access to trusted insights and research; key facts and figures; creative ideas and inspiration; industry events, training and workshops, and also have an agency help desk.

 News brands have always had the ability to deliver large, trusted audiences; they are not a medium of the past.  In an era of digital, where uncertain ad placement and improper analytics are being denounced, news brands continue to provide a quality environment from which to advertise.  News brands in print reach over 11million people every week, and readers spend a significant amount of time with their news brand of choice, which demands attention.

We spoke to Rupert Smith, Director of Communications from Newsworks, to find out more…

We’ve briefly outlined what role Newsworks plays, but why is the work your organisation does so important?

In a word, journalism.

We are a small but tight team at Newsworks, and we work together – alongside our industry publisher colleagues – to tell a more united, joined-up story about the importance, scale and reach of our news brands to the advertising community.

Through this unified approach we can achieve so much. This year alone we have launched a high-profile campaign aimed at unblocking blocked ad revenue, and the industry also united for the first time to launch the most important and impactful ad campaign of a generation.

Our combined industry daily readership is now 40 million – that’s ahead of the two main US-based tech platforms, and by some distance. More importantly, our journalism is trusted, and the coronavirus pandemic has shown how important that trust is to people up and down the country right now.

Journalists for news brands play an important role in holding those in power to account, and promoting the plights of those who have no voice – whether that is being part of the fight against climate change; standing up to save the NHS, or other important issues of our time. What relevance does this have to advertisers?

In a world clouded by fake news and misinformation, our readers know they can rely on our titles for the news, information and analysis they can trust.

Likewise, advertisers want their campaigns to appear in safe and engaging environments that have real and scaled audiences.

If you haven’t already seen, it is worth checking out our Hard News research, which shows the benefits of advertising in high-performing premium news brand environments.

Your website states that news brands readership is healthier than ever before, which includes the growth of online. We all know that print circulation has declined, so how important is print in the marketing mix?

Print is massively important, so firstly I just want to give a massive hat tip to everyone working across all your print sites. To have got the papers out, under what must have been extremely difficult circumstances during full lockdown, was incredible. You quite literally helped keep the nation informed at the most important time, including some of the most vulnerable and isolated communities across the UK.

Back to readership, we are seeing record numbers reading the news right now.  Journalism matters more now than ever. Looking at the latest PAMCo total audience numbers, our news brands – across nationals and key regionals – grew by 7.4 million daily readers over the last year. That is staggering growth. And this rise came ahead of the current surge in readership brought on by the pandemic as we went into full lockdown.

While the growth is in digital, print has held its own and it will continue to play an important part in the mix. Print titles continue to set the agenda – you only have to listen to the radio or watch the 10 o’clock news to see how important they are to the nation.

Our own research shows that for advertisers, using a mix of both print and digital platforms has a massive incremental boost to ad campaigns. If they just use one platform, the business benefit uplift to the advertiser is 27%. Add the second platform to that campaign, and there is a significant multiplier effect of over 40 percentage points, taking the overall positive business uplift to 73%.

With such great readership numbers, when will the digital advertising revenues follow?

Last year our national titles posted three consecutive periods of growth according to Warc. So underlying trends were beginning to show green shoots before the pandemic hit.

While the current crisis has presented huge unforeseen challenges, there is now a renewed focus on trust, quality journalism and premium environments. Those are the areas that will matter more and more to advertisers, as we emerge from this pandemic. And those are the areas we have in abundance.

As we are witnessing right now, with the current Facebook boycott, there is a real appetite for change – and we must make sure we come together as an industry to ensure we are part of that change.

You represent national news brands, but we also have many independent publishers that print with us, which include regional, niche and ethnic titles. Do you offer any tools available to those publishers?

While we do represent the national titles, we also work closely with the likes of the NMA and Society of Editors, as well as the advertising industry trade bodies. We are interested in speaking to everybody and working much closer to break down old boundaries. After all, the more collaboration we can explore, the more we can all achieve together.

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