Is local press dead? Not a bit of it. It’s just pausing for breath.
Like all ‘traditional’ media channels, technology has forced ‘traditional’ media to change – some have done it willingly, embracing innovation, some came kicking and screaming.
Clients and agencies alike look for media optimisation these days. The difference today between ‘Fast media’ and ‘Slow media’ can be best illustrated in valuation terms. At the beginning of the year that tech upstart, Google, was capitalised at $340 billion. Compare that to the Murdoch companies, a mere $80 billion. So the die is cast. The future is here and local press knows it like most other print-based media channels.
Clients need to appreciate the best ways to use old and new, because both are necessary.
There is an argument that traditional media is more retentive, every reader spends 40 minutes reading a newspaper. That said engagement, rather than time spent, may be the metric to use when looking at, and quantifying, investment. There is no denying that ‘Slow media’ provides the opportunity for consideration and contemplation. It has its place.
Retailers, specifically, need to funnel their proposition to local audiences. But it should be not used in isolation. There needs to be linkage. For example, today’s marketer should have a robust M strategy in place because mobile telephony innovation will help drive sales. LBM (Local Based Marketing) is currently attributed with £9.7 billion of sales. This is looking to double in the next 5 years. Many of the local press media owners have platforms in place to ensure there is synergy in this channel already.
Don’t listen to the paragons of doom writing the local press off. Take a look at the opportunities.
Let’s not forget, local press hits 73% of the UK’s population every week. That’s getting on for 40million people. Its content is relevant to the region and the population and has a trust factor built in. And, more than this, it’s getting its act together, digitally.
Of course, circulations are, on the whole, dropping but the press media will reach its natural level in relation to the market forces. Dying? no. Metamorphosing? absolutely.