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Trust, Transparency and Traditional Media

Why these are the top takeaways for brands right now

Although the advent of digital news was supposed to – and to some extent has – heralded an end to the finite number of pages that once restricted the profession, it has also given birth to new challenges as brands go in search of meaningful metrics in a landscape where the demand for column inches has seldom been so great.

Last month a new readership measurement standard for the news publishing industry was launched to give a single, “de-duplicated” view across all platforms to publishers and advertisers.

Compared to the NRS, which is a print-focused survey with digital figures taken in addition, Pamco offers a breakdown by platform across print, phone (mobile), tablet and desktop, giving a “total brand reach” that is more robust than the measurements used to date which are subject to generous interpretation and easily corrupted by cookies and bots.

As NMA chairman David Dinsmore said, the measurement keeps news brands in “top position when it comes to transparency” in an age when the measurement of some media is “highly questionable”.

The results of the survey will make for daunting reading for some, because at their heart they show a renewed reliance from consumers on traditional publishers. The Sun was revealed to be the most read news brand in the UK, followed by the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, all of which boast more than 25 million monthly readers.

It means that an increasing number of brands will consider the success of a campaign based on its ability to make a splash in the national press, but with a tsunami of content blocking the way a splash can easily become a drip if due care isn’t taken, which can be a hard pill to swallow after countless hours of creative work and client liaisons.

Which is why we include national media exposure as a guarantee with all our packages at 72Point. Thanks to our heritage as part of the SWNS Media Group and our ability to work content so that it has mainstream media appeal we have an unrivalled money-back pledge on our projects, which is underpinned by our confidence in our creative.

We are compelled by design to put integrity at the heart of everything we do, as our content is used by the vast majority of national publications, making up for a significant percentage of “front of the book” stories. We don’t publish overtly branded stories and have to pass rigorous controls carried out by news editors to get the story filed, and the media trust us as a result.

But we would be nothing if it was not for the ingenuity of the team to deliver content that works across publications and across channels. 72Point is made up of top flight media experts and PR professionals who make up an enviable hub of creativity. We have former print news editors, a current online news editor and a range of ex-media talent that ensures we deliver projects that are stitched up from both sides, with the best creative being delivered with unrivalled access to the media.

It’s a combination that couldn’t be more apt in today’s media environment. According to this year’s State of the Media survey by Cision, which polled 1,355 journalists from across six countries on their perceptions of the media and communications industries, journalists rely on public relations partners now more than ever, with the traditional press release being the most trusted piece of content.

In an age where budgets are thin and brands are increasingly being relied on to fund content generation, the results are hardly surprising. Out of all the issues the industry is facing, 28 per cent of the journalists surveyed said staffing and resources were the biggest challenges in the industry over the last 12 months.

But before we start popping the champagne corks it is worth considering what this actually means for the PR industry. For a start, this isn’t a call to start bombarding hacks with every piece of ill-conceived content you can get your hands on. It doesn’t mean we should pick up the phone every two minutes and busy the already chaotic desks with more queries. Rather, we should pick out the warnings in this report to unveil where we can really make a difference, and at the top of the list for journalists is sending stories with a “clearly stated news hook” and content that’s “accurate, newsworthy and can be used to enhance their coverage”.

As a result of renewed scrutiny of the sea of content that surrounds us – successful PR needs a more robust benchmark. The smoke and mirrors of digital reach is no longer giving brands the ROI they need. Trusted content in trusted media outlets is what’s important now as brands demand more transparency with their campaigns. This is our USP, and it is why, increasingly, 72Point is been seen as a direct line to the news desk.


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