Reassess your relationship with local media

Stephen Allan: Reassess your relationship with local media

A new robust currency provides us with the numbers we need to convince advertisers to invest in regional media.

The media landscape has seen an unprecedented level of change in recent years. 

The explosion of digital platforms and the rapid growth in smartphone usage have fundamentally changed the way media is distributed and consumed.

Advertisers know they need a media agency that understands this rapidly evolving landscape and can use it to deliver the best results for their brand. This means understanding both the challenges and opportunities we currently face.

The challenges in the digital space are well-documented and do not need repeating here.

But these issues mean that it is more important than ever before for us to work with highly trusted, transparent and accountable media that really delivers. And, crucially, to work with media that are able to prove these credentials.

Local media – local news brands in print and digital – have traditionally been leaders in the field of audience measurement.

Now, following the sharp rise of mobile, the sector has built on previous successes with the launch of Jicreg True Local, which shows the industry’s de-duplicated reach across print, desktop and mobile, down to the postcode sector level.

For agencies, this latest demonstration of the commitment by the news media sector to robust and transparent audience measurement is very welcome. In 2018, the nationals launched Pamco.

This new innovation will enable to us to give advertisers a precise and clear picture of what local media now delivers.

Already, Jicreg True Local has provided compelling evidence about the scale of the sector. Local media in print and digital reaches 40.6 million a month, with mobile providing a 94% audience uplift.

Ten million young adults read local media on mobile, demonstrating that young people are engaging with local media content.

And, crucially, we also know that local news media offers a highly trusted and brand-safe environment populated by content produced by trained journalists.

While we spend much of our time looking at the global digital platforms, it’s important that advertisers and agencies don’t lose sight of the power that local media holds.

I welcome the launch of Jicreg True Local and hope that it will be a catalyst for both agencies and advertisers to reassess their relationship with local media.

More than ever before, we need communications channels that are trusted by their audiences and underpinned by a robust currency, which provides us with the numbers we need to convince advertisers to invest.

There is a huge opportunity for brands and agencies to capitalise on the ability to deliver messages to targeted local audiences in a rapidly changing and fragmented media environment.

Stephen Allan is worldwide chairman and chief executive of MediaCom

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