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    ‘News’ is so much more than print: Lyons, Whitnall, Colter

    ThinkNewsBrands is addressing misconceptions in market about news media, with the organisation saying ‘news’ is still thought of as print – or at best, print online.

    “300 years as an advertising medium makes written news publishing one of the oldest media types we still use today,” Vanessa Lyons, executive general manager of ThinkNewsBrands, told Mediaweek.

    “But due to this history, some people still think of it as print, and some agency systems don’t reflect the fact it is now delivered via websites, apps, digital newspaper replicas, social media, activations and partnerships.”

    Top media agency executives agreed. Sian Whitnall, co-CEO at OMD, said: “We are still talking about print and the physical printed paper when news is now a much more omni-channel concept.

    “If we look at any of our internal system and spend and investment levels it still says print. We need to think about changing labels and change how we think about the medium.”

    In March, news publishing was back 13.1% according to Guideline SMI figures: down 22% for newspapers, but up 6.4% for digital. In 2023, ad spend for the category fell 14.4% – both newspapers and digital were down.

    Chris Colter, chief strategy and product officer at Initiative, told Mediaweek that media buyers would do better to think of news as a type of content, versus a specific channel. The assumptions around ‘news’ only being print were “not due to misinterpretation, but rather not thinking properly about the concept,” he said.

    “I personally see news as content, not a channel,” Colter continued. “I believe there’s a role to better establish that perception at an industry level, whether it’s TV, social, print, blimp or text. What comms planners should be thinking about when it comes to news is the contextual halo it delivers, not the distribution vehicle.”

    To tackle these assumptions in the market, ThinkNewsBrands said one of its core focus areas is educating advertisers and their agencies about the power of news publishing. Lyons said this includes how diverse it is as a modern media channel, from both a content and format perspective. 

    “To that end, we’ve renamed written news as a media type to Total News Publishing, so it more accurately describes news across all formats.

    We also speak at media events, release reports, and write often in industry publications.”

    Lyons gratefully pointed out that the “tide is turning”, with awareness of Total News Publishing more than 20% greater among agency staff than it was six months ago.

    “That number is even stronger at the senior agency level.

    “Over the rest of the year, we’re going to be ramping up our direct engagement with media agency staff to really blow these misconceptions out of the water.”

    See Also: Vanessa Lyons: Contextual advertising and total news publishing are the perfect match

    The post ‘News’ is so much more than print: Lyons, Whitnall, Colter appeared first on Mediaweek.

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