Newspapers are right to take the online lead

You reported on the doubling of broadband take-up (MW September 22) just a week after discussing News Corporation’s online development.  In the latter, you assert that “few old media practitioners have managed to migrate successfully onto the Web…”  This is wide of the mark. Over the past few years, media owners have been working quietly to achieve precisely that migration. The evidence for their achievements so far is, however, subtle to discern. And the reason for this change not being highly public is because it concerns the delivery of targeted content to special interest groups within a newspaper’s readership.

Newspapers have also been hard at work to allow these groups of people with common interests to interact with one another. Anyone who underestimates the power of a newspaper’s brand is misguided. The affinity that readers feel with “their” newspaper is exceptionally strong. People often define themselves in terms of the newspaper they read.  Certainly, they usually feel that fellow readers are likely to be like-minded, and people that they would most likely want to interact with.

Creating these communities under a newspaper’s brand umbrella invokes a virtuous circle. Readers get more of what they are interested in, from a content-creating organisation whose output and style they enjoy. Newspapers replace mass advertising revenue with niche advertising revenue, plus a host of premium service micro-payments from the readers themselves. And advertisers achieve highly targeted media reach, eliminating the wastage of mass advertising.

So let’s not scoff at newspaper brands building online relationships with their customers. Much of the groundwork has already been set in place.

Damon Russell

Chief executive

Telecom Express

London SE1

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here