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If you asked me if I were led more by heart, or my head, I would say head every time, but about 15 years ago, when it started to become undeniable that press circulations were in unstoppable decline, I did wonder if I should try and move into digital media, rather than stick with planning and buying press.

However, I just couldn’t do it - so here I am 15 years later, working across other channels but still primarily focussed on planning and buying press.

My younger colleagues, who freely admit to never having bought a newspaper to read, probably see me as some kind of dinosaur. So the question is, why can’t I move on from my love of Press as a medium?

Maybe it’s because for me, nothing beats reading a brief for the first time and having an instinctive reaction about which are the best titles to use to reach a specific audience, or seeing an ad in the newspaper and knowing that it is causing a massive spike in calls or sales.

Inevitably, press isn’t the answer to lots of briefs any more, as its readership is predominantly 40+, but if you are looking to target a mature, affluent or working audience, then press is definitely the way to go.

Despite reduced circulations, press is still a cost-effective way to reach a high percentage of the 40+ audience during their leisure time when they are in a receptive frame of mind to marketing, messages.

A study by PwC found that national print newspapers come out on top when it comes to: “people regularly putting time aside for them; feeling a personal connection with titles; giving people something to talk about; and readers feeling trust in the content - all of which are drivers of attention.”

So, whether your objective is awareness and your ads are brand-led and beautiful or if your objective is direct response and your ads are packed with copy giving readers a reason to respond, press can provide the perfect environment in which to place these sales messages.

And by contrast, if you want to reach a specific, niche audience that numbers just a few thousand, there will be a press title you can use. “The Superyacht Owner” anyone?

For more and more advertisers these days, the key metric is ROI. Another study by Newsworks shows adding newspapers to a media campaign increases overall campaign effectiveness, ranging from a 20% improvement in ROI for FMCG campaigns to up to four times for services campaigns.

Moreover, newspapers supercharge the effectiveness of other media when they are included in the mix, with improvements in ROI ranging from two times (for TV), four times (for online display) to ten times (for radio). Source: Newsworks.

If you have written off press as an ineffective channel in this day and age, perhaps it’s time to think again?

One of the (many) great things about press is that it is cheap to buy (no print costs as there are with inserts, for example) so you can test it in a low cost, low risk way.

Then once you have confidence in the medium, there is huge scope for roll out in titles with higher circulations and at higher costs.

Not only that, but you can get an almost immediate feel for whether it is working or not. If not, there’s no harm done as you have tested cheaply and quickly, but if it does work, you’ve opened up a new and scalable channel for reaching your target audience.

As we approach the deadline for GDPR, perhaps press could help plug any holes left in your media plan?

Of course, I’m going to say it could!

So if you would like to share in my passion for press, then please contact me at clare.arndell@responseone.co.uk