New campaign highlights importance of Scottish newspaper industry

The Scottish newspaper industry remains a key means of communication, according to leading Scottish business figures.

A new campaign launched today by the Scottish Newspaper Society (SNS) highlights the importance of news brands – in print, online and mobile – in the commercial strategies of organisations of all shapes and sizes.

Marking 100 years since the foundation of the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society, which amalgamated with the Scottish Newspaper Publishers Association in 2009 to form the SNS, chief executives, managing directors and marketing directors have recognised the increasingly multi-platform readership of newspaper brands by putting their names to the campaign.

SNS director John McLellan said: “Newspapers understand their readers who in turn place a great amount of trust in our publications to reflect their values and act in their interests. The modern era of digital communication has enabled that relationship to combine the best of journalistic rigour with a new, instant and transparent conversation.

“For readers it means a far greater sense of ownership than was ever possible in the past and for our commercial partners it adds up to a compelling way to reach customers in a way few other platforms can surpass.

“This campaign is a recognition of the irreplaceable contribution newspapers in Scotland make to business and society, and we’re very proud to have such a distinguished list of supporters.”

The Scottish media industry contributes £1.2 billion to the Scottish economy, with around £770m (64%) of that coming from the newspaper and publishing industry. A report from Ebiquity in 2014 found that press advertisers earned £1.48 for every £1 spent.

According to a recent YouGov report, 54% of UK Twitter users aged 25 to 44 follow news brands. The findings also revealed that users in the UK who follow news brands on Twitter are more active online, generally more affluent, and tend towards ‘portfolio readership’ where they gather news from multiple news brands. The implications for advertisers are that a variety and multiplicity of brand or product placements are needed to reach this audience.

SNS director John McLellan added: “There has never been a better opportunity for news brands to speak directly to readers and involve them in the news agenda. Readership patterns and trends are changing; newspapers are evolving their business models and offering new ways for readers to connect with them online and via mobile and tablet technology.

Andy Willox, Scottish policy convenor, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland said: “Our 19,000 Scottish members do business across the length and breadth of the country. They know how important newspapers are to both local communities and economies. From Stranraer to Stornoway, Scottish small businesses back the newspaper industry and local journalism.”