With the Covid-19 crisis wreaking havoc on the finances of the Irish media industry, Ann Marie Lenihan, the CEO of NewsBrands Ireland, has emphasised the important role news brands are playing in covering the unfolding crisis while highlighting their role in reporting factual content and providing rigorous analysis.
Over the past few weeks, a number of news brands have experienced a significant drop in advertising revenues. A number of publishing groups including INM, the Irish Times, the Business Post and Journal Media, have introduced a mixture of pay-cuts, temporary lay-offs and reduced working hours for some staff. In addition, a number of regional publishing groups have also been heavily impacted by the downturn and a number of lay-offs have already taken place.
“The Covid-19 crisis has had a profound effect on us all. People are staying apart but want to stay in touch. They are anxious and confused but hungry for information. Facts and rigorous analysis matter now more than ever,” says Lenihan.
“Our members’ newsrooms have been working overtime and often completely remotely to keep the communities they serve updated with factual information. Audiences have surged, with record online traffic and increases in news subscriptions,” she adds.
“Apart from regularly updated news reports, people are turning to trusted news brands for analysis and commentaries, videos and explainers, to help them make sense of this unprecedented and fast-moving crisis. But as well as Covid-19 information, people are desperate for distraction, for some light relief with a notable increase in demand for lifestyle and entertainment content,” says Lenihan.
“Few other media offer the reach, quality engagement, trust, plus time spent reading newsbrands content, be in it in print or online,” she adds.
To demonstrate the power of press advertising, NewsBrands Ireland has created a video for its members and the wider advertising community featuring recent campaigns from retailers, food brands, the motoring industry, government, and SMEs.
“Many have used the unique power of the full page print ad to powerfully convey their message and we thank advertisers for choosing newsbrands at this time,” she concludes.