What does the Indy’s demise mean for the PR industry?

10 March 2016, News

In its heyday, the Indy sold 428,000 copies a day. When its publishers decided to stop production in February, its circulation was just 28,000. Some media analysts would say it was inevitable given the digital age. But will other national print titles go the same way? What does the Indy’s demise mean for the PR industry? We put these questions to the industry experts and here’s what they had to say:

“Print is alive and kicking. Just look at the launch of the New Day within weeks of the news about the Indy’s demise. But with any medium, you need an audience. If you deliver good original content in a format they enjoy, the audience will grow and, if you’ve got the business model right, so will revenues. In local media, we deliver content in multiple ways, print, website, social media. Those methods will continue to evolve with audience demand. Will more newspapers and magazines cease printing in the next five years? Probably. Does print have a long-term future? Certainly.”

Gavin Thompson – Assistant Editor, Bristol Post

“The Indy’s demise does not spell the death knell for news, because a strong, authoritative press will always play a hugely important role in the UK, regardless of the format we receive it in. And media relations will always be an important strand of communications, albeit alongside the other activities that form the modern PR campaign.”

Matt Cartmell – PRCA Communications, Marketing & Events Director

“The Independent’s closure in print is hardly a shock. Its circulation had gradually fallen to an unacceptable level for a broad-based newspaper. The economics of print for such titles are increasingly tough, but other specialist print titles with different business models – the Evening Standard, GQ, The Economist – are doing very well. Even the ‘I’ newspaper is a success. The death of print has been predicted for more than 20 years but the format still has its place, particularly when content operations are integrated with digital and live events in an intelligent and professional manner.”

Danny Rogers – Group Editor-in-Chief, the Brand Republic Group

“It’s always a great shame to see any print title end its days and the loss of both the Independent and the Independent on Sunday graphically symbolises the way that print is still having to readjust to the digital onslaught. Predictions of the death of the newspaper, though, are still wide of the mark. Print is simply finding its new audience balance, as it did with broadcasting, and some titles remain more vulnerable to others. The success of the ‘I’ and the launch of The New Day shows print is still marketable and important”

Clarence Mitchell

“I would not go as far to say that the Indy’s demise and transition to a digital only platform spells the end of PR as once we knew it as print and broadcast media still have an important place in the media mix particularly amongst business decision makers and rural communities. Only recently, Ofcom’s ‘News Consumption in the UK’ report revealed that television is still the most popular way for adults to keep abreast of news and current affairs. However, what it does reinforce is the need for the PR industry to become much more digital savvy as online becomes increasingly dominant in the media space and to make sense of the increasingly fragmented media marketplace for the benefit of their clients.”

Chris Lawrance – Managing Director, JBP

By Nicola Knowles, Senior Account Executive at JBP



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