HOW’S BUSINESS? Business is challenging at the moment. Advertising is one of the first things to be effected by a lack of consumer confidence. Now more than ever we need to demonstrate to local business that print and online advertising works, that advertising is a valuable part of the marketing mix and that advertising delivers a return on investment.
ANY EXCITING PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE?
This is an exciting time in digital media. In April we launched www.niCarFinder.co.uk which as the name suggests is not only a buying/selling platform for used cars but also motorbikes, vans, motor homes, caravans and even boats.
IN FUTURE, THE MEDIA WILL BE DOMINATED BY A SMALL NUMBER OF BIG BRANDS
Currently we are working on transfer of the www.belfasttele graph.co.uk to an enhanced web delivery platform.
In essence the site remains the same but the platform it sits on changes.
This new platform will provide increased functionality which will enable better presentation of editorial, greater interaction and ultimately an enhanced user experience.
At the same time we are taking the opportunity to review our content and we will be making some significant changes extending our coverage of news sport, business, travel and entertainment.
Not only do we hope that these changes will increase users to our web site but they will also increase the audience for the Belfast Telegraph overall, thereby enabling advertisers to combine the Telegraph in print and the Telegraph online to increase the reach and frequency of their campaigns.
WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM PROSPECTS FOR YOUR COMPANY?
In the future the media will be dominated by a small number of big brands delivering their audience through a combination of media channels selected from television, radio, press, web, digital screens, mobile (blackberry/i-phone) and other devices still being developed.
To be one of these big brands the Belfast Telegraph needs to extend beyond print into web and other delivery channels.
As part of Independent News and Media (INM) the Telegraph is well-placed to meet these challenges.
The group is committed to digital publishing, as evidenced by our performance with online revenues growing by 111.5% last year — significantly ahead of the market. As a group we have more than 100 online sites, 12 million monthly unique users, more than 130 million page impressions per m onth and delivered ‘like-for-like’ display and classified advertising growth in 2007 of 47% year on year.
As digital publisher for INM it is great to have that level of expertise, support and encouragement for www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk and our other sites, www.loadza jobs.co.uk and www.niCarFinder. co.uk
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACING YOUR ORGANISATION?
One of the biggest challenges we face is to show the benefits digital advertising can deliver — in the UK digital advertising accounts for more than 10% of the total advertising spend, in Northern Ireland estimates are less than 1%.
Having used digital media as an advertiser I can see the enormous potential that it has in terms of not only audience delivery, accountability and results.
It is frustrating to see others missing out on this great opportunity.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WORK FOR YOU?
We have a small but very committed team and because web publishing is still relatively new we have lots to learn. We enjoy what we do and hope that our enthusiasm rubs off on people who join the team.
WHAT AMBITIONS DO YOU HAVE ON A PERSONAL LEVEL?
In the short term my aim is to successfully launch www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk on its new platform and in the long term it’s to move our digital publishing into profit and to make a positive contribution to the Belfast Telegraph and INM.
WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
In my spare time I like to spend time with my family — I have a super wife, Gail and three great boys.
With the boys I enjoy garden cricket, garden football, garden badminton and garden gardening. Every so often I play golf — unfortunately rather badly.