The rebrand from Cumberland Newspapers to NewsLocal was a huge shift for community newspapers in New South Wales in recent years, and the person behind the relaunch has moved on to even bigger and better challenges since his Marketer of the Year win for his efforts.
As the deadline approaches for entries for the 2014 Advertising and Marketing Awards, The Newspaper Works caught up with Campbell Mitchell, who was marketing and strategy director at News Limited’s NSW community newspapers leading up to the transition.
Mr Mitchell led research projects among both consumers and internal staff which paved the way for the makeover, which he said made the brand much “more relevant and compelling for a local offering”.
By the time he won the PANPA for Marketer of the Year, he had already moved on to The Australian, where he led the “Search | Know | More” marketing campaign. “I wasn’t expecting it at all because I’d already moved roles,” he said. “But it was great.”
His team won five awards altogether for the project at the 2012 PANPAs, including the Branding, Events, Display Advertising, and Cause-Related Marketing categories. The latter was for community funding initiative Project Local. “Over the time we were there, [the project] injected money into about 70 worthwhile community projects, which was a great cause,” Mr Mitchell said.
“So those awards recognised a really collaborative team effort that really did bring staff together, from editorial and advertising and marketing.
“It actually included all staff, whether they were on the front desk, or finance, or HR, so everyone felt quite aligned to what we were doing and our role in the community.”
The response to the rebrand was as positive as the team had anticipated.
“We went back and back to consumers, so we were pretty confident we were going to get a good result,” Mr Mitchell said. “Reader satisfaction hit a high, people seemed to really [feel] the papers were much more useful and much more local. The changes that were made really resonated.”
In November 2013, he moved across the ditch to the role of group marketing director at Fairfax Media in New Zealand, where he is “having a great time.”
“We’ve got some really exciting brands, including one online brand, stuff.co.nz, which is really dominant in New Zealand. It has a great mobile offering and it is New Zealand’s number one mobile site.
“So there’s lots of opportunity,” Mr Mitchell said. “Looking at how to commercialise big audiences – that’s our big challenge right now.”
Entries for the 2014 Advertising and Marketing Awards close on Friday, April 4. Get your entry in here.