For a publication all about the data, we made a small but ironic error in our first edition of The Works – we hopelessly underestimated our print run.
Demand for our new quarterly audience report far outstripped the initial 500 copies we had initially planned, and we had to make some urgent calls to our digital print centre to make sure 2,000 copies rolled off the Canon machine.
Such is the power of print.
This second issue is anchored in data from a new product enhancement within the audience survey, emma.
Some 20,000 respondents have contributed to the Engagement survey – the world’s largest – to illustrate how readers literally engage with their favourite publications.
A similar initiative has been undertaken in Scandinavia but no one has ever produced an Engagement metric as comprehensive in sample size or title coverage, embracing 189 newspapers and magazines.
This new survey focuses on reader attitudes and behaviour with individual publications, enhancing the traditional data around circulation and readership numbers. It reveals whether a respondent bought or borrowed the title plus what motivated them to read it, how they felt when they read it and the types of actions they took as a result of reading it.
It puts into contrast the rather more distracted behaviour around social media and a plethora of web sites that do not embrace quality content yet find themselves financed with programmatically traded ads.
The emma Engagement numbers do not herald a new era for the work practices of media buyers, but they should be profound for the sales teams of newspaper publishers because their commercial narrative is now far beyond size of audience.
Marketers, too, should be reappraising newspaper and print media in general and asking themselves what type of engagement they receive from other media.
The results of the Engagement survey vary between titles but they support the wisdom of some of our most respected media executives on the buy-side of the industry.
Thought leaders such as John Steedman, of Group M, Aegis’s Luke Littlefield, and John Sintras of SMV Group, say the demise of newspaper media has been and continues to be “over-sold”, and advertisers need to reassess based on the data.
The new Engagement survey supports their united belief that newspapers and magazines still have much to offer their commercial partners.
Mark Hollands is chief executive of The Newspaper Works