MEDIA COMPANY of the Year
PUBLISHING COMPANY of the Year
Newsquest picked up the two major prizes at the inaugural Scottish Media Awards, taking both the Grand Prix prize and Publishing Company of the Year.
Having picked up seven awards as well as receiving several commendations, Newsquest walked away with the Grand Prix award as Media Company of the Year.
Other awards presented to Newsquest at the event in the Crowne Plaza last week were to Kathleen Sherry as Newcomer of the Year, National Newspaper Display Team of the Year, the Evening Times’ Pet Idol won the award for Promotion of the Year, Innovation of the Year went to The Herald’s Society supplement while the company’s official G8 Summit magazine took the Pitch of the Year award.
For strong products such as its Society supplement, impressive sales figures and interesting approaches to client solutions, the judges viewed its strengths above the other entries.
Ian Clarke, sales and marketing director at Newsquest, said of the wins: “It was an excellent achievement from our team to win such a wide range of awards over such a wide range of categories. It was great to see individuals awarded, but I think that one of key things is that the awards that were won reflected our commitment to innovation and strong customer service and bringing the two together is always a challenge. But at the same time it is a challenge that we have met and will continue to meet.”
Clarke continued to say: “I thought it was a great night and everything that was done was done very well. These awards reflect very well on our titles, especially at a time when the market is as it is, we have a very strong team working on a very strong portfolio of titles which I believe is a recipe for continued success for us.”
Sales Team of the Year
Client Solutions, Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd
Formed less than three years ago, the Client Solutions team has followed the business objective of driving revenues through working more closely with clients by offering them bespoke communication solutions.
The four strong team has significantly raised their profile in terms of offering quantifiable creative and innovative solutions for clients. As a result, the team has delivered and driven significant year on year revenue increases in a very tough and highly competitive marketplace.
An ability to develop significant revenue streams has also proved to be highly commendable. With the challenge to be more creative, the team has used new media options and have willingly become more accountable to clients who expect a return on their investment.
Despite cutbacks on advertising/PR budgets in 2005 and clients seeking more accountable results and added value from their advertising commitment, Client Solutions has faced all problems head on, and proved that it is possible to be successful against such obstacles with some imagination and determination.
Sales Person of the Year
Martha Phillip, senior tele-sales executive
at the Daily Record & Sunday Mail
Phillip works on the retail category, selling into a wide range of titles, sections and supplements across the SDRSM portfolio.
Phillip was nominated for a range of reasons, including her highly consistent sales delivery over nearly thirty years, the last year especially. This year Phillip has demonstrated the ability to rise to the challenges set by the current marketplace.
According to Denise West, advertising director, Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd, “It is hard to believe that Martha has worked in the advertising department of the Daily Record & Sunday Mail for 28 1⁄2 years since there has been absolutely no dampening of her enthusiasm or sales drive. Day after day, week after week, month after month, she performs to the highest standard and delivers great results for advertisers.”
In a retail marketplace that has experienced a downturn over the last year, Phillip was able to increase sales revenue by 19% against 2004.
At the beginning of 2005, Phillip - along with her sales team - was instrumental in launching a new regular weekly supplement, Right at Home in the Sunday Mail. Despite initial scepticism among the existing advertising client base, Phillip’s skills and persistence have ensured that the Right at Home platform is now warmly received by many retail advertisers. She developed new platforms and revenue streams within the section, and has improved the Sunday Mail’s overall market share within the sector. Her belief in the product has been an inspiration to others.
Promotion of the Year
Evening Times, Pet Idol
The Evening Times invited readers to enter their pets into a competition to find ‘Pet Idol’ 2005. Readers sent a photo of their pet, which was then printed within one of three special ‘Pet Idol’ supplements.
Following these publications, readers then voted for their favourite pet, the one which received the most votes was then crowned Pet Idol 2005.
The award for the winning pet was £2,000, a year’s free pet food and a year’s free pet insurance. Two runners up received a cheque for £1,000 each.
Over 1,000 readers put forward their dogs, cats, budgies, hamsters, snakes, ferrets and other assorted creatures for the competition. Following this14,000 votes were received (about 5.3 per cent of the paper’s total readership.)
Pet Idol lasted for eight weeks, providing the paper with daily coverage for the Scottish SPCA who required a high profile, long term promotion to support the launch of their re-branding campaign, designed to distinguish the charity from its English counterpart.
Pet Idol was designed to appeal directly to the emotions of the Evening Times readers through a fun and informative interactive campaign. This approach encouraged readers to interact with the sponsor’s brand, and prompt them to donate funds to and join the charity.
As a result of Pet Idol, there was a measured increase in the number of pets who were re-homed as well as a significant increase in donations to the SSPCA. Readers were also afforded the opportunity to interact with the newspaper and the charity by showcasing their beloved pets.
Pitch of the Year
Newsquest Herald & Times, G8 Summit Magazine
As one of the most important events in recent history to take place in Scotland, the eyes of the world were on the nation as it played host to the 31st annual G8 Summit in July 05.
Newsquest Herald & Times submitted an Expression of Interest to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with their intent of publishing a “high quality glossy magazine” for the use of delegates who would be attending the meeting. The company also proposed publishing a 24-page supplement to be issued in The Herald as well as a national newspaper, providing coverage across the UK.
Both the magazine and the supplement were designed to reflect the key themes which would be discussed at the Summit and the supplement was published on 100 per cent recycled paper as a result of global warming being one of the key issues on the Summit’s agenda.
Once published, the magazine was circulated to MPs, MSPs, MEPs as well as being distributed at the Summit itself.
Following the Summit, Joan McAlpine, then deputy editor of The Herald, received a letter, addressed from 10 Downing Street, from Michael Jay, the G8 Sherpa. The letter commended both publications, stating that they were commended by the delegates and media attending the Summit. Jay also commented: “Both publications have been extremely important in our work to raise the profile of the key G8 themes across a wider UK and international audience.”
Commendations of the publications also came from Hassan Omar Gumbo Kibelloh, High Commissioner of the Tanzania and Lindiwe Mabuza, High Commissioner of South Africa.
Newcomer of the Year
Kathleen Sherry, Client Solutions business
development executive, Newsquest, Herald & Times Ltd
Sherry joined the ad sales department straight from university in August 2004.
She began her career on the supplements and features team where she quickly made her mark by achieving 50 per cent of her annual sales target by the end of quarter one. Many of the projects that Sherry has worked on she has had sole responsibility for, yet has maintained a single-minded determination whilst becoming an integral part of the team.
Promoted to Client Solutions as a business development executive in record time, she has proven herself to be as equally a good operator in putting together creative solutions as she was when pulling together features and supplements.
Projects that Sheery has assumed sole responsibility for include, The Sunday Herald Restaurant Guide, The Herald Student Guide, Glasgow for Lovers and Exam Guides 1 &2.
Display Team of the Year
The Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald
Following a restructure in January 2004, the display team at The Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald was developed to incorporate agency sales, the direct display team, feature and supplements team, the client solutions team and the sponsorship team.
Through the use of a cohesive approach, the team’s combined performance last year saw a combined ten per-cent rise in revenue performance for The Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald, while the yield performance also rose.
Other indicators of the team’s success include growth of advertisement count across the core agency and direct display teams, as well as an expansion of 30 per cent more supplements. Other publications launched included the widely acclaimed official G8 Magazine, the youth targeted fresh and other client sponsored projects like Quality Meat Scotland.
Marketing Campaign of the Year
Daily Record Regional Columnists
The Daily Record has long been proud of its sport coverage which has been a key strength of the paper. After feedback that the paper had a West Coast bias (in particular to the Old Firm), the Daily Record had to tangibly demonstrate its commitment to coverage of all major clubs outwith the SPL, specifically focusing on the major conurbations around Scotland i.e. Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeen.
The paper felt that the most effective way to make a direct connection with the clubs and their fans, was to sign up high profile columnists from each relevent club to talk about issues surrounding the club.
Columnists such as Dunfermline manager Jim Leishman, Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood, Motherwell striker Ritchie Foran and Dundee Utd manager Craig Brewster were signed up for weekly columns through out the football season.
These columnists only appeared in their designated regional edition – west, central, east (& borders), Tayside, Grampian and finally Highlands - which had a beneficial effect on circulation figures with an increase in all edition areas.
Innovation of the Year
Product Launch of the Year
The Herald’s Society
According to Newsquest, the need for its ‘Society’ supplement in The Herald stemmed from: “increasing pressures on public sector recruitment budgets demanding the need to provide real added value to both the consumer and advertiser through a dedicated high quality editorial platform aimed at those interested in working in the public sector.”
As a result ‘Herald Society’ was launched in 2004 to offer an editorial forum to key public sector areas in Scotland.
The audience for the supplement was aimed towards those interested in health, education, the regeneration of towns and cities and the voluntary sector.
A vital aspect of the supplement is its recruitment section, offering prime and genuine added value to public sector advertisers. This group of advertisers are responsible for 60 per cent of recruitment advertising volumes in The Herald’s Scotland Appointments.
By launching the recruitment pages within ‘Society’ a new format and highly focused additional platform to public sector advertisers including local authorities, hospitals, educational establishments and Scottish government bodies was created.
Through the launch of ‘Society’ The Herald carried the lion’s share of quality recruitment in the Scottish national marketplace, nearly a third more than its closest competitor.
A major challenge faced by the supplement was the threat of budget cuts in public sector recruitment revenues. A new platform was needed, which ‘Society’ has successfully and effectively achieved.
Independent Sales Point of the Year
Mediaforce Scotland is the only regional press sales house with a Scottish office. Established with a staff of two in 1998, the Scottish branch has grown to now employ eight, with the sales team split between display newspaper, recruitment and magazines.
In that short time, the sales house has won numerous awards, and continued to grow in stature as they continue to work with Reader’s Digest and BA Media.
Mediaforce sales in 2005 were up by seven per cent with Reader’s Digest share up from 1.7 per cent in December 04 to eight per cent in December 05.
BA Media UK sales were up 17 per cent in 2005, their third highest performer after the United States and France.
Mediaforce also won business from National Geographic, Delta, US and United Airline in-flight advertising.
Mediaforce also worked with the Scottish Executive in setting up and brokering a sponsorship column across local press throughout Scotland, including non-Mediaforce titles.
Free Newspaper Sales Team of the Year
Daily Record, Sunday Mail - Metro Scotland
The dedicated three-person strong team at Metro Scotland won the Free Newspaper Sales Team of the Year Award, following a highly successful year in which their recorded continued revenue growth for the fifth year running.
Launched in November 1999, Metro is Scotland’s only daily freesheet. Available throughout central Scotland, the paper has become a strong competitor in the Scottish marketplace with a continued growth of advertising revenue. With a strong performance in both ROP and Classified sections of the free sheet, the sales team have continued to develop the Metro brand without cheapening it.
Due to Metro’s national template, the team have no positioning control, fractional sizes or sponsorship columns or platforms. They do have control over the communication of the consumption of a product to clients, requiring an innovative approach towards a client.
The team regularly run small creative campaigns built into listings that generate extra revenue without taking away from other daily spaces which can be sold.
In this difficult marketplace the Metro sales team exceeded its local plan, showing a growth in revenue from 2004.
Year on year revenue growth was achieved across all of the main categories: entertainment, business, motors, property, travel and recruitment, with only retail retail falling below the 2004 figure.
Broadcast Company of the Year
Real Radio Scotland, established in Jan 2002 has gone from strength to strength in a very short time, rising from the ghost that was Scot FM to become Scotland’s most listened to commercial radio station. Real Radio Scotland has also become the most popular regional radio station outside of London.
Jay Crawford, programme director at Real Radio Scotland explained the thinking behind the manner in which the station was set-up after the demise of Scot FM: “How do you make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Our research prior to launch provided some clues. Variety, personality, local information and engaging speech came up constantly in focus groups. Prospective clients had to have confidence to invest and that demanded consistency.”
Crawford continued: “There was a commitment to quality speech with daily news programmes as well as longer bulletins. Shock jock tactics had been tried before but had a limited shelf life that in the end attracted the lowest common denominator. They had driven away advertisers unwilling to associate themselves with tirades against nurses, the elderly and single parents.”
In 2005, Real Radio Scotland retained its crown as most popular Scottish commercial radio station, claiming to be ahead of their nearest commercial competitor in Scotland by over 150,000 listeners.
Best Media Website
Despite only being two-years-old, Scotcareers - powered by Trinity Mirror - has become one of Scotland’s most effective websites for jobseekers and recruitment advertisers alike.
Scotcareers combines two roles within the recruitment sector, as an important up-weight for press advertisers using the Daily Record, Sunday Mail, Scottish & Universal local titles, Metro and The Glaswegian.
It is also a strong website in its own right, attracting a wide range of independent advertising and delivering measurable results for its clients.
The success of Scotcareers has been acknowledged by Trinity Mirror, which has replicated its format in other regions across the UK. Continually developing, it has successfully become one of the main recruiting forums in Scotland, with continued growth in job vacancies being advertised, site traffic and an expanding client base.
In 2005, after only a year, the site made a marginal profit, that has continued to increase, and is forecast to do so across 2006.
Independent research carried out in April 2005 by Scottish Opinion found that the awareness of all Scottish adults of Scotcareers had grown from 26 per cent in November 2004, to 33per cent in April 2005.
Meanwhile awareness of Scotcareers among all Scottish jobseekers had risen from 49 per cent in November 2004, to 60 per cent in April 2005.