The future of newspapers is often seen as grim, but thanks to young talents, news publications are evolving to reach new audiences. One inspiring example of a young innovator making a positive contribution to the future of her media business is Emma Mann from Isle of Man Newspapers in the UK, who won the Young Achiever of the Year award at Newsawards 2018. Together with her team, she has been able to bring in up to £ 80,000 in additional revenue by embracing printed innovation.
We are pleased to be sponsoring the Young Achiever of the Year category award for NewsAwards 2019. The event takes place in London on the 8th of May.
The 26-year old Media Sales Consultant Emma Mann was awarded the UPM Premier award in April for her energetic can-do attitude and the hard work she has put into developing the UK newspaper’s print advertising approach. Working in close collaboration with her two colleagues as well as print business partner Newsprinters, Mann has helped Isle of Man Newspapers transition from traditional print advertising with standard sized adverts and fixed shapes to bespoke advertising with custom shapes and techniques. She was nominated for the award by her manager, who was impressed by the positive response the quality print initiatives have received. “The whole team has enjoyed the success as we work together,” Mann adds.
A successful career move resulted in innovation
Mann’s career at Isle of Man Newspapers began eight years ago, when she found a job in Newspaper Sales through one of the company’s newspapers, the Isle of Man Courier. However, she was inspired to make a move to Media Sales after realizing what kind of impact printed advertising could have on readers: “When The Sunday Times produced a translucent wrap for the Chanel No 5 perfume a couple of Christmases ago, three of my friends bought that paper due to the novelty of the wrap. It was the first time in their adult life that they had purchased a newspaper,” she recalls. “For someone with a background in newspaper sales, that was exciting to see. I wanted to be able to engage like that with our Isle of Man Newspapers publications.”
Combining visuality and quality; a recipe for success
The novel advertising approach has helped the newspaper engage with new advertisers and readers as well as generating impressive results for both the newspaper and its clients. “We have been able to reach a younger audience due to the engagement and the visual aspect of innovation,” Mann says. “For example, when we produced a translucent wrap for an e-gaming company, a number of 20 – 30 year olds said that they had seen the wrap and read the rest of the publication. The gaming company also saw a 60 % increase in traffic to their website.” In addition to boosting the visual appeal of their printed advertising, Mann’s team have been able to leverage the newspaper’s strong position in the local community in their innovation efforts. Destination Isle of Man is a newspaper supplement produced by Mann that promotes the island as a great place to live, work, and play. The highly visual, magazine-style piece is a prime example of the power of printed innovation – it started out as a panoramic pull-out that designed in an editorial format and has since gained popularity and evolved into a 16-page broadsheet on higher stock with a unique theme for each issue. “Not only does Destination Isle of Man bring in additional advertising revenue, but it’s also starting to help newspaper sales,” Mann explains. “The last issue, which was inserted into the Isle of Man Examiner, was our highest selling paper in a year and a half.” The supplement has also gained recognition with the local government, who have used it as a tool to showcase the island as a great place to have a career and raise a family.
Reaching the next generation in print
While innovation has the ability to generate impressive results, it also requires hard work and fresh perspectives to achieve. This means that attracting young talents to the news industry is crucial for continued success. “Some want the freedom to write or design, others are interested in a career path – everyone is different, but letting people know that there are possibilities to grow a career or try new areas within a company is important,” Mann says. For her, being able to explore new avenues and seeing her ideas, such as Destination Isle of Man, get support from her superiors has been essential. She is also part of a working party of four members that constantly reviews and challenges the company’s executive team. “They appreciate our work and are changing our products as a result of our suggestions. We push the door and they welcome our knowledge and understanding of digital and social media – its way ahead of theirs!” For other young talents aiming to push through with innovation, the Young Achiever of the Year would recommend a professional yet persistent approach to promote their ideas: “Try new things, listen to feedback, evolve on that feedback, and show willingness. If you have an idea, display it in a professional manner and describe the benefits that your ideas could have for the company.“ Overall, she would give the news industry a warm recommendation for any young talent looking for a career. “Yes, yes, join your local media, print, digital and social. We are so much stronger when we are joined up.”