June 22, 2020 @ 11:57 by Chloe Holmes
Since launching the all-new North East Times in 2015, our aim has always been to provide a voice for the individuals and businesses shaping the North East economy.
We were confident there was a place for a regionwide publication, from Northumberland to North Yorkshire, to showcase the vibrancy, tenacity and world-class innovation of the region’s businesses and individuals.
And our readers and advertisers have proved us right.
This shines through the unwavering support and advocacy we have had from business leaders working in the region and beyond.
Like many of you, we have spent these challenging months reflecting on our business and where we go next.
We know we set the bar high – and we need to keep raising it!
Reflecting on all the above, we are committed as ever to informing and uplifting the businesses who have supported us so avidly over the past five years, in the best way we can for as long as we possibly can.
But business is not as usual, and we, like you, have had to adapt.
We were faced with challenges.
When businesses who could were advised to work from home, we followed suit, and adapted to producing a monthly publication completely remotely. We’ve now published three quality magazines under the most demanding conditions.
We’ve had to adapt all areas of the business operationally – including editorial, photography and production – reflected in our celebration of the ubiquitous Zoom call on the cover in May.
Our distribution model includes 3000+ copies delivered to key business and leisure venues across the North East, all of which were closed as a result of lockdown measures.
Understandably, many businesses also paused marketing budgets in light of the unprecedented uncertainty we find ourselves in.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the businesses that continued to support North East Times commercially, not only helping us to weather the storm, but also produce three issues during lockdown.
So, what did we do..
In response to the pandemic, we changed our editorial plans overnight, producing North East Times completely remotely from our respective homes.
Following our April and May issues, in June we published the ‘Health and Life Sciences’ issue to highlight some of the incredible work currently taking place across the North East.
The issue shared stories of extraordinary resilience, compassionate health workers and demonstrations of brilliant life science and engineering – all being delivered in this region.
We started, and have continued, a home delivery service at no cost, for our readers who couldn’t get their copy of North East Times in the usual way. We have been humbled by the response from our community for the small part of normality this has given them.
We invested more resource than ever in digital, including our website, social media and e-marketing channels, to maintain our engagement with a region-wide network, and to inform, support and advise our readers and advertisers.
Our digital journalist, Richard Dawson, has spoken to business leaders on our digital-only platform, Times Live, to better understand the challenges facing North East businesses and share knowledge and expertise.
These include exclusive interviews with the Chamber, Sintons Law, Newcastle International Airport, IPPR, Centre for Cities, Urban Observatory and many more.
We launched a ‘daily read’ e-shot in March, featuring articles from our digital, news and print channels, sent to 4,000+ targeted business mailing addresses. This expanded to include a ‘weekend read’ with the aim of supporting independent businesses in the North East through our Indie Series platform.
And finally, we have published daily news stories relating to COVID-19 and the impact of the global pandemic on a regional and national level, as well as highlighting the businesses who have risen to the challenge and pivoted or adapted under the most difficult circumstances.
And the results?
We now have a 400+ home mailing list of NET, with the magazine delivered through your letterbox each month, as well as continuing to land on the desks of key decisionmakers across the North East.
Our digital presence has seen significant growth, with our social, web and e-marketing footprint more visible than ever.
Between April and May, our website had 40,000+ users, 46,500+ sessions and 72,150+ page views, and our e-mail ‘daily read’ has maintained a 20.1 per cent open rate.
The three issues we have produced in lockdown have covered stories of tenacity, innovation and the region’s ability to adapt in times of adversity.
We have continued to dedicate resource for independent content in the publication – with no commercial drive – to continue our mission to deliver transparent and authoritative journalism.
And we know that the challenging times have not yet passed so we all need to support each other more than ever.
We have tailored a recovery package – for you and your clients – to use to promote your products and services in the period of recovery following these challenging months, across our print and digital platforms.
For further information on these opportunities, please contact –
Rachael Laschke – email@example.com
Matt Pacey – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re a reader, advertiser or a business trying to find their way in this new reality, and you want to speak to us about anything, please get in touch.
We’re always here to talk!