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Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2013

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Introduction from The Chairman

a difficult women’s weekly market place when many other magazines are seeing their sales decline.

Welcome to the latest edition of the Insider. It’s been a busy and productive period for DC Thomson, with many activities progressing well. We’ve launched three new exciting newspaper supplements. The Courier’s Saturday supplement is full of features, fashion, food, travel, leisure and wonderful new columnists. The title also recently launched The Courier Business Awards and printed its 50,000th issue. Meanwhile, The Press and Journal has introduced Elegance and YL. These new lifestyle supplements are part of a bumper package for readers. The hard work of all of our newspapers teams was celebrated at the recent Editorial Awards. Congratulations to all those who won prizes or were highly commended. It’s also been a busy time for our Magazines business. The People’s Friend has undergone a number of editorial improvements recently and managed to record a period-on-period sales increase. This is a particularly encouraging result in

Consumer Entertainment activity has been wide-ranging from the launch of a new responsive website for Scottish Wedding Directory to the production of ‘Jackie The Musical’ at the Gardyne Theatre, a win for The Beano at the Licensing Awards, and ITV3 Sponsorship for The People’s Friend and My Weekly. There’s also been the Historic Scotland “blue plaque” for Oor Wullie illustrator Dudley D. Watkins, the launch of The Broons Christmas CD and the upcoming 60th birthday of Minnie the Minx to celebrate. Good luck to all those who are nominated for the PPA Scotland Magazine Awards in December. It’s excellent to see so many of our staff and titles shortlisted. In the past few months we’ve enjoyed Roadshows, Family Fun Days in Aberdeen and Dundee and press tours for over 500 staff. Across the Group a number of changes have been made to the business structure of our Group company brightsolid. Headed by CEO Annelies van den Belt, DC Thomson Family History (previously brightsolid online publishing) will lead the way in the market further developing our brands findmypast, Genes Reunited, BNA and Lives of the First World War.

second-round of applications from digital, technology and creative media start-ups whilst sister project IDEALondon launched in October and is progressing with the first round of start-up companies. In this edition, we welcome some new faces to our company including Archive Manager Liza Giffen, Press Officer Louise Farmer, Management Accountant Stuart Sheils and Group Organisational Development Lead Partner Simon Smith. In the Chair shines the spotlight on our new Events and Exhibition Manager Gina Adams. As ever, staff members have been involved in a number of charitable activities and raised money for very worthwhile charities. You can read about some of these initiatives on page 12. Finally, I’d like to thank all of you for your hard work and support. I’m pleased so many of you have taken the opportunity to let us know how you’re feeling in our staff survey. With Christmas around the corner, I hope you are able to enjoy your department’s festivities. I’d like to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2014.

The latest Management Development Programme participants have been presented with completion certificates. Sonja Cox, Andrew Kellock, Mark Davies, Jamie Donald, Annette Cameron, Lynn Kernan, Emma Wright, Susan McKay and Scott Begbie (pictured above) passed the course and were given certificates by David Thomson in Aberdeen. Allison Hay, Jacki Littlejohn, Ian Cowley, John Leatherbarrow and Russell Scott (pictured below) also successfully passed the course and were presented with certificates by Andrew F. Thomson at Kingsway in Dundee. To complete the course, managers attend training modules and complete a work-based presentation project. Some of the participants are now planning to undertake an external qualification in Leadership and Management.

brightsolid online technology continues to be led by MD Richard Higgs. We’ll feature more on their activity in the next edition. IDEAScotland has opened its doors for a

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Welcome To... Falkirk-born Liza Giffen is DC Thomson’s new Archive Manager. Liza has worked as a Surveying Officer for the Business Archives Council of Scotland, an Archivist / Collections Manager at Special Collections, Brotherton library, University of Leeds, and an Engagement Manager for the north of England at The National Archives at Kew.

Louise Farmer has joined DC Thomson in the new role of Press Officer. Originally from Dunfermline, Louise graduated with a BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies from Queen Margaret University. Louise said, “I’ve worked for some fantastic media companies. My highlights include working with the legendary Jim Leishman at Dunfermline Athletic Football Club and having the opportunity to work on the BBC Proms at the amazing Royal Albert Hall.”  She continued, “The main bulk of my experience came from working at Channel 4 on PR campaigns for groundbreaking programmes; True Stories, Dispatches and Big Brother alongside 90210, Misfits and The British Comedy Awards. I also enjoyed working for 20th Century Fox (not least because I got to meet Alex Borstein (Lois from Family Guy)) in publicity and branding for their international market. I love working in PR!” After five years in London, Louise returned home to work for DC Thomson. She said, “I knew that the role would afford me the opportunity to work on campaigns across DC Thomson’s impressive publishing and Group companies’ portfolio – it’s quite an exciting proposition.” Insider temp.indd 3

Liza, who joined the company in August, was interested in the role long before it was advertised. She said, “DC Thomson’s archive is something of a legend in the archives community. It was one of the dream jobs I always wanted, even before the vacancy was posted. The collection is one of the most important in the country – not just as a business archive but as a part of the social history of the UK. I wanted to work with this iconic material and help mould an archive that will be recognised as an intrinsic part of the country’s national heritage, at the same time as achieving the equally important goal of making the material work for the company itself.” Over the coming months, Liza will organise and catalogue our archive – making it easier for everyone to use more effectively. Group Organisational Development Lead Partner (Human Resources) Simon Smith is originally from Stenhousemuir. He studied psychology at the University of Stirling before taking up an HR position with RBS. After seven years Simon moved to an Organisational Development role at the University of Stirling, where he managed several HR projects and development programmes.

Management Accountant Stuart Sheils has joined DC Thomson’s Dundee-based Finance team. Originally from Aberdeen, Stuart studied Management with Economics at Robert Gordon University. After graduating, he moved to Dundee to work as a Trainee Chartered Accountant with Henderson Loggie. Stuart said, “My face may be recognisable to a lot of the staff here since I was one of the auditors for the past few years, both for the Circulation figures and the year-end financial audit, meaning I have spoken to a fair few staff members – or passed them in the corridor.” Stuart, who passed his final ICAS exam in June, was eager to work for DC Thomson. He said, “I was attracted to the role since I already knew everyone I was going to be working with and knew it would be an interesting challenge. So far, it’s like returning to school after the summer holidays – I already know my classmates and teachers, but I don’t know all the new work I will be doing!”

Simon said, “I grew up reading many DCT titles and couldn’t wait to get started. The role itself presented a new stretch and challenge within a different sector and that also really appealed to me. So far it’s going well.” Over the next few months, Simon will be working on a number of projects including the staff survey, a new company-wide HR system and new intranet. He said, “The organisation is diverse and the work is varied. The people are great and have been very welcoming. I can see huge potential and hope to make a really positive contribution.”

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In the News...

Tied to the tides

lives shaped by the sea


what you are wearing

bringing to our readers. Given the depth of local news plus all the national and international news you could need to stay informed and entertained, I believe this is a fantastic Saturday read.”

economies of the north of Scotland, it gives them some clues as to how to part with their hard-earned cash!” He added, “YL is a different offering entirely; a quality Saturday supplement with an emphasis on lifestyle, it covers everything from food and drink to travel, property, fashion and interior design. It showcases recipes from celebrity chefs, including Jamie Oliver, Tom Kitchin, Michael Smith of The Three Chimneys and Lady Claire MacDonald.”

A team of local, awardwinning chefs are also guiding readers through the kitchen with recipe ideas and tips for seasonal cooking. The magazine features Martin Hollis from St Andrews’ Old Course Hotel, Graeme Pallister from 63 Tay Street, Perth, Garry Watson from Gordon’s Restaurant in Inverkeilor and Jonny Greer from Dundee’s Doubletree by Hilton.


On 1st November the inaugural Courier Business forage with Awards launched. Hosted Graeme Pallister by writer, broadcaster and former MP Gyles Brandreth the awards took place at Plus your seven day Tv guide Fairmont St Andrews. The event attracted 500 business As part of a major investment in the title, The people from across Courier country, Courier has launched a bigger and better Richard said, “I am convinced that these Saturday package. Courier Weekend is a awards will grow and grow every year, new magazine packed with features from the especially given the wonderful opportunity current Saturday paper plus fashion, new they present to businesses to show the writers, more food, travel and leisure. It also rest of the country how innovative and features two star columnists; news reader adventurous they can be.” Fiona Armstrong and opinion writer Robert McNeil. For the first time ever, the paper November also saw The Courier publish carries seven-day TV listings as well as its 50,000th issue. First published on 20th introducing television critic Paul Whitelaw. September 1816, the 50,000th issue went on sale 4th November 2013. Editor Richard Neville said, “I’m excited and proud to introduce the extra content we are Insider temp.indd 4

In September, The Press and Journal launched two new lifestyle supplements; glossy magazine Elegance and weekly Saturday supplement YL. Elegance will be distributed quarterly in The Press and Journal and will be available at selected hotels throughout the North of Scotland. Editor-in-Chief Damian Bates explains, “The new quarterly is all about offering readers an insight into the realms of luxury that so many of us can only dream of attaining. For some who have been successful in their chosen fields in the booming

TV presenter and nutritionist, Amanda Hamilton, has launched a new health column for YL and there are new travel writers, in-depth news features and a little bit of fun, too. Other regular features include celebrity interviews, home interiors and seven-day TV listings and reviews. The publication also works with local solicitors to bring readers an exclusive first look at the latest properties on the market. Damian said, “These two new quality supplements have enhanced The Press and Journal brand. Our research highlighted a gap in the market for luxury and lifestyle publications for the north of Scotland. It’s vital that we meet the needs of our readers and give them something fantastic to delve into over the weekend. It gives people more reason than ever to pick up their Press and Journal each and every day.” 4 05/12/2013 17:03

Magazine Successes...

Scottish Wedding Directory has launched a brand new responsive website created in-house by the DC Thomson Digital team. The website complements the magazine in both design and user-friendly layout. Features writer Natasha Radmehr said, “We were keen to create a site with areas that would appeal to brides-to-be at different stages of the wedding planning process and we also wanted to ensure that our content was varied enough to address the needs of different user groups; from those looking for the latest news, to those browsing for a bit of inspiration and light reading.” SWD’s news stories now appear more prominently on the homepage and drop-down menus help readers navigate around the website more easily. Natasha said, “The scrolling ‘hero’ features on the front page give the site a more dynamic feel. We’re really proud of our revamped directory listings too, now when our readers search for wedding suppliers, they’ll not only find their contact details but links to their social media accounts, a Google Maps widget and images of the shops and / or their products too. The feedback from our advertisers has been overwhelmingly positive.” The SWD forum – which has over 8500 members – has also undergone a makeover, and a blog has been added to build on the community aspect of the website. The blog is regularly updated with topical posts that SWD readers can comment on. Natasha added, “It’ll also provides us with lots of content to share via our social media channels (primarily Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and ultimately, drive traffic to the site!”

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In August, The People’s Friend bucked the trend of declining sales and recorded a period-onperiod sales increase. The famous story magazine recorded sales of 243,137 copies from January to June 2013 – over 1% rise. Editor Angela Gilchrist said, “This is a fantastic result and one that rewards all the hard work put in by everyone associated with this wonderful magazine. For over a year, we’ve been working towards this goal with a long-term plan involving increased pagination, enhanced content and design, superb subscription offers and a carefully focused campaign to raise awareness of the title through TV sponsorship and retail promotions.” She added, “I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved, which is even more remarkable given the difficult challenges currently being faced by the traditional women’s weekly magazine market.”

Head of Circulation Iain McKenzie said, “This is a very encouraging posting for The People’s Friend – especially with the challenge of declining sales in the women’s weekly market place. The sponsorship and in-store point of sale has worked well, helping to grow awareness of the brand and to stabilise sales. Furthermore, the subscriptions marketing campaign has resulted in a 25% year-on-year growth in subscriptions.” Head of Advertising (Consumer Entertainment) Andrew Williams added, “The research, development and marketing commitment made to The People’s Friend has clearly paid off. The People’s Friend is in a strong position and is an attractive proposition to advertisers.” 5 05/12/2013 17:03

Parragon’s 25th Anniversary... Our Group company Parragon celebrated its 25th anniversary in October. From humble beginnings as a supplier to UK retailers, Parragon has grown into one of the largest illustrated non-fiction publishers in the world, providing books, gifts and stationery products to more than 35 countries.

CEO Paul Taylor shares some personal highlights with the Insider… Q. What attracted you to Parragon? A. I liked the people I met, there was energy to the company, I liked the books and was excited about being part of a small company that had big global ambitions. I remember thinking after my first interview that this company was ‘quirky’ – weird in a good kind of way that made you want to know more and be part of. Q. How has the company evolved since you became CEO in 2006?

A. Since 2001, Parragon has been on a journey of constant re-invention. When I started, we were a UK business focused on Woolworths and Asda and now we’re a global business working with many of the world’s leading retailers. We’ve also expanded from publishing lower priced books to books at many price points and from not having any licensed books to being one of the biggest licensed publishers in the world. Q. How has Parragon’s relationship with DC Thomson developed?

A. Our relationship probably hasn’t

changed that much. DCT remains as supportive as ever and open to the possibilities for Parragon.

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Q. How has Parragon adapted to the

constantly changing publishing landscape?

A. We need to keep evolving to stay in business. Parragon has developed across all areas of our business over the last 25 years; we’ve improved the quality of our publishing, expanded our retail channels, opened in new markets, moved into license publishing and now we’re looking at stationery, gifting and digital. Q. Can you explain why our relationship

with licenses, including Disney, Nickelodeon, Mattel and Discovery is so strong?

A. Licensors like our ability to reach a broad

number of channels and our penetration in the

mass market. Parragon is probably the best at getting books to non-bookshop channels. Licensors also like our global approach and ability to deliver consistently. at Parragon?

Musical because we had customers chasing us for product it was so popular. Cooking: Grandma’s Best Recipes and A Year Full of Recipes – they’re great books with diverse but easy-to-follow recipes. Adult: Great Battles or Ultimate Book of Flight – I spend a lot of time on planes!

A. Persuading great people to come and

Q. How do you see the company adapting

Q. Of all the books Parragon’s published,

A. Books will always be a core part of who we are. However, we need to push beyond books as the publishing landscape is changing faster than ever before. I hope that within five years, 75% of our revenue will come from traditional books and 25% from new areas such as gifting, stationery and digital.

Q. What’s your greatest achievement work here.

what’s been your favourite and why?

A. Kids: Underpants Thunderpants – the

title really sticks in the mind and I like the artwork. License: My favourite franchise is High School

and evolving?

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Jackie The Musical marked the beginning of anniversary celebrations for Jackie magazine which turns 50 in January 2014. The production attracted over 6000 visitors during its run and Gardyne Theatre Manager, Alan Dear, was thrilled with the musical’s success. The Beano won Best Classic Licensed Property at The Licensing Awards 2013, which were held at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London in September. The annual awards celebrate achievement and excellence in all areas of the licensing industry, from retailers to licensees and licensors. The Beano was shortlisted alongside other classic brands including Barbie, Batman, Doctor Who and SpongeBob SquarePants. The award was presented to Head of Brand Tim Collins and his team by comedian Ed Byrne.

Alan said, “It was the event of the year at the Gardyne and attracted new and regular theatre goers from across Scotland. The help and support we have had from past and present DC Thomson staff members was invaluable. We’re now working hard to ensure the production is revived next year.” Jackie The Musical was produced in association with DC Thomson. It told the story of recent divorcee, Jackie, who sought advice on how to get a boyfriend from the pages of her old Jackie magazines. Support for the musical came in the form of rave reviews from The Scotsman theatre critic Joyce MacMillan, who said, “James’ script is witty and thoroughly theatrical.” and Facebook fans, who posted, “Second time at Jackie tonight; great show, great atmosphere and absolutely fantastic cast and production team.”

Tim said, “This win reflects the hard work from the team behind the brand and the continued popularity of The Beano as a 21st century multi-media property. These awards are a significant event in the licensing calendar and it’s an honour for The Beano to be awarded Best Classic Licensed Product.”

Pic: Robert Adam

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This autumn has also seen the release of 50 Years of Jackie, the book, and a compilation CD, Jackie Pin-Ups: The Best of Jackie. Both are available from all good retailers! 00 7 05/12/2013 17:03

Tours and Awards... The full list of winners: REPORTER OF THE YEAR Philip Sim – Evening Telegraph SCOOP OF THE YEAR “Mafia” – Evening Telegraph NEWS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Kami Thomson – The Press and Journal PRODUCTION JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Sonja Cox – The Press and Journal SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Daniel Stewart – The Sunday Post SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Steven MacDougall – The Courier FRONT PAGE OF THE YEAR The Courier – Andy Murray FEATURE WRITER OF THE YEAR Alison Kirker – The Sunday Post COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR Joe Watson – The Press and Journal CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR Broken Heart – Evening Express SPECIALIST REPORTER OF THE YEAR David McKay – The Press and Journal YOUNG REPORTER OF THE YEAR Anthony Joseph – Evening Express TEAM OF THE YEAR The Sunday Post Re-Design Team – John Wilkie and Kenny McBride UNSUNG HERO OF THE YEAR for Aberdeen Annette Cameron – Evening Express UNSUNG HERO OF THE YEAR for Dundee Peter Watt – Evening Telegraph BILL ANDERSON AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT Catriona MacInnes – The Courier

DC Thomson has reinvested in five vehicles to transport and distribute our newspaper titles, liveried with an innovative design that was inspired by staff members.

In September and October over 500 staff members visited our new Kingsway press. External dignitaries including local and national politicians, academics and business people also took part, viewing a bespoke exhibition and hearing about our plans. Conducted by colleagues in Production, Newspapers and Digital, the tours were designed to demonstrate the incredible functionality of our new equipment as well as to showcase some of our archive material. The Courier’s Deputy Editor Steve Bargeton said, “The level of interest and the enthusiasm among colleagues was absolutely tremendous. From the origins of the company to exciting developments today and the confidence in the future embodied in the press, we have a great story to tell. The overwhelming response was for further opportunities to learn more about the business.” Insider temp.indd 8

Our second annual Editorial Awards ceremony for Newspapers staff was held on Saturday 26th October 2013. The Awards are a celebration of outstanding achievement across our editorial teams and celebrate the fantastic work of the journalists, photographers and production teams on all of our titles. Prizes including Reporter of the Year, Feature Writer of the Year, Sports Reporter of the Year, Scoop of the Year and Unsung Hero of the Year were presented to staff members by TV Presenter Cat Cubie. The Sunday Post was recognised as DC Thomson’s Newspaper of the Year, thanks to its award-winning transformation which has

included a new modern design, improved layout and enhanced coverage of news and sport. The title also picked up Sports Writer of the Year, Feature Writer of the Year and Team of the Year. Editor-in-Chief Donald Martin said, “I am very proud of the team and their fantastic work in the past year. The newspaper goes from strength to strength and I am delighted that our continued improvement has been recognised by my fellow editors.” The glamorous evening also saw celebrations for staff members from The Press and Journal, Evening Express, The Courier and Evening Telegraph.

Damian Bates, Editor-in-Chief for Aberdeen, hosted the evening. He said, “It has been another challenging year for us and all of our titles have successfully undergone substantial change. Our staff members continue to give their all to ensure we produce some of the best products in the market place. The awards celebrate all the good work and the success of our newspapers teams.” The ceremony included a special award for Outstanding Achievement given in memory of renowned Sunday Post Editor Bill Anderson. The award was presented to Catriona MacInnes of The Courier. Editor Richard Neville said, “Catriona’s contribution to almost every project undertaken by The Courier in the last year has been fantastic.”


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In the


Name: Job title: Location: Start date:

Gina Adams Event and Exhibition Manager Kingsway September 2008


Gina Adams

What attracted you to the company / the role?


I graduated from university with a degree in business and Spanish at the height of the recession and initially found it really difficult to secure a job. I worked for an airline before joining DC Thomson in 2008. I’ve had a few different roles within the company and managed to gain experience managing events and attending exhibitions. When the Events and Exhibition Manager position was advertised I knew it was too good an opportunity to miss!


What do you like most about your job / what are the greatest challenges?


The greatest challenge is managing my workload to strict deadlines. At any one time I could have multiple projects on the go, so effective time management is crucial. However, this is also the most rewarding element of the role. It’s busy, dynamic, fun and every day is different – I love it!


Tell us an interesting fact about you or your role?


I appeared in the makeover pages of Shout when I was 10 years old. Although, I’m not sure the fashion of the 1990s was much of an improvement!


What keeps you interested / makes you stay?


I’ve been with DC Thomson for a few years now and I really enjoy it here. I like the people, the company and its history. I took up the Events and Exhibition Manager position in August, and it’s already been very challenging. There’s a lot to keep me interested!


Who do you aspire to be like and why?


I don’t have a particular role model, but I admire anyone who isn’t afraid to take a risk,

to learn from it and to grow from an experience – whether it’s good or bad.


How do you see your role evolving?


The role is new to DC Thomson and although we’ve held or attended events in the past, no single team or department has been responsible for driving events forward. I’m tasked with streamlining our processes, maximising opportunities and ensuring we turn events into a profitable area of the business – both financially and from a brand awareness point of view.


What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever had?


Take responsibility for your actions, and don’t be scared to ask questions or admit your mistakes. It’s the best way to learn, and people will respect you for it.

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Summer Fun...

An innovative Oor Wullie marketing campaign helped increase sales of The Sunday Post by over 4000 copies (1.6%) per week. As part of the campaign, readers were encouraged to hunt for Oor Wullie’s bucket. Clues appeared in-paper and on Real Radio with thousands of pounds in prizes being handed out to readers. Group Marketing Manager Kirsty Matthews said, “The Sunday Post’s ABC figure for August 2013 was 244,637 copies – up 1.1% MOM. The YOY trend was also an improvement on July. “Facebook traffic for The Sunday Post’s page went from 420 likes to 1098 likes in the first two weeks of activity. Additional TV and radio coverage helped boost competition entries to almost 70,000. Total revenue for the campaign was £45,709.64.” Ultimately, it was revealed that Oor Wullie look-a-like Jamie Webster took the bucket to make music for Oor Wullie’s Bucket Band, a collaborative project with The Music Kitchen. The single, Shang-A-Lang, is an instrumental version of the Bay City Rollers classic hit and features Bay City Rollers’ guitarist Stuart ‘Woody’ Wood. To download visit and to view the video visit YouTube. Kirsty added, “Marketing-wise, 2014 will be hugely busy for The Sunday Post. Without giving too much away, we’ll be looking to support many of the year’s big events. It’s also The Sunday Post’s centenary year.” Insider temp.indd 10

Staff Fun Days were held in Aberdeen and Dundee during autumn. Organisers Innes Murray (Aberdeen), Becky Hain and Jacqui Gray (Dundee) tell the Insider about the successful events. Innes said, “Staff had worked hard all year round, and deserved a wee reward for all that had been achieved. The Marketing team gathered and pondered over the day’s activities before deciding on bouncy castles, a bucking bronco, a photobooth, balloon modellers, children’s games and sumo wrestling suits. A DJ was booked and refreshments were organised. “When I opened my bedroom blinds on the morning of the Fun Day, I’m sure I saw Noah’s

Ark passing by – it looked like it had been raining for 40 days and 40 nights! We decided to move everything inside and, despite a slow start, the excitement grew once the music started. Staff members and special guests including the CEO and the Chairman arrived. “The food was superb, the drinks were flowing and the room was awash with wee ones bouncing around everywhere, wrestling, laughing, eating and taking silly photos. The afternoon flew by and everyone left with smiles on their faces and a wee goodie bag!” Becky and Jacqui said, “We were very excited and a little daunted when tasked with arranging Dundee’s first ever Fun Day. After a number

of trips to a variety of venues in and around Dundee, we visited Piperdam. It didn’t take us long to realise that we’d found the perfect venue, with a fantastic indoor and outdoor space. “The day was dry but incredibly windy. The outdoor seating was quickly scattered by strong winds and the tents turned into giant parachutes. Staff members weren’t put off though and really got into the array of outdoor activities we’d lined up. The clear favourites of the day were the photo-booth, face painting, the bucking bronco and the sumo wrestling suits. The live band and barbeque also went down a treat. All in all, it was a fantastic, fun day, with a great turn out.”


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Marketing and Brand Development...

My Weekly has taken over sponsorship of ITV3 Afternoons throughout November. Brand Marketing Manager for Consumer Entertainment Cathy Frossard gives us some background on the campaign. She explained that the purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the title and remind consumers about My Weekly’s warm and upbeat content. Cathy said, “Weekly magazines can sometimes get lost in the sea of competitive titles so this sponsorship deal should help reinforce the brand among our existing and potential readers.” To write and deliver the sponsorship message My Weekly secured comedienne, poet and national treasure Pam Ayres. Cathy continued, “This is an absolute coup for the brand and provides fantastic stand-out on TV.” Filming for the new idents took place in a picture postcard location in the Cotswolds near Pam’s home. They feature Pam in a modern and bright kitchen where we see her talking about the fun things she has done with her day before coming home to put her feet up. Cathy adds, “The message is all about how My Weekly can inspire you to be a ‘modern engaged woman’ and make the most out of life with its inspirational content.” View the idents here

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In association with research partners Dubit, our CIBD team presented wave 11 of the unique Youth Insight Programme in August. Around 60 staff members attended the presentations, which brought teams up-to-date on the influence of technology in children’s lives and the opportunities for print. Head of CIBD Helenor Gilmour said, “The team created nine children’s bedrooms in the Love Darg Room, which were designed to represent each DCT child tribe. The bedrooms stayed up for three weeks and The Beano team took full advantage – using the inspirational space for follow-up planning meetings.”

The Mature Insight Programme also reported back in August and featured a follow-up report in October. The bespoke research programme into the 50+ market, gave the teams from My Weekly, The People’s Friend and The Scots Magazine an early view of the results and their titles’ performance. A follow-up company-wide conference attracted large numbers of attendees from across the business including our magazine and newspaper teams, senior management and representatives from Group companies.      Helenor said, “As a direct response of the insight gathered, the Programme was re-launched and re-branded as the Game Generation to

reflect the general ‘up-for-it’ attitude of the 50+ market. This was inspired by a suggestion from Dorothy Andrews in My Weekly who responded to a call for competition entries to rename the programme.” She continued, “Attendees were able to book into sessions including an overview of trends in the 50+ market, Mythbusting the Over 50s and a demonstration of how the Game Generation can assist in tactical planning. The guest speaker was Mark Beasley from rhc advantage, an agency specialising in this market.” For more information about either programme, please contact the CIBD team.


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Charity Update

Inspired by his daughter’s remarkable recovery from cancer, The Press and Journal photographer Colin Rennie competed in Ride the North earlier this year and raised over £1000 for Maggie’s Centre. Colin said, “In June 2009, my daughter Sarah was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma (stage three). This was an incredibly difficult time for our family, but Sarah – who was just 25 at the time – was very fortunate and has since made a full recovery. Sarah has gone back to work, become a practice nurse, got married to her husband Simon and run the London Marathon. In August, she gave birth to a beautiful healthy boy named Finley James.” Colin said the support his family received during this difficult period was invaluable. He said, “The harsh reality is that one in three people will be affected by cancer at some point. This takes a huge toll on you, your family and friends. We certainly found this tough and the mental scars have lasted well beyond the completion of Sarah’s treatment. “Maggie’s are building a new centre in Aberdeen. By the time the centre is five years old, it will support up to 40% of new cancer diagnoses in the area. Put simply, Maggie’s brings joy and instils hope. Please click here if you’d like to donate to Colin’s JustGiving page

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A framed print of The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay appearing in The Beano is helping to raise money for a library in Kenya. The Beano team donated the print – signed by artist Nigel Parkinson – to Menzieshill High School in Dundee after hearing about their charitable efforts. Journalist and Script Writer Claire Bartlett presented the framed print to Librarian Elspeth Scott. It will be auctioned, raffled or sold and the money will help to build the library, which is located in the rural area of Kandaria. Elspeth said, “I was delighted to see such an iconic title supporting libraries and literacy. As a school librarian I know how important these things are and how much interest a mention

The Beano is able to generate.” A group from the school travelled to Kenya during the summer and started work on the library. Elspeth added, “We did a bit of brick shifting and bricklaying. It was hard work but very rewarding and I think the pupils got a lot out of it.” Our research shows Beano readers enjoy around 14 chapter books per year, suggesting the title is the missing link in boosting literacy. Children today are bombarded with television programmes, computers and video games and it can be difficult to convince them about the importance of reading. But Editor-inChief Mike Stirling believes snapping up the title is a great way to combat that.

Mike said, “Every issue of The Beano delivers fresh vocabulary, perfectly pitched humour and entertaining storylines. The Beano is engaging for reluctant readers because it uses fewer words than a typical story book and scaffolds the experience with descriptive pictures. It also uses correct English to deliver the stories. “Reading is a core life skill but it can be difficult to convince children, especially when they’re absorbed in modern technology. These days there are so many other leisure options to divert attention. Comics serve as a gateway to reading, creating interest and enthusiasm.”


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Autumn insider final print  
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