Irish News hits streets with bus campaign highlighting 'True to You' message

TRUE TO YOU: Launching the Irish News' bus T-side campaign are (from left) the paper's business editor Gary McDonald, security correspondent Allison Morris and marketing managing John Brolly. Photo: Hugh Russell
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE Irish News has hit the streets with a bus T-side campaign with Exterion media to showcase its ‘True to You’ message.

The campaign was created to reflect the strong commitment the Irish News has with its readers as well as highlight the integrity of the Irish News brand.

Despite the ubiquity of online platforms, print media is still seen as the most trusted environment for readers and advertisers - one that is relevant, reliable and authoritative.

Early in the lockdown, UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden urged the public to “buy a newspaper”, labelling them the “fourth emergency service”, while then-taoiseach Leo Varadkar, in a state-of-the-nation address, stressed how vital it was to "only rely on information from trusted sources like the national media".

The bus campaign, which will see the 'True to You' message emblazoned on around 70 buses on every route across Belfast, complements an in-paper promotion highlighting the work of the Irish News' journalists and columnists.

Irish News marketing manager John Brolly said: “We are immensely proud to have such a loyal readership and we thought it was important that we reflected the bond we have with them in our creative by simply using the words ‘True to you’.

“Trust and quality journalism are hugely important in today’s world, and by picking up a copy of our paper every day, the public can be confident they are using a ‘trusted’ brand to source their news."

It comes just weeks after the paper was again recognised at the prestigious Society of Editors' Regional Press Awards with two winning entries and a commendation as well as having a number of other writers short-listed.

Security correspondent Allison Morris was joint winner of the Daily Paper Columnist of the Year, while the paper also took the honours in the Innovative and Initiative category for a new fact-checking tool to help hold politicians to account. The paper was also highly commended for Website of the Year.

Irish News editor Noel Doran said: "The overall standard in the Society of Editors awards is very high, and getting eight entries short-listed was a notable achievement. The outcome is a great tribute to the efforts of all our staff and contributors."

Meanwhile official UK-wide industry figures reveal that the Irish News has produced an impressive sales performance during the period covered by the Covid pandemic.

According to the Audited Bureau of Circulation, the paper's sales slipped back by just 1.2 per cent year-on-year to a new total of 31,613, and indeed in the second half of 2019 circulation increased by two per cent.

The data confirmed that the Irish News has become the best performing UK regional daily for the fourth consecutive year.

It is also the second best selling regional title in the UK after The Aberdeen Press and Journal, having overtaken major counterparts including The Manchester Evening News and The Wolverhampton Express and Star over the last six months.

Mr Doran added: "To come through the lockdown with only a marginal drop in sales is a significant achievement by any standards.

"Our figures have continued to recover since the end of June, and we are very grateful for the huge loyalty displayed by both our print and digital audience."

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