Michael Miller.
Michael Miller.

It's all about paper power

WHO had the power to help reduce street violence by 40% in Australia's biggest city?

Who made Queensland's government aware of the need to protect local jobs and forced them to backtrack on allowing 100% fly-in, fly-out workforces?

And who is on the cusp of significant changes to domestic violence legislation that will better protect women?

The answer? The nation's newspapers, whose influence in our society is being highlighted in a multi million dollar marketing campaign.

APN News & Media (parent company of the NewsMail), Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia and West Australian Newspapers (Seven West Media) have combined to promote the "Influential by Nature" campaign.

It will highlight achievements that few other media are able to match, like a Sydney Morning Herald campaign that reduced drunken violence by 40% and an Australian Regional Media campaign spearheaded by the Mackay Daily Mercury, Rockhampton Morning Bulletin and Gladstone Observer that reversed a 100% FIFO stance by the Queensland Government.

And the current campaign involving the NewsMail that will likely result in new domestic violence initiatives.

APN chief executive Michael Miller, fronting the campaign for the newspaper and website publishers, said readers and advertisers needed reminding that one media was having more impact on their patch than others.

"Advertisers have forgotten the inherent benefits of newspaper media," Mr Miller said. "That's been caused by a lack of proactivity on behalf of the industry and the (disruptive) work done by our competitors."

Highlighting how the newspaper media constantly impacted positively on society was a great way to demonstrate it.

"If we're not trying to better the communities we serve, we start to lose that relevance, that bond."

Other media tended to use newspapers as their reference point, but weren't "as trusted and believed" because of the curation, and range of journalists and

columnists that the newspaper brands had.

The campaign, which will run till July 6, uses real examples of tangible outcomes reached for advertisers and readers by newspapers.

"Every effective and meaningful campaign needs influencers to drive trust, belief and action. Influence is an inherent characteristic of newspapers."

Mr Miller dismissed predictions of print advertising revenues collapsing in the next 10 years.

"It makes a number of assumptions that the world of 2015 is going to be the world of 2025. I would anticipate that we are going to see very different newspapers, very different websites."

And he pointed to research from Nielsen that confirmed consumers trusted advertising in newspapers ahead of all other media.

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