Granite & Discovery: Scotland’s Cities’ Interesting Relationship with the Print Media

by Stuart Milne

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Pile of newspapers from Scottish PR Agency

A Scottish PR Agency gives its View on the Value of Different Coverage

WHICH Scottish paper has the biggest readership?

Everybody knows that Glasgow is Scotland’s biggest city and that our nation’s fair capital is second. Most people would guess that Aberdeen and Dundee complete the top four but might not get them in the right (listed) order.

So The Herald will take the title, right? And its slightly more easterly HQ’d cousin, The Scotsman, won’t be far behind?

Wrong.

These are, rightfully, hugely respected newspapers and their readership figures are more than respectable, but they don’t claim the highest number of readers.

A recent review of the most read Scotland-only papers showed something that the casual observer might be surprised by – that Aberdeen and Dundee centred news outlets rule the roost in terms of readership figures.

Most strikingly, this isn’t a close run thing.

Aberdeen’s Press and Journal so completely dwarfs its nearest competition, the Dundee-based Courier, that it leaves both cities at the end of the M8 as distant runners-up.


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Here’s the current top of the tree, taken from industry reporters, the Press Gazette:

There’s a lot of analyses you could do on this run-down. For instance, the Press and Journal attracts almost as many readers more than its nearest rival than the entire average readership of the 200 year old stalwart of the Scottish press, The Scotsman.

But what’s more interesting is how perceived value affects the work executives at any Scottish PR agency undertake for firms just like yours.


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We believe the real value of PR is very much measured in results and not in output.

That means that the reason your business picks up contracts with public relations agencies is because it makes a tangible difference to the bottom line.

Some business owners might be vainly pursuing an article in the more glamorous titles but the savvier amongst them will take the most joy from the coverage in the paper that gives them a sales lead – or heightens brand awareness within a key demographic.

What the table above highlights is that you might reach more potential customers in less expected places.

On top of this the data suggests that an article or two in one of the ‘big boys’ might not deliver as much value as you think.

A hit in the Sun or the Mail can do wonders, believe us, but depending on your situation, getting 50k plus readers in the north of Scotland might see a few more sales goals tumbling.

Sure, 699,000 readers nationwide is not to be sniffed at by any means, but if you sell widgets to people in Aberdeenshire it could well suit you better get your name in front of one in four Aberdonians.

If you want to expand beyond your heartland, the local press won’t be our main target – sometimes less is more.

20,000 readers across the central belt might be a bigger hit for you than 50,000 elsewhere.

Priorities are everything in this business, and identifying them is the first thing on the list of any PR worth their salt.

We work hard with all our clients to find out which readers they most need to reach from the off and plan a strategy that does the most for their business.


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Our Scottish PR Agency can use coverage to drive profits for your business.

We take your stories and turn them into something to be proud of in the form of hard-hitting headlines.

Get in touch with our Edinburgh-based team by calling 0131 561 2244 or filling out the form below:

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