DC Thomson has always championed local businesses and now, as we all face the uncertain and unprecedented challenges brought about by coronavirus, it’s a more important role than ever before.
Of course, in order to carry on our normal work in this area, we – like lots of other companies across the country – are having to adapt to whole new ways of working.
Our advertising teams are now working remotely from home, and the Aberdeen team have been keeping in touch through twice daily conference calls – and it’s not just to talk shop.
As well as checking in about what they’ve got planned in the morning and then reflecting on each day as it ends, they’re also providing some moral support and friendly chat. One talented tele-sales rep has even been serenading the team with a song on Fridays!
The company as a whole is also working hard to support all employees – no matter where they’re logging in from – through weekly wellness reminders and guides to working from home like a pro. From encouraging virtual coffees with team members to advice on setting up a desk properly, these are full of helpful wee tips to make this transition as smooth as possible.
Working with businesses
Because of this, we completely understand the pressures local business owners are facing – we’re dealing with some of the same pressures, too.
So as well as keeping our teams connected, we’re also extending the support to businesses around us.
Our advertising teams are used to supporting the communication needs of local businesses, helping to put their messages in front of the audiences they need to reach.
And we plan to carry on doing the same over the coming weeks and months.
“We’re having to change the way we work so that, as a business, we’re following current coronavirus advice from the government. But we’re also changing up how we normally work with advertisers because we want to be there for local businesses during this challenging time,” says Michael Barclay, Head of Advertising for DC Thomson newspapers.
We want to make sure we’re here to help as they make adjustments and that we’re ready to support them as they put the work in to bounce back once this is all over.”
Last week, we announced that we’d be offering local businesses and the voluntary sector free-of-charge opportunities to share information across our print, digital and social networks.
As part of this, we’ve been getting in touch with businesses we have longstanding relationships with to see how we can help, whether it’s letting the public know about major changes you’ve had to make or just reminding everyone not to forget about you if you’ve already had to temporarily shut.
Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA), which looks after His Majesty’s Theatre, The Music Hall and The Lemon Tree, are one such company that we’ve enjoyed a longstanding relationship with. “We regard advertising with DC Thomson a key part of our integrated campaigns. We have a wide range of performances and activities and the flexibility in how we can structure print and online adverts allows us to tailor packages and ensure we are reaching the right audiences,” says Andy Kite, Marketing Manager at APA.
As a result of coronavirus, APA’s venues are now closed until further notice and home working measures have been put in place for staff.
“At present we have stopped all advertising until we are clearer on our schedule and programme. Once we have an indication of when we can re-open we will look to establish our advertising again,” says Andy.
“As mentioned, advertising with DC Thomson is a key part of our marketing campaigns and we look forward to starting this up again and seeing the response at our box office!”
Bon Accord shopping centre, who have worked with DC Thomson for a few years now, have found themselves in a similar situation and are now temporarily closed.
“DC Thomson has a really vibrant team, who always strive to create new ways to feature content that adds real value to its readers and customers,” says Emily Bishop, Marketing Manager at Bon Accord Aberdeen.
They’ve now had to pause their advertising with us a result of the pandemic: “Our sales rep Lorna was so helpful and understanding of whatever we chose to do.
“We are very much looking forward to working with DC Thomson again in the future!”
Plus, the DC Thomson advertising team has also been collaborating with clients who have helpful advice to offer our readers. We’ve got some new print features already underway, including some personal training advice for those not on Instagram or YouTube, and tips from hairdressers on how to look after your hair during lockdown.
As for our plan going forward, Michael Barclay adds: “We’ve all had to make unprecedented changes already and as the situation continues to unfold over the coming months, we may well have to make more – but we’ll be here supporting local businesses along the way.”
Get in touch to see how we can help support your business. Please email Stephen Flight at firstname.lastname@example.org.