WARNING: You may blow chunks

24 08 2008

By PR Cracken

Gary Glitter, air disaster, recession, shootings. Add to this the fact that Boris Johnson didn’t comedy pratfall at the Olympics closing ceremony and he failed to say ‘Jinkies’ once during his speech.

Ol’ PR was getting depressed… there must be something approaching good news somewhere?

Step forward Irish News editor Noel ‘Rosebud’ Dornan and this tremendous scoop… The Irish News is ‘Top of the Pile’ in terms of ABC figures.

So much so that they illustrate their improved sales record with picture of Olympic boxer (below) saluting crowd and undoubtedly praising Jesus. He’s clearly bowled over by the big news about his favourite super-soaraway daily.

Trebles all round at Donegall Street!

Needless to say, with all that backslapping PR nearly lost his lunch. But afterwards, he took a second a look at the great story.

The Irish News sold c. 48,000 copies; The Belfast Telegraph sold c.65,000 copies. Surely The Bel Tel would be justified in asking for a re-mark Sarah Stevenson-stylee? Aren’t they top of the pile?

So what about that top of the pile performance from the Irish News? It’s a double-whammy of big numbers.

  • average daily sale dipped by 1.4 per cent to 47,911 in the six months to the end of June. Wha… wha… WHAMMY!!
  • separate Target Group Index figures show that readership of The Irish News is down 3.4 per cent from 173,000 to 167,000. Wha… wha… WHAMMY!!

But wait! The Bel Tel lost way more readers than the Irish News! And when 10-year TGI trends are taken into account, The Irish News has actually added 10,000 daily readers between 1998 and 2008 (167,000 against 157,000).

Reacting to this major piece of business news, The Irish News editor Noel Doran said:

“It is hugely encouraging that, in an exceptionally difficult market, our sales have shown an increase between the second half of 2007 and the first six months of this year. And the long-term trends are also strongly positive as, in contrast with most other daily titles in Ireland and the UK, our readership has also grown significantly over the last 10 years.”

The Irish News marketing manager John Brolly said:

“This strong set of sales figures reflects the importance our paper plays in the daily lives of so many readers. We have plans in place to offer value-added initiatives in the paper to ensure we continue to outperform the current trends and reward readers for their loyalty.”

Jeez, I read that and got the spits. Very nauseous.

The Irish News is the best thing out there and its business section is top notch. But surely this sort of preening nonsense (designed for advertisers?) looks slightly desperate and forced. (And WTF is a ‘value-added initiative’? And where are the figures Dornan refers to in his quote?)

Bottomline? Keep up the good work!

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