Print is just one part of what we do: Pac Mags commercial boss

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 14 August 2015
Gereurd Roberts

Fresh from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) data hitting desks, Gereurd Roberts, commercial director for Pacific Magazines, remains bullish about the publisher's performance and believes if agencies and advertisers are just thinking about print they're missing a “huge opportunity”.

Speaking with AdNews about the ABC results, Roberts said consumers don't think about print anymore, they think in terms of brand and that the market should do the same.

“If you're thinking about us in terms of print only then you're not opening yourself up to the huge opportunity that exists around our brands,” he said. “Our audience is growing, so people are flocking to our brands more than ever, so to ignore that is far from wise.”

But Roberts isn't writing off print: “It's an incredibly important part of what we do, and it's a powerful part, but it's still one part of what we do".

However, he added, “judging us solely on print is like judging Apple solely according to the sale of MacBooks, it's just one part of what we do".

In the latest ABC figures, Pacific sits in the middle of the road when it comes to the numbers, with the publisher's print titles falling 7.68% year-on-year (yoy) overall.

Pacific Magazines, however, touts that while its total readership has slipped 10.7% to 8.1 million, its social followers have jumped 74.1% to 7.5 million.

Speaking to the publisher's social growth, Roberts said it has been "an incredible growth story".

“We've been through a significant period of change, we're 18 months through a three-year transformation strategy, and as part of that we've focused on total audience growth and social has been an incredible space for us," he said.

“If you consider over a three-year period our social has grown more than nine times, in the past three years we've got four of the top five Facebook pages in all of Australia in our categories; that is a space where we are dominant.”

In print, the publisher's hardest hit title was youth-focused Girlfriend magazine, however Roberts revealed in terms of total audience, the title is growing.

“If you look at them from a total audience perspective, they're in growth – it's aimed at younger women and we know that younger women are engaging with the brand more and more digitally,” he explained.

Roberts said moving forward, the publisher has shifted to a strong focus on digital.

“We've invested incredibly in digital and added more than 30 people to the team in the past three months alone. We've got incredible people; the digital team is working hand-in-hand with our editorial and marketing teams and that's resulting in some incredible products that we have in the works.”

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