Fairfax: We need to tell our story better

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 14 April 2015

Traditional publishers are the victims of decades of legacy, but they are on the way up, claims Fairfax Media’s managing director of marketing services, Andrew McEvoy.

When it comes to publisher and agency relationships it’s a two-way street, he said. Publishers need to get better at telling agencies about their audiences and media agencies and advertisers have a responsibility when it comes to understanding the reach of the modern publisher.

“We’ve got to make it simpler for people to understand us if they want to buy what we have,” McEvoy said.

“We’re so strong in many audiences, we’re probably positioned as being really strong in the over-45 AB demographic, male skew, but the truth is [because of Fairfax’s sites] The Daily Life, Life and Leisure we also have this really strong 25-54 female segment.”

McEvoy, who worked on client-side for 20 years before joining the publisher last year, said that while it isn’t the clients’ responsibility to understand what a media owner does, having direct conversations can help both parties get more value.

“It’s the combination of both that works best. Media agencies should negotiate well on behalf of clients and they should know what’s changing and what’s growing, but I do think some direct contact between clients and media owners matters.

“We can help unlock the enterprise even more than we can through a media agency,” he said.

“We’ve got to tell our story better, but I think it behoves media agencies to know and understand what’s developing at a place like Fairfax.”

McEvoy, who recently took over Life Media at the publisher, told AdNews that heritage brands are making a comeback and he explained that that can’t happened until infighting between publishers stops.

“What’s happened is this plethora of startups and little dotcoms that look fantastic on paper, they look great and they’re cool and they’re interesting for 10 minutes, but they struggle to maintain their audience,” he said.

“Being a publisher is a complex business, strong brands are coming back and I think it’s true of News Corp and us [Fairfax] and others ... like The Guardian.”

McEvoy said that Fairfax numbers are going up, and that the publisher has 12 million Australians reading, watching or listening every month.

This story appeared in the latest issue of AdNews (2 April). Subscribe to AdNews in Print, or get it now on iPad.

For more with McEvoy look out for the next issue of AdNews out this Friday (17 April)

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