In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to share experience, insights and advice with your peers so we can all learn from one another. With this in mind, we are having conversations with members across various sectors to understand how they and their teams have adapted their marketing strategies throughout the pandemic, what they have learned from it, and how they prepare to return to the new normal.
For this week’s instalment in the series we’ve chatted to Paul Henderson, CEO, DMG Media
MII: Hi Paul, how have the last 12-15 months impacted and shaped your business?
Like all massive events in life the takeaway should always be learning.
Our staff showed how adaptive they were to learning new skills and operating effectively while juggling the crazy demands of normal life brought about by the crisis. These cross-functional skills are now part of their skillset forever.
Our digital audiences exploded across all brands but particularly www.extra.ie which as a result is now a year ahead of the original business plan. Weekend newspaper sales got bumped up as people fell in love with the joy of reading over a coffee on a Saturday / Sunday. The revenue mix fluctuated with the downturn and return of advertising with the total universe of possible advertisers expanding as more companies developed their online presence which dmg media brands can amplify better than anyone. We continued our acquisition strategy adding www.onefabday.com to the group which combined with www.evoke.ie and www.rollercoaster.ie ensures we have deep connections to 90% of the female audience in Ireland.
How have the last 12-15 months changed how you work with clients?
Clients need solutions to communication challenges. We saw the demand to serve (VOD) and make video go into overdrive . So much so that we invested heavily in our new studio facility www.spaceto.ie which allows for the creation and production of everything from a simple online commercial to a feature length motion picture all in one central location on Haddington Road. We can take the stress and strain away from clients by providing a true end to end production facility combined with the massive reach of our network to 3.6m Irish adults every month. Our solution delivers the creativity with the audience to drive real ROI for our clients with one conversation. We make simple work.
What work are you most proud of from the last year?
Our main assets in the media business are people, both inside and outside the company.
On the inside it’s our incredible 132 staff whom we kept safe, employed, engaged and particularly the way they worked together to help each other across our print and digital portfolio.
For the users and readers we kept them informed with professional journalism at a time when facts mattered most. We helped our fellow citizens through the Shop Ireland initiative which gave €1.2m of advertising campaigns to small businesses as well as the Pulse, our publication raising funds to train nurses.
Our simple motto is – If you can help…then you should help …and we did help!
How has your team adapted to the new way of working?
The team have been exceptional at every level. I’ve always believed that work is an activity not a time or a place. Our staff have always worked from a variety of locations. Political journalists are in Leinster House, sports staff are at games and events, and commercial staff are in HQ. As an essential service we kept working and stayed open during which we embraced both time-shifting and hybrid work practices. We moved to a new ‘built for future’ Hub which allows for desk work, creative collaboration and better facilities to ensure work / life balance is not just a cliché….it’s the best possible way of getting things done for the company, the individual, the reader and the client.
What brands or businesses do you admire most when you reflect on the last 12-15 months?
All of those who stepped up and helped when it counted….there are many but some standouts RTE, VMTV, SKY, GAA, LIDL, AIB, SUPERVALU, Diageo and Kilkenny Shop with Champion Green which we are proud to be part of.
If you are a member who would like to feature in the In Conversation with series please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org