Spotlight - Newssolutions

News UK is a well-known name in UK media, publishing titles such as The Sun, The Times and Sunday Times. InPublishing was intrigued when in November 2014 News UK announced the launch of a new publisher-facing division: Newssolutions. What is Newssolutions, and what does it offer to UK publishers? Martin Maynard sat down with Tracey Hart, commercial director of Newssolutions, to find out more.

By Martin Maynard

“We have opened our doors to the industry,” begins Tracey. “As the industry comes under increasing pressure from the decline in print copy sales, publishers and distributors with a long-term vested interest in the future of print will want to collaborate together in order to achieve the most efficient and cost-effective route to market.”

News UK is certainly committed to the sustainable future of print, with investment in its three UK print sites totalling more than £600 million, not to mention a 30-year lease on their fashionable new London offices, next to the Shard. “We are fortunate here at News UK to have access to a significant resource base,” says Tracey, “we are an award-winning manufacturer, being the only media company in the world to win the Shingo Prize, plus achieve triple certification to the Carbon Trust Standard”. Chris Taylor, COO of News UK oversees operations and technology which allows Newssolutions to offer a breadth of service to support all strategies.

Is it possible that with titles co-operating together, they will lose their competitive edge? Not according to Tracey: “as publishers, the fight for readers is at the newsstand, but getting to market as efficiently as possible is in all our interests. Readers buy our publications for the editorial content and the promotions we offer them, so there’s no conflict in working together”.

So, is Newssolutions looking solely to leverage its impressive logistics and print capabilities, or is there more to it? “At Newssolutions we don’t only see opportunity in logistics and print,” says Tracey, “we are able to offer other publishers access to a whole range of our business assets. We are already working with a number of publishers on a range of different business requirements, including the delivery of digital copy solutions, IT services, pre-production support, marketing activity, smart data reporting apps and CRM systems”.

Making the data and digital side of the business available to clients is certainly new, but Tracey is quick to explain: “we have a 270-strong technology team who are truly best-in-class when it comes to delivering smart systems and digital innovation”. Tracey reveals that Newssolutions is already providing magazine and newspaper clients with bespoke real-time sales reporting, available securely via the web, smartphone and tablet. “The intuitive interactive dashboards provide publishers with easy-to-digest top-level and granular-level data across key KPIs such as sales, waste, availability and retail multiple group,” says Tracey.

One area of Newssolutions’ offering that Tracey is keen to highlight is their developments in CRM data warehousing, prospecting and profiling. “As publishers, understanding who your customers are and their behaviours is essential for a healthy circulation; and to drive additional business revenues through either subscriptions or brand extensions. The ability to accurately profile your entire data universe ensures that you are able to select suitable prospective non-readers and target them with up-sell and cross-sell offers. We are developing a number of advanced CRM tools to help publishers market successfully to their current and potential audiences,” explains Tracey.

So, what is Newssolutions, and what does it offer to UK publishers? “Newssolutions is focused on commercialising the assets of News UK by working collaboratively with other publishers and distributors who have a shared interest in the long-term future of print. Newssolutions will work with publishers to deliver efficiencies and cost-effective services across all areas of the publishing process, from logistics and print, through to CRM, marketing and digital services,” says Tracey, adding, “so why not come and talk to us and let us show you how we can save your publishing business time and money”.

The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9GF

There will be a Supplier Profile of Newssolutions in our March/April issue.