Regional press sales house The Word has launched a ground-breaking
website as the first step towards an online media planning and buying
The free site includes an ’advertising rate calculator’ enabling users
to view up-to-the-minute circulation details and page rates for every
regional daily newspaper.
The site is segmented by television region to act as an at-a-glance
reference for media planners. It also provides links to publishing
houses’ own websites.
But The Word’s chief executive Gavin Caldwell said the site was only a
first step ’into the wider world of online booking’.
Agencies that have a contract with The Word will shortly be able to
access a more sophisticated password-protected service. This will enable
them to e-mail schedules and agreed costs, while The Word will be able
to process the booking and e-mail a confirmation.
’It will also link in to our newspapers so we can book with them over
the web,’ said Caldwell. He estimated the service would be up and
running ’in the next six months’.
’This won’t impact on the sales role because costs will still need to be
agreed face to face,’ he added. ’But the service will cut out yet
another level of paperwork.’
The Word is also planning a service for production companies. It will
give them access to data such as paper size, column widths and
production deadlines for every regional weekly, daily and free title,
not just those handled by The Word.
Caldwell said the moves were designed to streamline access to the
regional press. ’We are offering these services free. They’re not
profit-making exercises for us, which is why we have included other
regional titles in the mix. The plan is to make the whole process easier
so more people book with regional newspapers.
’They may not be booking an ad through The Word, but it’s all money
going into regional press, which at the end of the day benefits
The first stage of The Word’s site launched at the end of last week.
As well as the online planning guide, it includes information on the
company, details of clients and campaigns, news and business
Meanwhile, The Word continues to consider its future following
Caldwell’s resignation (Media Business, 18 October). Caldwell has
promised to stay at the company until April and it is not known if he
will be replaced.