Here’s to an exciting 2019

I think we closed 2018 as one of our busiest years yet. It was the year that we decided to consolidate all the editions of TopicUK, creating one that covers the whole of Yorkshire, a decision that was absolutely right as we are one of just two independent printed business publications left in the area.

We of course have a digital version and are strengthening our online presence to meet demand, but we are and will always be firm believers in the power of print.

That said and those of us who do print have had to change. Gone are the one-off advertisers who place their weekly or monthly advert with the hope of getting business, they want more, much more and why shouldn’t they? Luckily, this is something that we have been able to address. We can not only print features, promote business and news, we can offer a full promotional service to our partners, print, PR, marketing, social media and networking opportunities.

During the 1980s there were lots of advertising agencies all thriving, newspapers thrived, it was an exciting industry to be in. I know, that is when I started out. Sadly things changed and many of those agencies disappeared. Did the birth of the internet change things? I think it was partly responsible.

Social media has become the norm for young people of today. Almost everyone owns a smart phone or tablet and feel that their world will end if they are parted from it for just one minute. It has created a world of instant news and instant information which has sadly seen the demise of lots of our newspapers, many over 100 years old. After all, by the time you pick up your daily paper, it’s yesterday’s news!

Advertising agencies have become a thing of the past and replaced with PR agencies. But with a growing number of these, will they all survive, time will tell. Along with social media, I believe this growing PR trend has partly been responsible for the downfall of some of our newspapers and publications, but before PR’s shout me down, hear me out. Don’t get me wrong, I know lots of PR companies, all doing amazing work, but I don’t think they always see the bigger picture. A company will appoint an agency and pay them handsomely to make sure they get their news out to the media. PR agencies send newspapers and magazines press releases for publication, quite often thinking that they are doing the publication a favour by giving them ‘content’! This is sometimes the case, but ask yourself this question, with no advertising who pays for the publications to be printed and for the staff? There used to be both. Companies would have an advertising budget and buy media space and pay a PR company for their PR, this worked and everyone was happy. Most companies today, just pay for PR but what will happen to the PR companies when there are no longer publications to publish their stories? Will everything be digital? Some online publications have already started to charge to publish online.

We all have to take responsibility for the media industry and we have to work together to find a way to save some of our historic newspapers, who also have to relish change. I would be interested to know what you think on the subject?

On a more upbeat note we were delighted when Mandy Taylor joined our growing team. Mandy is helping us to spread the word about what TopicUK can do for your business, so do drop her a line and put the kettle on, you won’t be disappointed.

2019 will see us once again partner with a number of great events. For the fourth year we will partner with the Institute of Directors for their Director of the Year Awards which takes place in York in July. For a second year we will partner The Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards and Forward ladies National awards as well as numerous others.

We started the year welcoming Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel as a partner and we are excited to be helping with their promotion across the region. For those who have yet to visit this elegant and efficiently run Hotel, add it to your list of visits for this year, you won’t be disappointed.

Our first edition of 2019 will feature entrepreneur, philanthropist and chairman of award winning humanitarian charity Penny Appeal. Penny Appeal are celebrating their 10-year anniversary this year and we are excited to share their amazing journey with our readers. There is a waiting list now for our covers, so if you want your business to feature, do let me know.