Regional publisher Reach has today launched a multi-platform response to the challenges facing businesses during the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
The #IAmOpen campaign, Reach says, will aim to energise and promote businesses by engaging with audiences across the publisher’s network in national titles as well as regional papers and digital brands.
This is the latest in a series of incentives being formed between publishers and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, with national newsbrand the Mail Group rolling out a partnership to give £5m worth of advertising to small businesses this week.
Between 2pm-3pm today, social media platforms across the Reach network kick-started the #IAmOpen campaign by retweeting open local businesses to their followers for free. To join the scheme businesses tweeted their local Reach newspaper accounts with a short description of their business and a picture of a staff member holding an #IAmOpen sign.
Editor of The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive, Martin Tideswell told the SoE that “no-one is better placed to support businesses large and small get through this period.”
Reach local’s marketing website has launched a range of free services for businesses, such as creating a website landing page, providing an online marketing health check and offering business support webinars.
The scheme, Tideswell said, “is a huge concerted effort across the entire Reach network which we are very proud to be part of.
“Helping businesses to find their feet again, reach potential and new customers, tell stories of their diversification and how they are coping with the challenges is exactly the positive role we should be playing at this crucial time.”
Newsbrands involved included the Liverpool Echo, WalesOnline and the Manchester Evening News which have a combined follower count of 1.3million on Twitter.
In print, the front page of The Sentinel today carried a splash of the campaign.
Tideswell added: “At The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive we have been working for months now to support businesses here in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire – with daily articles in paper and online, via consistent social media activity, through our Business Awards nominations, and via our weekly Business pages and Shop Local features.”
Initiatives and promotions will run every day in print and online to assist businesses, he adds, with the support of Reach’s dedicated commercial site BusinessLive.
The news comes as the regional publisher has announced it is launching two new county websites to expand its online presence to territories also covered by rivals.
Reach plc will be launching Cumbria Live from its existing Lancs Live website and Worcestershire Live to expand the existing Birmingham Live.