By Keith Gladdis, former Executive News Editor of the Daily Mail
What kind of stories are you looking for in the Daily Telegraph
We want stories that are valuable to our readers. Valuable in terms of the knowledge they provide, and also in terms of what the information can mean for our readers’ money. We want to see surprising figures or genuinely revealing analysis that puts real world events into context for readers and their money.
What matters most to your readers?
Our readers like to be informed and engaged. They want to see news angles that pique their interest backed up with solid evidence and data. They also like to comment and debate, so love a good talking-point.
How have your readers been affected by the cost of living crisis?
It’s hard to say, but I’d argue with the potential for energy bills and remortgaging costs to soar much higher, we are still yet the true impact of this crisis.
Traditionally, our readers are perhaps older homeowners who have paid off the mortgage and have decent pensions. Inflation has been their true enemy as it eats up the value of their savings.
Our readers are also keen to hear about the savings they can make with green investments such as solar panels and electric cars.
What advice do you have for brands that want to be featured on your pages?
If you want to feature you’ll have to stick your head above the parapet and say something that is worth reporting or provide some analysis or an angle that is worth something to our readers.
MHP’s Public Affairs team hosted a webinar with a panel of experts including Sonia Sodha, Chief Leader Writer and Columnist at The Observer. Here’s what she had to say on Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement and reaction to his announcements:
At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, companies were reluctant to push positive stories. Now with country facing a fresh crisis as the cost of living stretches household budgets to breaking point, does this still hold true?
No, according to Sun Business Editor Ashley Armstrong: “There’s a huge appetite from readers to know what companies are doing to help, and who is doing the right thing.”
For businesses pushing out results, there’s certainly room to mention the cost-of-living crisis. More than one in three consumer-facing companies – 37%, according to analysis by MHP’s Capital Markets team – mentioned the term in updates to the market.
The Sun is willing to report on those companies trying to help consumers and staff as the UK dives into recession, according to Ashley. But only if they are doing it for the right reasons and not as ESG box-ticking exercise.
“We want to hear from companies that are [actually] helping,” she said. “We gave quite a lot of coverage to companies that were doing cost-of-living staff bonuses. I think that it’s really important to show that businesses can be good.”
But stunts just to make headlines that don’t deliver for Sun readers come with a huge health warning, according to Ashely. She said: “What needs to be clear is that they are actually helping, and not just trying to get good publicity.”
For decades, we’ve had Economic and Business Units – now we have dedicated Cost-of-Living teams; units that will be competing against each other to get exclusives, work up fresh angles and unearth the latest data.
The BBC recently announced a new initiative called ‘Tackling It Together’ – bringing together a team of experts to help consumers through the crisis, with former Personal Finance and Consumer Affairs Correspondents like Kevin Peacheyand Colletta Smith becoming Cost of Living Correspondents.
At Sky News, Megan Baynes has been hired as their first Cost of Living Reporter. Megan told MHP the three things she’s looking for when covering the crisis:
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