Spotlight on COVID-19 – South London Press

1 December 2020


Case Study Series

Following on from our recent COVID-19 survey, we wanted to delve a little deeper and speak to a selection of our clients to see how they have handled the pandemic.
First up, we spoke to Toby Porter, News Editor at South London Press;

Has the Coronavirus pandemic had any impact on the strategy you initially outlined for 2020?
Yes, we had to rip up our strategy which involved a revamp of the design and content.

What changes have you had to make?
Our advertising fell off a cliff in April but has slowly risen since. In print, we have included a lot more Covid-19 factual material, but also appeals arising from the problems of lockdown. We also had our own appeal supporting businesses called “Keep Calm and Support Each Other” in the first weeks, which was relatively successful but petered out in the summer.
Online, we put a trigger in for all posted stories to go up on social media. That saved a huge amount of time and effort. Now it’s automatic, post rates have increased dramatically, as no stories are missed anymore. As a result we get far more referral traffic from both Twitter and Facebook.
We have also vastly improved the mobile viewing experience so that we can integrate adverts. They used to always sit at the bottom of the screen, so that’s improved Adsense revenue and clicks.

Adsense revenue has increased 433% since the beginning of lockdown.

New sections such as ‘lifestyle’ and ‘education’ are popular and are now being updated with as many stories as ‘news’ and ‘sports’. This is another way we’ve increased traffic as people can navigate to sections much easier – previously we added everything to the ‘What’s On’ section.

Key Points

– More social media traffic
– Implemented a better UI and more sections
– Increased revenue from Adsense

To find out more about how the industry has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can download our latest report here.