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Australian Regional Media celebrates genuine community connections as it shines a light on local

LEADING business and advertising executives in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne have been briefed in a series of trade events on the future of Australian Regional Media ... and the story they have heard is a compelling one.

Speaking in Brisbane last week, recently appointed APN chief executive Ciaran Davis pledged that with the backing of advertisers his company would continue to invest in compelling local content.

Mr Davis said: “We are transforming to a more digitally focused company and there has been a huge shift in how our newsrooms are now thinking in delivering the news.

“Despite talk of decline, we are actually growing audiences -- not just through circulation, but in a digital environment.

“We now have the highest audience we have ever had and it sits at 1.8 million (per month across 12 daily papers and websites, and more than 50 community titles). Regional publishing is worth investing in, does deliver results and will continue to deliver results.”

Mr Davis’ address coincided with the launch that day of ARM’s first online digital subscription model, at The Chronicle in Toowoomba. Before the end of his speech, dozens of readers had already taken up a Chronicle online subscription.

Senior analyst with TrendWatching, Victoria Loomes, also spoke at the ARM function and detailed how major companies were now realising that a local connection was becoming more important than ever.

Ms Loomes said: “Despite globalisation, despite online; location still matters, consumers still embrace ‘local’ products, service and knowledge.

“Authenticity, convenience and eco-concerns are all key drivers and smart brands throughout the world are standing out from the crowd by making deeper commitments and lasting, meaningful impacts on a chosen locality.”

Labelling it the “Rise of Local” she said now more than ever, people were seeking out genuine connections and a deep sense of belonging.

ARM national sales director Nancy Veart was overwhelmed with the number of leading executives who attended the Brisbane event last week, Melbourne last night and in Sydney tonight.

Mrs Veart said: “To assemble more than 150 leading decision-makers in one room to hear our story reflects the value people see in our ability to engage audiences through our innovative product suite.”

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