Reed Business Information set up 'What Media' the recruitment media research tool, which completely transformed the way advertising agencies obtain information from the thousands of UK publications, and websites, carrying recruitment ads.
Britain’s biggest advertising agencies – responsible for spending £600 million+ annually on recruitment advertisements on behalf of UK businesses – invested in RBI's major innovation.
Sector: Media & Publishing
Service: Web Applications
The person behind the original project was the Sales Director of more than a dozen magazines and websites, who was given the task of investigating the role of the publication The Recruitment Year Book.
She quickly realised that the handbook suffered the same inherent problem of all directories - the information was out of date as soon as it was published.
“Even with up-to-date information in a paper directory, the agencies had to spend a tremendous amount of time finding out how much individual publications charged for advertising, what the production dates were and the information about the format they required for advertising artwork,” she explained.
“To research which publications specialise in particular vacancies, means ringing around individual publishers. They could not rely on the information for long because publications change their rates at different times of the year, so they would have to go through the same time-consuming process frequently.”
The lateral solution was a website which would contain all the information needed but in far-greater depth than any paper directory could achieve and with the ability to be updated daily. www.whatmedia.co.uk impartially includes information from all the UK media.
From the outset Reed Business Information wanted a partnership with an IT company to mirror the partnership they aimed to build with the most influential advertising agencies. The search for an IT partner was simplified because Objective came with recommendations based on the success of projects carried out for other parts of the giant RBI publishing and business information group. The Sales Director was also keen to use an outside company to add credibility to the project’s autonomy. This helped persuade the 28 key players in the advertising industry to sign up as partners and invest in the project.
With an in-house team of 10 researchers, the data was 70 per cent in place when the project was launched back in 2000. Today we are still working with RBI and the What Media team - that proves great client longevity.
The difficulties that RBI had in getting information from thousands of publications reinforced the advertising industry’s need for the website.
The result is that instead of spending hours on the phone getting media packs and then reading and collating the information, they have the information at their fingertips in far greater detail. They can even get a production schedule and the information for their design department at the same time.
The site offers around 70 pieces of information on each entry, far more than traditional paper directories. The site also offers the publications carrying recruitment advertisements the opportunity to promote themselves on the website - a financial benefit for Reed gained through the decision to include all media outlets rather than just Reed titles.
The data gathering team works pro-actively to ensure that the details are up-to-date and around 250 changes are uploaded overnight. As well as the recruitment information, partners have access to news generated by Reed’s Lexis-Nexis business information, which can provide background material for presentations to clients.
Today the long-standing relationship with RBI and the What Media team continues.
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