The campaign, devised by Omnicom creative agency BDH\ TBWA, will capitalise on the regional press’s position as a £3 bn advertising medium.
The Newspaper Society said the campaign, which begins this week and includes trade and regional press advertising, direct mail and public relations, involved a “substantial investment”.
The Society is still looking for a new marketing director to fill the shoes of Russell Collier, who left abruptly in March after just eight months.
But communications director Lynne Anderson said the campaign and new appointment should enhance the growth of the regional press.
“Agencies recognise the efforts we have made because we have been listening to their concerns and acted upon them,” she said.
Readership of regional newspapers is increasing and has now topped the 40 million mark – equivalent to 85.4% of the UK adult population, according to research by the society.
Last year the regional press took its highest share of total advertising revenue (20.6%) since 1995, its highest share of total press revenue (38.5%) since 1981 and its highest share of press national display (9.4%) since 1984.
The society is hoping the campaign will encourage more national advertisers to follow the COI, Unilever, and Ford and put more money in the regional press.
“We have been punching below our weight for some time now,” Anderson said.
“This campaign will serve as the first burst of a new brand positioning campaign for the regional press – highlighting the health of the medium and its current extraordinarily strong advertising performance.”
The NS is also creating a new focus on strategic planning, and plans to work at a senior level within advertising agencies and client companies to influence the planning process.
The marketing drive is being steered by the society’s marketing committee, chaired by Kevin Beatty, managing director of Northcliffe Newspapers.