Trinity Mirror Regionals, Jane Haase

Gorkana held a media briefing with the Jane Haase, head of the shared content unit of the Trinity Mirror, in Liverpool on 1 October.

The Shared Content Unit provides features for 16 regional publications owned by the Trinity Mirror Group. It is based in Liverpool but provides non-local features for Trinity Mirror publications.

In a media world fuelled by social media activity we can all be guilty of over-sharing, but sharing content internally is a virtue for Trinity Mirror Regionals. Jane Haase, head of its shared content unit, told members of the Gorkana community in an exclusive briefing in Liverpool on October 1 how it provides features for 16 Trinity Mirror regional publications each week.

Trinity Mirror’s shared content unit is a small, eight-strong team, but weekly it provides 100 pages of non-local content in areas such as health, travel, fashion, food, entertainment and reviews for 16 regional publications, including flagships like the Liverpool Echo and the Manchester Evening News.

Jane Haase, head of Trinity Mirror Regionals’s Shared Content Unit, said that the two years since the pioneering team was set up has helped the business secure stories and content it might not have done otherwise, as the combined clout and audiences of the 16 titles helps them secure exclusives.

Here are just three pieces of advice and learning she shared with the audience at the briefing:

Sharing content avoids needless duplication
“One of the main reasons for setting the unit up was to avoid duplication,” Haase explained. For instance, content, such as film reviews from third-party providers like the PA were being needlessly duplicated. A central team producing film reviews which would be shared made much more sense. This principle works for key sectors such as health, travel, fashion, food and other entertainment, TM has found.

Individual titles, such as the Liverpool Echo, chose the content they use each week.

From the unit’s inception, Haase recalled, it was crucial to have ‘buy-in’ from the editors and their regional teams. Currently, the type of content they want is reviewed every six months, she revealed, but the editors and their teams have freedom to chose the content they want to use, or not, each week as it is delivered.

“We are getting constant feedback from them … if they didn’t want our pages, then we wouldn’t exist,” she added. “We know we are providing a service and we obviously want to provide a service to a very high standard.”

Local celebrities and case studies do not always travel well
Some content has to be produced locally and is best produced by the titles’ own editorial teams, Haase believes. Local case studies and celebrity columnists, with a local resonance, don’t travel well. However, if a columnist has a universal perspective, such as a UK reporter writing a column from America about what is happening stateside, his or her work can be shared.

Haase also shared her PR dos and don’ts with the audience. The don’ts, in particular, clearly resonated as Georgia Robson from SmokingGun PR, tweeted from the event: “My favourite part – worse pitch from a PR? ‘How can I help you?'”

Nathaniel Cassidy, MD of 3ManFactory, was also at the event. He concluded: “The most useful aspect was gaining a deeper understanding of a unique desk. With Trinity Mirror Regionals being one of a kind at the moment, insight into what content they provide to the regional publications and how they deliver it assists us in pitching relevant stories to them.”

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