Digital Spy takes wider news view and shifts focus to social media

Digital Spy has unveiled a new-look website that heralds fresh opportunities for entertainment PR professionals seeking to secure coverage.

Digital Spy: moving away from its main focus on entertainment news
Digital Spy: moving away from its main focus on entertainment news

As well as undergoing an aesthetic refresh to bring it up to date, the revamped site marks a departure from the brand's main focus on entertainment news and promises to bring more wide-ranging editorial, as well as an increased emphasis on social media.

Editor David Moynihan says the site will capitalise on the popularity of Twitter and Facebook, while building on its thriving forum community.

'Social media are being brought more to the forefront. We're highlighting user comments on the website a lot more, which adds a whole new dimension to the brand,' says Moynihan.

'The fact that we already have huge forums is something that sets us aside from our competitors. We have a very engaged audience and a large number of loyal users, so we are working to capitalise on this.'

Moynihan says there will be many ways for PR professionals to get involved with the new areas of the site.

'Most PROs are aware of our global news service, but we also do daily phone and video interviews,' he says. 'We have an in-house video team that can travel almost anywhere to film content and interviews, and we plan to include more photo features, analysis and debate.'

Digital Spy also is planning to launch a technology section - featuring items including consoles, phones and TVs - by the end of the year, and is keen to hear from PROs working in this sector.

Holly Appleton, head of digital at entertainment PR firm DawBell, says it is crucial for entertainment websites to make use of digital content.

'There are very few websites that do a great job with video content. Digital Spy has a great name and phenomenal viewing figures, so it's the right time for it to give this more focus,' she says. 'We pitch Digital Spy a lot of exclusive video content. The hits from its homepage are so strong that it makes sense for us to place content there.'

Adam Royal, head of online PR at creative agency Toast, agrees that the move away from the brand's initial focus on news can prove beneficial for PROs.

'Lots of our press releases translate to news stories at Digital Spy, but because of channels such as Twitter acting as a steady news stream, there has to be a departure from this in order for a campaign to grow.

'In terms of PR, when it comes to launching an artist or developing a campaign as a whole, we need to stretch things more editorially and push for reviews, interviews and features. These developments mean users will visit the website for longer, giving PR-placed content more scope to become noticed.'

A MINUTE WITH ... David Moynihan, editor, Digital Spy

What content are you looking for from PR professionals?

There is not much that we won't be prepared to look at, but because exclusives and original content are really great for us, what is mainly exciting is access to products or talent.

What content will not get on the website?

It is a big turn-off when someone pitches something that is basically just an ad disguised as editorial.

Will the revamped site provide any new opportunities for PROs?

We have very strong relationships with PROs in our areas of expertise such as TV, film and music. By the end of the year, we hope to have launched a technology section, so we would like to hear from anyone who is keen to come on board.

Describe your typical user

We have a young, predominantly UK-based audience, aged between 16 and 34, and split 50/50 male and female. Our users are incredibly passionate about entertainment and want to know what movies, games and albums are coming out, and when.

How should PROs make contact?

Each area on the site has a section editor with reporters working under them, but the best point of contact is the main newsdesk. This is a sure-fire way of ensuring a press release is seen.

QUICK FACTS

Unique users 10,329,993 (Hearst Magazines UK)

Website digitalspy.co.uk

Owner Hearst Magazines UK

Did you know? Digital Spy publishes more than 300 stories every day via online and mobile from across three continents

Contact newsdesk@digitalspy.co.uk

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