News International looks to PR to boost flagging titles

News International is planning a major PR offensive to breathe new life into The Sun and News of the World brands.

Rebekah Wade: to re-energise NI newspaper titles
Rebekah Wade: to re-energise NI newspaper titles

The publishing giant has already drawn up a shortlist of three agencies for a brief to find fresh ways of promoting the two ‘red tops’, which are seeing declining circulations. A pitch is expected to take place later this month.

The promotional rethink emerged days after the news that The Sun editor Rebekah Wade was to become chief ­executive of News International, charged with re-energising its five newspapers.

An insider said the PR brief reflected the company’s amb­itious aims for its key ­tabloid titles. The source said: ‘It is looking to grow its brands at a time when newspaper circulation is facing its biggest threat in decades.’

The insider added that News International was looking for a consumer agency and that the ensuing PR campaign was likely to stress the online offerings of The Sun and News of the World.

Another well-placed source with a News International background said: ‘It could be trying to get across the message that it doesn’t just have the printed product, but also a strong website offering.’

The pitch is understood to be led by News International PR manager Helen Prowse, who joined the company in April from her role as account manager at 3 Monkeys.  Prowse confirmed a pitch was under way but would not disclose any details of the brief.

Wade will become News ­International’s chief executive from September. She will be in operational charge of its four national titles – The Sun, News of the World, The Times and The Sunday Times – and freesheet thelondonpaper.

Announcing the appointment last week, Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief ­exe­cutive of parent company News Corporation, said Wade would help to ‘develop a new model for our industry’.

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