How-Do conference debates the future of media engagement….. and it turns out we’re loving local more than ever

That was the common thread running through the Havas PR UK sponsored How-Do conference in Manchester on Thursday.

Leading industry figures from the media world and beyond gathered at the Museum of Science and Industry to give their take on what the future holds for consumption and engagement with media in the UK.

Keynote speakers included Nick Milligan, managing director from Sky Media, Robert Ray from the Newspaper Society, Andrew Davies, head of media planning, BBC and Havas PR UK’s CEO, Russ Lidstone.

One of the headline themes to come out from the presentations was undoubtedly the impact and influence local media still has on consumers.

In his presentation to conference delegates, Robert Ray, marketing director at the Newspaper Society extolled the virtues of the local media stating that, “local media is still the most trusted form of media when informing people about products and services.”

Citing research carried out in March and April of this year among nearly 5,000 adults, the Newspaper Society found 93 per cent of people, “like companies that involve themselves in the local community” and 84 per cent are more likely to buy from brands that give something back to the local community – proof that consumers act on the messages they’re exposed to via the local media.

More importantly, the research found 45 per cent of those asked trusted the content in their local media, compared to 15 per cent for commercial radio.

As the recession continues to bite, consumers are turning to the support of their local community.  Brands need to be aware of the advantages on this new rise of local.