All in, all together news and opinion

10 questions with…Niki West

Every week, we talk to a member of Team Nation to find out how they are bringing the “All in, all together” campaign to life. This week 10 questions with…meets Newswork's client services & strategy director Niki West.

1. To me, the rainbow symbolises

Hope – there will be light at the end of the rainbow – stay positive.

2. What is your role at Team Nation?

When the initial partnership brief came in from the Cabinet Office team, my role across those first 48 hours was to pull together a team of people,  with various skill sets from across the news publishers, to craft a unified industry response.  Our ambition was to convince the Cabinet Office that news brands should play a pivotal and distinctive role in conveying some of their key Covid-19 messages to help protect the nation during the pandemic. This was no mean feat I can tell you, but the unique, collaborative approach made a positive impact and the proposed campaign partnership was signed off within a matter of days. My role going forward from that was to build a robust cross publisher team – Team Nation – to plan and activate the campaign and support this team across operational delivery and performance.

3. Have you ever worked on an advertising campaign of this scale before?

The scale of this campaign is unprecedented and nothing like anything else that I have worked on across my career.

4. What is it like working on a cross-industry team?

I feel incredibly proud of our industry right now. The drive, passion, determination and willingness to work together in a new way was clearly evident from everyone involved right from the start. It has also made it very clear to me that there is an incredible pool of talent within the publishers who are eager and ready to push boundaries in order to make a real difference and do their bit.

5. What has been the highlight so far?

We’re still at the start of this campaign but my highlight so far was waking up on the morning of Friday 17 April – a mere 10 days after taking the initial briefing – to see a rainbow of colours on the newsstand, all with the same, consistent ‘All in, all together / Stay@home’ splashed across their front and back covers.  It was a historic day and an incredible feat for the industry to co-ordinate a very special and important message across hundreds of local and national newspapers.  Some people doubted that we could carry this off in such a short space of time, but we did it. And this was all down to the publishers’ willingness to collaborate and breakdown internal barriers to make this happen. The rainbow poster on the back of the cover wrap was also pretty neat.

6. And any challenges you can share?

This is a totally new and exciting  way of working for the news industry, acting collectively rather than as individual news brands or publishers. Coupled with the pace that we’ve been working at, it’s no surprise that there have been a few challenges along the way but none that we haven’t overcome by working as a tight team.

Working through the logistics of how to get the first cover wrap and homepage take overs live across hundreds and hundreds of titles within a matter of days, from getting approval from all national and local publishers to enable this to happen, to developing the messaging and working out what was required in terms of creative assets and production. That was some week. And one I will never ever forget. What an achievement.

7. Think of three words that come to mind when you think of the campaign?

Big, brave and bold.

8. What have you learnt?

It’s okay not to know the answer to things straight away. By working together as a tight team, with the same vision, you’ll get there in the end.

 9What can we expect to see next?

The “All in, all together” campaign idea was developed by the newspaper industry as a way of delivering government communications in an intimate, human and compassionate tone that readers can relate to. This campaign is part of a three-month advertising partnership between the government and the newspaper industry, which includes a significant branded content element to further amplify public information, campaigns and messaging in a style and tone more familiar to readers. Over the next 10 weeks readers will see a whole host of adverts and sponsored content supporting and amplifying the government’s Covid-19 messaging. We as an industry are proud to be doing our part to help defeat this terrible virus.

10. Finish this sentence…

All in, all together for the light at the end of the rainbow.

Hannah Ohm Thomas 05/05/20

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