Don't stop the presses, kick on... with The Irish Field

Don't stop the presses, kick on... with The Irish Field

We continue our print media series by talking to Brendan McArdle about why you should be advertising with The Irish Field.

What’s your USP?

The Irish Field is Ireland’s leading racing and equestrian publication. If horses are part of your life then The Irish Field is part of your week. Established in 1870, our award winning publication is an important part of the equine sector. It includes reports and results, news and features, what’s happing around the country and plenty of unique content through our horse management column, Horse Sense. The Irish Field is unique because it covers the entire horse industry in Ireland.

Who is your demographic?

Our target market is anybody who has an interest in horses. Some 70,000 people read The Irish Field every week. We are a 32 county publication but with our strong digital presence we are now read in some 54 counties around the world. Ireland breeds and produces some of the best horses in the world, so it’s not a surprise that others want to see what’s going on in Ireland and they can do that through The Irish Field.

How does your publication reach its readers and how often?

Print-Digital-Mobile. Print is by far our biggest and most successful way of reaching people. We are a trusted source of information and we dominate this area. Anybody who has a suitable product or service to offer the horse industry can do so most effectively through the print product. Digital is a growing service with hourly updates to ensure our patrons are kept informed. The amount of pageviews on our website has virtually doubled every year since 2013 and was over 1.5 million last year. Our e-paper (PDF book of the printed version) gives you the same feel as the print product, and readers constantly tell us how much they enjoy reading the full paper no matter where they are in the world. I would be lost without it! Our Mobile app has proved extremely popular with over 12,000 downloads in a year.

How many people do you reach online and in print?

We have subscribers in 54 countries around the world. Our top five countries are Ireland, Britain, USA, France and India. On average we reach 70,000 people with the weekly edition but this increases on certain weekends like the Dublin Horse Show, Punchestown, Galway, Derby weekends and the first Saturday in December when we bring out our annual industry directory. Online we had 568,739 website visitors in 2016. This was up 114% on the previous year. It's not unusual for one of our stories to reach 10,000 pageviews in any given edition.

How does your online and print activity complement each other?

Our print product remains hugely popular – there is a high entry barrier which allows us to maintain a powerful and influential position. We constantly link the print and digital editions in various ways, including:

  • We print a unique code in every printed edition giving readers premium website access.
  • We use social media heavily (Facebook 45k, Twitter 21k, Instagram 6k) to promote the print edition and the online version.
  • We regularly add video to the online version of newspaper stories.
  • Occasionally we use the website to publish extra content which cannot fit in the paper.

For an advertiser with a tight budget, what's the main benefit of advertising with you?

No advertising budget is too small to find a place within The Irish Field. If you have a product or service for the equine sector then you are targeting the right people by being included in The Irish Field. We have a proven track record and we will work with advertisers to help them deliver sales/results with added extras. Advertising is important for every company. Out of sight is out of mind!

How can advertisers track results?

Advertisers can track results by various means. They could include a promotional code with their advert or they could invite readers to enter a free competition (stating clearly that entrants will be contacted by the advertiser). Advertisers regularly tell us they have gained new clients through advertising with The Irish Field. I’d like to be able to quantify that advertising results in sales but this wouldn’t be accurate. However I do believe that if you want to grow sales or launch a new product or service to a targeted market then you need a clear message and a medium that can help you deliver it. The Irish Field can certainly do that for you. I also believe that the message in the advertisement has to be accurate. If you advertise online then we have a number of reporting tools to help you track the performance of the online campaign (reach, click through rate, etc.).

Are there any other opportunities available?

Advertorials are very popular within the paper. They are an excellent way of getting your story across in a way that is sometimes not possible in a display advertisement. Our commercial features are increasingly popular and we find that the reader really values the expert advice and advertisers get a great return. Our most recent feature was on Grassland Management and this weekend we have some excellent advice on Spring Cleaning and getting your yard/paddocks ready for the summer. We also offer competition space to those who advertise with us. Our readers really engage when we have a good prize up for grabs. The prize must be of a certain standard and we will provide adequate space.

What’s the best way to contact you?

I’m a fan of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I can also be contacted through the The Irish Field website or you can call me on +353-1-4051171 or email me at: bmcardle@theirishfield.ie

Isabel Hurley is editor of the Irish Horse World (sport horse section), while Mark Costello and Leo Powell are the key editorial contacts on the thoroughbred (racing) side.

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