ComputerWeekly.com is a digital publication providing news, analysis, opinion, information and services for the UK IT community.
In 2011 Computer Weekly switched from print to digital; the decision was explained by editor-in-chief Bryan Glick: ‘It was a simple and obvious economic decision. Print advertising revenue in B2B technology had been declining rapidly for years, and there are only a few IT suppliers that still spend money on print ads. It’s no longer a revenue source you can build a long-term business around.’
‘In 2010, Computer Weekly’s digital revenue overtook its print revenue for the first time, and that was a significant milestone. You then get to the point when you ask the question: do we invest in our digital products, which deliver high margins; or do we invest in our print offerings, which deliver much lower margins? At that point, it’s an easy decision.’
The title differentiates from its rivals with more in-depth and long-form content but it still needs to cover the latest news and produce content that relates to senior business leaders as well as technical specialists. Bryan said: ‘It’s much harder work being all digital, there are a lot more plates to spin and balls to juggle, but if you get it right, the rewards from readers (and advertisers) are significant.’
A digital audience
Computer Weekly produces a PDF-based digital magazine that is emailed to 110,000 subscribers every week, a number which has risen since the printed copy ceased circulation. The website attracts about a million page views per month.
The most important aspect of digital journalism is audience engagement. Social media is a key channel for Computer Weekly’s audience and it has lead the title to host a wide range of blogs on the Computer Weekly website covering a variety of topics, have open comments on articles, and use Twitter and LinkedIn.
The main @computerweekly Twitter account now has over 13,000 followers – add to that the followers of each of the team’s individual Twitter accounts and that number is probably closer to 20,000. Bryan considers Twitter to be a great way of promoting content and for communicating with its readers and other stakeholders, such as suppliers, analysts and other journalists.
Facebook hasn’t been a big channel for the title – people tend to use Facebook as consumers, and as Computer Weekly is a B2B publication they rarely engage with the publication through Facebook.
A photo story is a good feature, as is a long news story with a lot of context and analysis, and even a well researched blog post. Bryan doesn’t consider print-style distinctions to apply so much online, he said: ‘What we look for is well researched, topical, quality content that engages with readers – that might be text, or video, or photos, or audio, or almost any combination of those.
Working with PR
When asked what sort of information Computer Weekly likes to receive from PR, Bryan said: ‘We recognise the important role PRs play in keeping us informed about what their clients are doing. But the key thing for us is for PRs to help us get access to their clients’ customers – case studies, interviews, contract wins etc, where we can talk to the customer – if you can put us in touch with a CIO, IT director, IT manager or other IT decision-maker at a well-known company or public sector body, that is hugely valuable for us.’
This spotlight is part of Cision’s Top UK Technology Media module.