Media briefing with Financial News

25 October 2017

Financial News: We want to break stories, set the City’s agenda and provide news other publications don’t.

Chris Newlands, editor of Financial News, outlined the weekly’s aim to set the agenda in the City and compete with the FT’s financial services desk. He stressed that no story is too niche if it is interesting to its readers.

Francesco Guerrera, Financial News’ publisher and head of EMEA at Dow Jones Media Group, joined Newlands at an exclusive Cision event in its offices where the pair elaborated on what its audience wants to read and new features being added to the publication.

A lot of ground was covered during the briefing. Here are just some of the key points that PRs should know:

1. Interesting stories are the key

Newlands emphasised that Financial News looks to break stories in order to achieve its aim of setting the agenda for the City.

“We want to break stories, we want to be interesting and we want to provide news that other publications aren’t providing,” he said. “Interesting is the key. I tell the editorial team to forget the stories which are boring so they have more time to work on the interesting ones.”

2. Launching new features

Since taking the editor’s position in May, Newlands has introduced new features to fill some of the gaps Financial News had not covered previously. This includes the new “An Audience With” in-depth interview feature as well as more content on commercial property, in order to grow the title’s appeal.

“We want to serve this up to current readers but also use it to grow the readership,” he said. “This is our jewel which we are coveting at the moment.”

3. A demanding readership

With an informed readership which approximately comprises 40% traders and bankers, 40% asset managers and 20% professional service workers, the Financial News team has to work harder than other publications to produce the right content.

“The bar is much higher because their knowledge is much higher. If we did a story stating that MiFID II could lead to fragmentation of liquidity in capital markets their response would be ‘well, duh’,” Guerrera quipped.

4. The shadow of Brexit

The overriding story affecting the financial industry is Brexit. Newlands is clear that Financial News does have an editorial line that Brexit is a bad thing. He believes its readers would agree.

He said: “It’s a topic we’re covering day-in-day-out, we’re really interested in what companies are doing, our readers are interested in how negotiations are going, what rivals are doing and how it is going to affect the bottom line.”

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