Bev Davies is editor of Welsh weekly the Cambrian News Series. She tells us more about the newspaper and the imminent launch of its new website.
About the publication:
Who reads it and how many of them are there?
We have around 70,000 readers, from right across the board.
Which areas do you cover?
We have a huge circulation area – 3,000 square miles of mid, west and north Wales – from the Lleyn Peninsula in the north, down to Cardigan in the south.
What makes you different from the other newspapers in your region/in the country?
We are Wales’s second-biggest weekly newspaper. We have five editions, but are unique in that three of the editions – in Ceredigion, north Carmarthenshire and Montgomeryshire – go to press on a Tuesday and two editions – in north Wales – go to press on a Wednesday. We are the only weekly newspaper circulating in the Aberystwyth area, with a penetration of over 90 per cent in that area. We are currently redesigning our website and the new look will be launched very soon!
Do you work closely with PRs (e.g. for supplements, events) or do you keep them at arm’s length?
PR people have helped us with special events and publications and we are popular with PR companies because we cover such a huge circulation area, nearly a third of Wales.
Do you have any advice for PRs?
PRs should make sure the press releases and info are geared to the local area of the newspaper they are contacting. It is very annoying to get nationally-angled releases with no thought put into the location or type of publication.
How should a PR approach you about their client?
Through our newsdesk on 01970 615000 or by e-mail to email@example.com
Do you have a PR pet hate?
Calls asking if a piece has been used or not are irritating. If the PR is not going to buy the paper, then they should use a cutting service or get the local company they are promoting to check if the item has been used.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
Thursdays and Fridays are our non-press days and therefore the best time for contact. Anything submitted before the weekend has a better chance of getting space, but items can still be accepted on a Monday in some cases.
Are there opportunities for coverage via your website? What should a PR provide for this?
Yes, especially now our website is being developed. Contact should again be through the newsdesk.
What interests you most about your job?
I still get a buzz from seeing the Cambrian News on the street and hearing readers talking about stories they have read in the paper. It’s so fulfilling to know that the Cambrian News has such an important role in people’s lives.
What led to you becoming editor in chief of the Cambrian News?
I started as a reporter 26 years ago and, apart from a three-year stint on a Welsh daily, have been at the Cambrian ever since. Being editor in chief means to control not just the Cambrian News but also our other publications, including the Welsh weekly newspapers Y Cymro and Y Dydd, and a small weekly newspaper in Pembrokeshire called the County Echo. We also manage a local radio station based in Aberystwyth, called Radio Ceredigion.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a research assistant on the Daily Star, straight from a post-graduate journalism course.
I’d like to have a go at…
Running my own vineyard!!
Where do you expect to be in five year’s time?
Who knows. I never think that far ahead.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what one thing would you hope to have with you?
My lovely other half.