The importance of the regional press has been given top-level status – inside No 10 Downing Street.
At the session Annabelle spoke about the power of regional press and advised Government communicators from Departments including Health, Energy and Justice how best to approach regional newsdesks and Westminster-based lobby correspondents at the session.
The regional press industry reaches 79 million unique users a month online, with the rate of digital audience growth doubling in the past year, and 30 million readers a week, Annabelle, pictured, told delegates.
Annabelle, who is also chairman of the Newspaper Conference, said: “When I took up the role of regional lobby chairman I was determined that that political parties and Whitehall departments should all be alert to the importance of communicating with regional journalists.
“It is vital that civil servants and political advisors understand more about how we work so that all our brands –print, online and now local television – continue to be packed with political exclusives and reports and analysis of what London-based decision makers are up to, and how it will affect our readers.
“I strongly believe that regional lobby journalists play a vital role for their communities in holding elected politicians and unelected civil servants to account, and championing their regions in Westminster.”