“A PRINT MEDIA CULTURAL SHOCK,” says our new Spanish colleague

This post is also available in Spanish, see here

London, one of the most multicultural cities in the world is where I find myself immersed in a whole new international experience since joining Rochester PR Group from Spain two weeks ago. Before I arrived, I wasn’t anticipating that the cultural differences would be significant, as I thought I had a pretty good idea about life in the UK from British films, TV series, books and news among other things, but since joining the team, I have spotted one big difference – print media.

As you would expect when working for a PR market entry services consultancy the UK papers are hugely important and I am getting to know them by reading and observing as much as I can to build my knowledge. The distribution of newspapers in the UK was the first thing that caught my attention. In Spain if you want to buy a newspaper you go to the nearest newspaper and magazine kiosk, but in the UK you can also go to almost any supermarket to buy your paper.

Also, there are a lot of good quality free papers and magazines in the UK that can be picked up at the nearest Tube entrance. You certainly wouldn’t see ones like Time Out, Stylist and NME at any Madrid Metro! This means that it is much easier for people to access information in the UK compared to Spain, resulting in a larger and more varied reader base for British media in general.

I am surprised by the range of print media available in the UK, from the traditional Daily Telegraph to those like the i which show the British market adapting to younger readers. It seems to me that compared to Spain, the British print media industry has succeeded in adapting to the increasing appetite, especially from younger readers, for quick access to short news bites right in the hand wherever you are. This is really interesting to me and something I hope Spain can learn from to keep its print papers alive!

Another thing that surprised me when I first got deep into British papers (As a London PR Agency we all read a couple of papers – usually a tabloid and a broadsheet, and yes I know what these mean now – to read at the weekend) is the fact that companies and brands are investing a lot to advertise in them. In British papers you find pages of adverts, whereas back in my country this is rare.

From my research, I can tell that British print media has a larger quantity of adverts and editorial content, having a very different balance when comparing to the papers back in my country. These are full of traditional and conservative editorial content apart from the regular cultural and sports content, having a small space for ads or product/company related topics. You certainly wouldn’t see an Easter round up in one of them!

I know that I have only scratched the surface of UK media so far, so I will keep researching this and report back my findings soon as well as other cultural differences that I’m sure I will discover during my work experience here in London.

From Yara