A year ago Reach added a new digital news brand to its portfolio, which includes the Irish Mirror, Dublin Live and RSVP, making it one of Ireland’s biggest media groups with bases in Belfast, Dublin and Cork. Cork Beo aims to inform and entertain the people of Ireland’s biggest county and reflect and amplify the new energy and enterprise of a region on the rise.
A year on, the site’s editor, Joe O’Shea, reflects on “an action-packed first 12 months on Leeside” with contributions from Reach’s group sales director and business communications manager. When the site went live at the end of May last year, it was launched into a summer of festivals, major outdoor concerts, sport and tourism along the south coast.
With the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the summer of 2020 looks a lot different.
But since the very start, with a team of just two which soon expanded to four full-time journalists and a commercial team, Cork Beo has brought Cork city and county the news, views and features that reflect life on Leeside. The coverage includes everything from serious crime, to traffic and travel, jobs, the economy and the lighter side of life in Cork.
Cork Beo recently rolled out the #InThisTogether coronavirus response campaign, a pledge to Cork’s small businesses of Reach’s support for them. LesleyAnn Diffin, who looks after the group’s brand communications, says the aim of the campaign was solidarity and usefulness – allowing readers to better understand how they can continue to back local businesses.
“At the same time, businesses have a chance to show how they’ve been helping customers, employees and communities,” Diffin added. “Ultimately, it was about proving how valuable our audience can be to these brands.” Cork Beo broke the million page views mark within two months, growing month-on-month to 7.5m views in May – the highest recorded yet.
Users across web, mobile and app amounted to 2.1m for May so the site’s anniversary month doubled up as a record-breaker. The site won the best use of Facebook at the Cork Digital Marketing Awards after six months. Cork Beo now has 65,000 social media followers.
Pictured are Cork Beo editor Joe O’Shea, Joanne McGreevy, managing director of Reach Ireland and John Kierans, Reach’s editor-in-chief