Newsquest Media Group Ltd. is the second largest publisher of regional and local newspapers in the United Kingdom. With 205 brands across the UK, publishing online and in print (165 newspaper brands and 40 magazine brands), it reaches 28 million visitors a month online and 6.5 million readers a week in print. Based in London, Newsquest employs a total of more than 5,500 people across the UK, which includes over 1,000 experienced media sales people that help local businesses promote their products and services to local audiences.

Having recently purchased a LMS (Academy Online) to support their sales staff, they wanted to provide the team access to a wide range of online material to support their introduction to the Group and their continuous development. They wanted to transition from traditional classroom based training to a more flexible, blended approach using online content and greater application back in the workplace. And they wanted their learners to enjoy training.

Newsquest logo

increase engagmentHUGE

cost-effective learningCOST

blended learningBLENDED

Evolving to a blended approach

Newsquest’s key objective in purchasing a new LMS was to create a highly skilled and highly developed workforce by providing a blended approach to development. At the time, there wasn’t a culture of self-development and, previously, online training had been clunky, time consuming, frustrating and complicated. Newsquest needed to find content that would change these perceptions of training and encourage people to want to use it to develop themselves. A change in culture was needed to introduce a more blended approach to learning and to help learners embrace the training on offer.

One of the biggest challenges the L&D team faced was that the audience (sales team) were adrenaline junkies, driven by deadlines and this meant any content had to be relevant, engaging and quick and easy to digest. Another challenge was the fact that the team needed to prove the effectiveness of online learning in order to secure further funding for more content. They were, therefore, on a tight budget; any solution had to be quickly implemented and adopted and the results needed to come quickly. Mel Cooley, Learning Solution Manager said:

“What really surprised me about Litmos Heroes was the sheer volume of resources they provided. We had everything we needed, from engaging content that could be quickly and easily loaded onto the Academy Online to short videos, course descriptions and thumbnails that could be used to market the content. We were even provided with workbooks.

This meant we could be up and running in no time and, more importantly, I could put together an effective marketing campaign with very little effort.”

Making marketing learning simple

Having used Litmos Heroes in a previous role and gotten great results, Mel was keen to introduce the short, bite-sized content into Newsquest.

Mel and her team initially put together a six week marketing plan to drive awareness of both the new learning content and their new LMS. Using a variety of content, the team sent out mailshots with links to teaser videos provided by Litmos Heroes, links to the LMS and more, the team were able to pique learners’ interest and drive visitors to the Academy Online.

The campaign proved so successful that the team continued to market learning content for the next five months.

marketing learning courses

“Having implemented several LMS’ in my career and bought and created content, I can honestly say that the experience of launching and marketing Litmos Heroes content has been a joy.

Everything has been made so easy and simple and the content is engaging and relevant. This is not only borne out by the results we have seen but by the feedback we have received from our audience….a major step forward from where we started.”

Big impact helps improve sales excellence

The results have been amazing and far exceeded the expectations of the Newsquest L&D team. After an initial surge in usage of the Academy Online resources, the continued marketing of content has meant they have continued to see usage rises.

The team have been able to break down some of their larger classroom-based courses (such as an eight-day induction training programme) and evolve into a completely blended experience.

Learners also love it, providing ample positive feedback to the L&D team around ease of use, accessibility, the bite-sized nature of the courses and more. Litmos Heroes now consistently features in their top 5 most popular courses, their top 5 most assigned and are their highest rated courses, regularly receiving 4.5 out of 5. One of the clear indicators of successes to emerge from the marketing campaign is the continued engagement figures, which have consistently risen since Newquest began their campaign in July 2016.

Speaking of the impact, Mel continued:

“It’s engaging, definitely not boring and always appears in the top five of the most requested courses. The first 6 months after we tried it we saw a huge increase in traffic to the online academy and subsequently much higher engagement.

Litmos Heroes provides engaging content – but from a L&D Managers perspective it makes life so much easier. They are always top of the list when I am asked for recommendations.”