Member spotlight: Irish Farmers Journal
This month we chat with Marcella O’Shaughnessy, Consumer Advertising Manager
What attracted you to working with the Irish Farmers Journal?
I grew up on a dairy farm in Wexford and the Farmers Journal was always one of the many newspapers that came into our house every week . When the opportunity came up to work there I was really interested to combine my passion for sales with a trusted brand that had been a long standing reliable source of news for the farmers nationwide.
Is there a typical IFJ reader?
Well there is definitely a stereotypical IFJ reader ! It’s our job to dispel the myth of old farmer in his wellies , smoking a pipe with a sheepdog at his feet !!
50% of Irish Farmers Journal readers are women and the main shopper in the house.
Farmers in Ireland today are running businesses , they are considered high income earners with dairy farmers average income in excess of €75k , they are employers , they usually own multiple vehicles , maybe a car and 4×4 ,they’d be considered high energy users, they are tech savvy , running their business with online banking, farm admin online, on their phone updating themselves on news and since covid they are trading animals at the mart online now , with €750 million worth of animals traded on the Irish Farmers Journal Martbids app alone in the last two years !
Any recent ad campaigns you’d like to highlight?
We’ve done some really interesting work with Enterprise Ireland around their innovation awards for industry. We’ve combined print , digital , special stand alone publications and then produced video through our sister company Traction Marketing to really bring this campaign to life.
This ran over 6 months on various platforms and is used to showcase the innovation of Ireland’s top Agri Technology companies which are active in over 140 countries around the world.
Favourite journalism produced by the IFJ?
Irish Country Living is the lifestyle magazine that comes with the Irish Farmers Journal every week and (side note is the Newsbrands Newspaper Magazine of the year 2021 ) . In June 2021 we did a Pride issue , with the cover star speaking about his experience as an LGBTQ+ farmer in Ireland , and all the regular features following this theme. This one sticks out in my mind as it shows how far we’ve come not only as a country but as an industry and that rural Ireland and the agricultural industry is as accepting and forward thinking as the rest of the country.
You are a journalist for a day, what story would you most like to cover?
Our journalists are covering such a broad range of topics from technical information to detailed analysis of decisions made in Brussels and the impact they have on Irish farms . Personally I really enjoy the lifestyle content we do , for example the series we are currently running about food producers and their journey from farm to supermarket shelves ! I would have also enjoyed being out at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s farm tour in Grange, Co. Meath in 2020, which showcased some of the best practice and sustainability in Irish food production .
Tell us something surprising about the IFJ
The Irish Farmers Journal runs a farm in Tullamore , Co. Offaly and cover editorially what happens on that farm as real world experience to share with their readers.
Probably something else that people may not know is that the Irish Farmers Journal produces a two page study guide in the paper every week that is used as part of the school curriculum for Leaving Cert Ag Science students.