Johnston Press transforms into a social enterprise with and Google

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 07:00


Johnston Press announced today that it is embarking on a bold plan to transform its advertising sales operations by introducing new ways of working supported by new social applications. The model centres on’s social enterprise applications for building customer social networks, and Google Apps for Business, Google's web-based productivity suite. The former will be adopted for JP’s 1,500-strong sales team while Google Apps will be used as the core of the company’s new e-mail system.

More than 800 non-office-based sales staff will be given iPads to allow them to work remotely and significantly improve their sales effectiveness at customers’ premises. This initiative will help drive innovation by making it incredibly easy for JP’s sales executives to communicate, collaborate, and share business information.

The move is part of the creation of a new ‘Social Enterprise’ that places regional newspapers at the hearts of their communities. It uses social media tools to help advertisers and customers reach their desired audience in an ever more sophisticated manner across print, iPad, web and mobile.’s social enterprise solution leverages open, social and mobile cloud technologies to enable Johnston Press to build customer social networks to transform the way they support their customers and interact internally as a team. All management and salespeople will be able to access a single view of their customers and see what presence they have across all of the company’s advertising properties. This knowledge will allow the team to provide their large base of customers with the most relevant advertising opportunities across both traditional print and digital media to ensure their advertising spend is optimised to reach a wider audience.

Google Apps is a web-based suite of comprehensive and powerful communication and collaboration products. It includes Gmail with 25 GB of storage per account and integrated Google Talk - text and video instant messaging tool which facilitates virtual meetings; Google Calendar - a web-based calendar application that allows sharing calendars and enables employees to set up meetings and events more easily; Google Docs which allows users to create and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets in real-time, and Google Video for Business which makes company content and communication more personal, visual and engaging.

Stored in Google’s cloud, all information can be accessed any time and anywhere, from any Internet-connected device.

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield said: “We are very excited about this new agreement with and Google inc [and Apple]. This is the beginning of the transformation of local media to a 24-hour digital operation, and provides our new and existing customers with access to exactly the audience they want to reach, where and when they want to message them.”   

Steve Garnett, EMEA chairman,, said: “The social web and mobile technologies have transformed the way we communicate, collaborate and share information. To stay competitive, media companies must connect with their readers in new ways across new devices. is helping companies to meet this challenge and we are excited to support Johnston Press in their transformation to a social enterprise.”

Thomas Davies, head of Google Enterprise for the UK and Ireland, said: “In today’s fast-moving world, mobility and flexibility mean more than ever, and the time-sensitive and deadline-driven media sector can draw substantial benefits from the ease of access and improved collaboration that cloud computing offers.

“Google Apps not only allows people to access all their information any time and anywhere but it also helps them move away from working as individual contributors and start working more efficiently as a team.”



Johnston Press
Ashley Highfield, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: 0207 631 3105