11 July 2017

One of Britain’s most important regional media companies, Johnston Press wanted to earn recognition as an authority on local economies across the UK, and play a leading role in defining the burgeoning innovation sector.

We worked with CEO Ashley Highfield and his team to devise, develop, and debut a landmark study that would help it achieve its ambitions. The first ever Johnston Press UK Innovation Index was launched at the FT Innovate conference in 2014.

Exploring the factors driving innovation across the UK, it revealed the start-up and patent hotspots of today and tomorrow, highlighting those companies and communities blazing a trail across a raft of business categories.

The Index – backed by interviews with Ashley Highfield on BBC News and across national print media, underscored Johnston Press’s expertise in local markets, and was widely shared by business influencers.

The success of the Innovation Index created a fitting backdrop to Johnston Press’s acquisition of the i newspaper in 2016 – the first new newspaper for 25 years (that W was proud to have helped launch in 2010) – giving Johnston Press both local relevance and national scale, and supported by wall-to-wall business profiling.

By showing how world-class innovation was as likely to be found in the East Midlands as East London, the Innovation Index provided a welcome antidote to the conventional media narrative, and afforded Johnston Press an important thought-leadership position.

“W is about as good as it’s possible for an agency to be. They provide endless creativity and expertise, and genuinely make a difference to the business, including to the bottom line, no mean feat in this industry.” — Jane Muirhead, Group Head of PR, Johnston Press & i