This month I’ve started a new weekly column in the News of the World (though due to my work commitments from Feb I’m dropping it to fortnightly). Having previously been a columnist for the Sunday Times, Sunday Express and Guardian, it’s quite a departure and it took a lot of thinking about.
Interestingly, the precision needed for the column is upped; to make it palatable and in tune with the house style it has to be punchy, upbeat and interesting – quite a challenge for some more technical subjects. In the Sunday Times money section I could assume some pre-knowledge, but not in the News of The World.
The reason I choose to do it is simple; it has the most enormous reach, far beyond any other newspaper. For me that’s crucial; part of my MoneySaving passion is all about reaching as many people as possible. I must admit when I saw my first column which was about PPI reclaiming I felt a real burst of joy.
PPI reclaiming is such an important issue, the systemic misselling is huge, yet because ‘not knowing you have a policy’ is a category of misselling, it’s a tough campaign. Telling people they can get money back on something they don’t know they’ve got isn’t easy. So getting to this audience is really important.
Even better, rather than being in a ‘money section’ where only those already interested tend to read it, I get a page within the reviews section alongside films, agony and more. Which means its a happened upon issue in all likliehood reaching many people who will never have heard of it before.
To bring this type of subject to such a big audience, and perhaps one who are most likely to have suffered from it is very politically empowering. It’s an incredible opportunity.