Due to the different language regions, the Swiss media landscape boasts a large number of regional titles, radio and TV programmes, but no Swiss-wide media – something that companies must keep in mind whilst planning their financial communication activities.

By Urs P. Knapp, knapp@farner.ch

The characteristics that make Switzerland distinct – its strategic geographic location, its cultural and linguistic diversity, its differentiated political system – all contribute to the Swiss media landscape. Switzerland’s reliance on international trade is also reflected in the media coverage: international financial news is covered in great depth, and international business newspapers are widely read.

Newspaper Readership remain important

Historically, Switzerland has the greatest number of newspapers published in proportion to its population and geographic size. Local, regional and national publications serve a diverse, highly educated, affluent and independent readership. Newspaper readership remains on a very high level compared to most EU countries.

Nonetheless, since the turning of the 21st century, all common forms of press concentration – publisher concentration (a declining number of publishing houses), journalistic concentration (a declining number of fully staffed papers) and a concentration of circulation numbers – can be observed in Switzerland.

As throughout the world, social media as a news channel and multiplier has exponentially gained in importance in Switzerland. Journalists are trained to think digitally, and the news world has become quicker and more spread out since Twitter and the online news platforms have flourished.

How to Work with Swiss Journalists

Swiss journalists may appear reserved and less aggressive than in other countries. They are, however, very conscious of their independence. Swiss journalists are, in general, highly educated and well-informed about the topics they write about and the people they talk to. Therefore, it is crucial that information content and all materials intended for the press, e.g. news releases, are adapted to the specifics of the Swiss market and translated into the local languages.

For communication professionals, expertise in their company’s products and services and sound knowledge of the Swiss market and media landscape are essential when dealing with the press.

A continuous information flow on a company’s activities to the relevant journalists strengthens its position and profile in the press. However, Swiss journalists value quality over quantity.