José Antonio Ramos is the general manager of Avante Medios in Aragón, an agency specialising in the planning of advertising campaigns. He is also the director of ExtraDigital, a medium specialised in the communication and marketing sector.
José Antonio, you studied Law but your great passion has always been communication. Would you have liked to be a journalist?
Yes, unfortunately in the years I had to choose a career there was no journalism here and my family could not afford to send me abroad to study, so I opted for Law. I have been working in the media all my life, I have managed the media and I hope my colleagues don’t see me as an intruder because I love the profession.
You were part of the birth of what is now Aragón Televisión, what role did you play?
That’s right, it started as Zaravision and then Antena Aragón. It was a beautiful project in which I spent nine years and which was the embryo of what is now the regional broadcaster. I learnt a lot and, under Antonio Rey, the foundations were laid for a sector that was underdeveloped here: the audiovisual and television world. Until I took over the management of Punto Radio a few years later, I was in charge of advertising at the television station.
How did you come up with the idea of creating ExtraDigital, a medium that was born in Aragon?
I have been in the media sector all my life and those of us who have the opportunity to relate to people in the sector find out a lot of things that don’t end up coming out of a café or an office. At the same time, I used to find out news about the sector in the national media and you realise that things happen and you only find out about them in that café or that only a few people know about them. I saw the niche, that this news was enough to create a media outlet and at the time it was only known by a few. News such as appointments, local audiences… No one had ever considered counting how many people read the regional press, who listens to the radio here… There is a lot of content that no one had focused on. Now ExtraDigital is already a reference and everyone gets their information from our medium.
How many unique readers does ExtraDigital have?
You have to remember that we are not a generalist media. The quality of our readership is brutal, we are read by many journalists, communication directors, communication managers, professionals from the world of advertising and marketing,… We address and “influence those who influence”. Specifically, last year we ended the year with
660,000 readers and 1,050,000 visits. We are a stone’s throw away from the big three. We are well positioned.
What sets ExtraDigital apart from the rest?
The media that have been around for many years have opted for national firms and brands, and therefore for professionals, especially from Madrid and Catalonia. Professionals from the autonomous communities were not so much in the spotlight, when in the rest of Spain there are also companies, firms, brands and professionals who are doing exceptional work. Our positioning, unlike those competitors, has always been to be leaders and benchmarks in our communities.
In which communities are you leaders?
In Aragón, Galicia, Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, Castilla León and Levante we are the media of reference. Surprisingly, we are not leaders with the national edition, but, in the ranking by editions, where the national edition is most read is in Madrid, although we are not leaders. The growth and positioning comes from all the communities where we have editions, which is the niche we covered when we founded the medium, it was clear to us. We were born in Aragon and stayed there for two years. In the second, we launched with more communities and then with the national one, most of the topics are from Madrid and Catalonia, although we also look at the rest of the territory.
What do you think of the gossip point of this type of media?
We have the gossip point, appointments are the most read news, unfortunately if someone dies it is also where people find out about it. We are talking about a series of professionals, journalists, dircom that in the case of Aragón, most of them work in the city of Zaragoza, but some of them work outside the city or have less contact with it. Many times they tell us that thanks to our media they find out about the things that happen, because if you are in an industrial estate you find out about these changes through ExtraDigital. The raison d’être of ExtraDigital is to tell the movements of the sector, just as you find out about economic, political or sporting news. Our sector is a very lively sector, in Aragon we have shown that it is very lively and that there are great professionals.
Another of ExtraDigital’s strong points is the job offers section. Does the sector demand it?
When we founded ExtraDigital we wanted it to be a medium, not the typical website that posts news from time to time. I remember I attended a coffee with Luis Bassat at the Universidad San Jorge and when I left, a dircom from the city told me that it was very complicated to report on things in the communication sector every day. Six years later, we publish two or three news items and at least one job offer in every edition. And it is one of the most read sections, although I recognise that the offers are not always very good.
How is the sector doing in terms of employment?
The companies want those hired to take on eight functions that five people would have to do for 800 euros. Not all the offers that come out are good, but they are coming out.
Has the pandemic affected the sector positively?
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but I would say that digital is being consumed more. The figures during the confinement also for our website were brutal, a lot of television and online was consumed. The visits to ExtraDigital were skyrocketing, I suppose that in the rest of the media the same.
José Antonio, how do you think Aragón is seen from outside?
A community of social peace, where we are still pedalling ahead in business and the economic figures are better than average and a friendly community.
An Aragonese initiative that you admire?
Zerca! is the courage to compete against brutal platforms and to help trade in Aragon and in other communities, which has a difficult future. It is entrepreneurial generosity and they are going to succeed, they are already doing it.
A cultural activity you love
Any museum in Zaragoza with my children.
Your favourite restaurant in Aragon?
Bunker Bar, in Zaragoza.
A weekend getaway in Aragon.
Pyrenees and Matarraña.
A company you value