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Het Belang van Limburg’s community-focused initiatives build on “the Limburg feeling”

20 April 2014 · By Dominic Stas

Unlike some publishing companies that need to fight for their place within the neighbourhood, Het Belang van Limburg is in a unique position that clearly defines what our role is within our area, which includes about 840,000 people.

In our region, there is what is known as “the Limburg feeling,” a sense of community within the area that means we’re already a part of the local fabric. We don’t have to make overt efforts to build rapport with our readers. It is already established.

As such, Mediahuis (our publishing company) doesn’t just exist on the periphery of society. We are engaged with our readers beyond words on a page or articles read on a computer screen.

We see it as our role to do things for and with the people who live here. Therefore, we often get involved with initiatives that are seemingly unrelated to the publishing side of things in order to build loyalty in readership that views Mediahuis and Het Belang van Limburg in a more intimate, tangible way.

We have done such with two recent initiatives:


Blog turned live feed is Verlag Dierichs’ answer to social media “news”

10 April 2014 · By Jens Nähler

As a newspaper, we have a big audience that is waiting for information.

First challenge: Information is not slow anymore. Before someone reads news something in the newspaper, he already knows most of the information in it.

You’re lucky if the reader knows it from your company’s Web site. But nowadays it is more likely that he knows the news from other sources, for example social networks.

That is the second challenge: News is everywhere, and people are becoming fed up with it.

Third challenge: Readers don’t turn on their computers anymore to read news. They turn on their mobile devices — and many newspapers don’t even have a strong mobile platform.

Even if they have one, it is pretty likely that while on the road, a newspaper’s Web site isn’t the first choice. The first choice is social networks because they don’t only offer news. Their stream also contains service information and entertainment. And readers are longing for info-tainment whilst having a break or being on the road.


ZEE rolls out two mind-stimulating events, boosting its brand image

09 April 2014 · By Parag Darade

For more than two decades, corporate brand ZEE has been extremely successful in establishing its mark across the globe, mainly through its predictable performance, pioneering vision, and prudent strategies.

Taking a step further in its endeavor to reach a billion viewers (from the current number of 700 million viewers), ZEE has launched not one, but two intellectual properties in a short time span of six months.

These two intellectual property initiatives are:


Winnipeg Free Press partners with health authority on niche print product, brings in new revenue

08 April 2014 · By Laurie Finley

Following in the footsteps of successful co-publishing relationships with two regional organisations, Winnipeg Free Press once again uncovered an untapped opportunity, this time with our regional health branch, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

We had heard that the organisation was investigating the possibility of starting a healthy living publication, and we approached it with the concept of co-publishing. Again, we hoped to leverage our strengths of custom content, printing, and distribution. 

Fortunately, a relationship I had with the CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority helped us get direct access to the top, though I believe we would have eventually fostered this relationship even without my direct connection.

When we met with the CEO, we discussed our ability to provide skill sets and expertise that the health authority would have had to either hire or contract to outside sources. The health authority is government funded and there was a concern regarding how it could publish a product for its needs without the input of public funds.


Big Data answers the age-old question: What do women want?

03 April 2014 · By Thomas Lee

Since the beginning of time, men have been asking themselves what women want. Despite their best efforts, it’s often been a frustrating series of fumble-in-the-dark tries and mind-reading exercises, none of which lead to the elusive answer.

Big questions arise from this one question. How do you find out what women want? Where can this information be had? And once you know what women want – what do you do about it?

Big questions like these are starting to lead to one place – Big Data.

It might seem, looking at glossy ads targeted at women, that advertisers have all the answers and reside inside women’s heads. But the truth is: Ad men, too, are at the mercy of Big Data. The “Mad Men ad men” actually have to turn to the “Math Men,” who have the tools to capture what women want.

Yes, scoff all you like – but the math men with their tech tools and sophisticated algorithms have figured it out.

How has this shift taken place? Women, like most of the world, have gone online to do virtually everything – to shop, communicate, keep up on news, conduct research, learn.

The online realm is the tech guru’s playground, giving math men all the data they needed to get the upper hand – both in terms of knowing what women want and in the ability to teach everyone else how to give women what they want.

The techies have Big Data and aren’t afraid to use it.

Finding out what women want means gathering raw data about their online activities, analysing that behaviour to gain insight to better predict their wants, and then targeting them accordingly.

This is what Big Data enables – and where the age-old questions start to get answered.


Increasing your retail advertisers’ success — and yours — with response-based models

03 April 2014 · By Trude B-J Margel

Local media companies are finding new business opportunities working closer to their advertisers.

“With the majority of local media in Norway based on household delivery and a geographical coverage of up to 85% in a newspaper’s distribution area, the opportunity to share information about their subscribers and digital users is quite unique,” says Norway’s Re:Media CEO Rune Danielsen. 

Danielsen is right. And local media companies need to jump on this opportunity.

Representing its advertising clients, Re:Media is building a bridge between advertisers that normally choose national media, thus creating new business opportunities for local titles. Sharing target group knowledge is along the same principle as Big Data and content marketing. The least sophisticated media are often the ultra-locals – yet these are now deemed the most attractive.


Hindustan Times front page initiative builds advertiser revenue, reader engagement

01 April 2014 · By Shantanu Bhanja

At Hindustan Times, we have always believed in change being the only constant in life. This is why after every achievement and milestone — big or small — we do not rest on our laurels, but constantly keep reinventing ourselves.

On September 9, 2013, we took this process of continuous change a step further with the launch of our newspaper in a new avatar, the highlight of which was an innovation called the Page One Plus (POP).

An industry-first concept, POP is a perforated three-column flap attached to the front page. Through this, Hindustan Times aimed to meet two challenges:

  • Make the newspaper more relevant to time-starved readers with multiple new sources of news and infotainment.

  • Generate additional advertising inventory on the front page, a premium position that most clients seek, but only some can get.

POP aims to offer stories with greater digital integration in a crisp, concise format with better navigation. Thus, it builds greater engagement with readers and eventually, higher readership for the product.

Content-wise, it provides a ready reckoner of the day’s news for on-the-move readers with focus on news they can use. It includes news briefs from different sections of the newspaper, television and cinema listings, events around the city that people can attend, coupled with a quick edit section.

POP has transformed the way readers consume the newspaper. In addition to being able to skim through the day’s news, readers are also able to use POP as an index of the newspaper, so that they can quickly refer to the page carrying the news item of interest 


8,000 readers purchase Austin American-Statesman content day pass

30 March 2014 · By Sylvia Rodriguez and TJ McLarty

The Austin American-Statesman launched a US$0.99 day pass programme in August 2013, and has seen 8,000 sales directly related to the campaign since the debut.

Using print and digital banners to market it, the digital day pass offers stubbed stories on our main site.

When readers begin viewing the story, they were led to an invitation box. Once they arrived at the invitation box, readers were required to purchase a day pass to continue reading. 

To date, more than 8,000 readers have purchased day passes. We also discovered the majority of the day passes were purchased through the invitation box, and that a high percentage of those visits were generated through our sports coverage.

The idea came about because, across the industry, it is considered a best practice to give trial access to premium digital-only content.

In Austin, we were responding to consumer requests to access premium digital-only content. This allowed us to target non-traditional subscribers and grant them access to our stories — however and whenever they want to for minimal cost.


Irish Times repositions old-school photo competition to increase revenue, engagement

27 March 2014 · By Paul Geraghty

For the last two years, The Irish Times has partnered with Picturk to deliver the media company’s “Amateur Photographer of the Year Awards” — a pay-to-enter photography competition that targets the “pro-sumer” (a cross between a “professional” and a “consumer”) photographic enthusiast.

Consider a few statistics from this high-spending segment within your readership: 

  • There are 150 million keen amateur photographers around the world.

  • This community of practice spends in excess of US$150 billion dollars annually in pursuit of its hobby — and this group is growing by 11% each year.

  • “Pro-sumer” photographers read quality newspapers.

  • Of quality newspaper readers, 59% own a DSLR camera – that’s a big camera to you and me – and 29% of this group has entered a photography competition.

The competition targets this sub-segment within the Irish Times readership to drive engagement and earn direct revenues.


Metro reaches younger audience with Justin Bieber competition

26 March 2014 · By Jeremy Bryant

Metro’s Global “Guest Editor” initiative has scored superstars including Lady Gaga, Richard Branson, and Karl Lagerfeld, proving that we have a unique track record of partnering with such heavy hitters to create international headlines, reach new audiences and build the brand.

For our latest worldwide effort, we targeted a younger audience — our future readers — by working with teenage idol Justin Bieber. Loved by millions of young people around the world, Bieber partnered with Metro for a St. Valentine’s Day campaign that exceeded all expectations.

The Canadian pop phenomenon who has topped every music chart is the most followed person on social media of all time, with millions of fans online – the ever loyal “Beliebers.” Bieber has 35 million followers on Twitter and nearly 52 million on Facebook.


About this blog

The Ideas Blog captures the practical discussions and case studies of news media company to grow revenue, audience, and brand. These case studies are written by INMA members for INMA members. Begun in December 2012, this content previously resided in Ideas Magazine; for an archive of past case studies, click here.

Blog editor

Dawn McMullan is the editor of the Ideas Blog and senior editor for INMA. If you are an INMA member and would like to contribute a case study, please contact Dawn directly by clicking here.


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