Kleine Zeitung expands audience, brand with multi-media storytelling

Kleine Zeitung Akademie was founded in 2012. Its main goal is to present “Wissen für Leser,” which is to offer our audience knowledge that goes beyond the print and online daily news.

Two projects gained a lot of attention. The first project was related to history in general, but was quite regional and touched people’s personal experience.

A project by Kleine Zeitung that offers knowledge beyond daily news through history storytelling.
A project by Kleine Zeitung that offers knowledge beyond daily news through history storytelling.

Word War I: Cross-media storytelling

An upcoming event, the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, was expected to have broad impact on the audience of Kleine Zeitung. Our goals were to:

  • Find new ways of cross-media storytelling.

  • Present historical research in a popular way.

  • Increase our benefit by reusing our content and extending our reporting towards new products.

  • Stimulate our current audience and attract a new audience, especially young people, by connecting generations and being very present in the public.  

The first step was to “translate” history for our readers. To do so, three university professors held 12 lectures for a DVD, plus a booklet, “Der Erste Weltkrieg. Die große Erschütterung und der Keim des Neuen,” published by Kleine Zeitung Akademie at the end of 2013.

Then Kleine Zeitung Akademie invited schools to take part in a competition. In the beginning of 2014, each secondary school in our area of distribution got a copy of the DVD, which was financed by the regional governments, both in Styria and in Carinthia, and by a sponsor.

We invited students to learn about history and to present their own research on Word War I in a creative multi-media way using local history; pictures and objects dating from that period; and research on historical development and parallels to the present time.

The outcome of the competition was presented during public events in Graz und Klagenfurt. The projects were described in articles in Kleine Zeitung and presented in exhibitions in Universalmuseum Joanneum and Landesmuseum Kärnten until the third quarter of 2014.

The next step was to offer a creative, multi-media way of presenting history in Kleine Zeitung with animated graphics, online videos, and a series of articles about history along with reports and features from historical locations in neighbouring countries.

As a result, we published a collection of articles in an extra magazine called, “Der Erste Weltkrieg 1914 – 1918.” We also presented a series of reports in an extended version as an extra booklet called “Reisen zum Krieg” and a series of lectures in cooperation with the local museum in Graz, especially targeted at people who are very interested in history.

Finally, Kleine Zeitung Akademie offered “literary journeys to the war” – one to the k&k Riviera (referring to the outbreak of the war) and one to the battlefields of Soca (referencing the end of war).

Fit im Netz: Cross-media education 

The second project addressed the need to take our audience with us from print to digital medium, that is, from the daily printed newspaper to Kleine Zeitung Online.

Kleine Zeitung wanted to increase its digital audience. On the one hand, Kleine Zeitung launches new platforms to supply its readers with cross-media storytelling. On the other hand, Kleine Zeitung launches new products to supply its customers with digital services, such as an online shop, an online auction, booking platforms, various apps, and so on.

Many readers are already users of online platforms with different hardware, but they are not completely accustomed to digital activities. For example, they don’t feel familiar with electronic payment. To transition them into our online community and supply them with our online services, we had to make the Internet work for them.

Kleine Zeitung Akademie created many offers and products that encouraged our readers to take the journey from print to online. Kleine Zeitung Akademie offers include offline courses, online courses, and a regular column in the supplement of the print edition.

All offers are presented on a landing page called “Fit im Netz.” The offers are also communicated within a supplement twice a year and presented as a digital catalogue on the landing page.

In addition, Kleine Zeitung Akademie supplies readers with a service with special digital events, for example, an online auction. And Kleine Zeitung regularly publishes guidebooks that cover digital topics such as e-shopping or e-government.

Both programmes are meant to increase our audience and to solidify their experience by supplying subscribers with additional offers and value, as well as orienting them by establishing connections among events, new developments, and their own experiences.

Kleine Zeitung sells 282,445 copies per day, mainly in the south of Styria and Carinthia. 

About Claudia Gigler

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