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Kleine Zeitung Next works closely with Gen Z to deliver content young readers want

By Andrea Rachbauer

Kleine Zeitung

Graz, Steiermark, Austria


The way people consume news has changed dramatically in recent years. Rather than resisting this change, media brands should embrace it, even if it means they have to get out of their comfort zones.

With Kleine Zeitung Next, the traditional media brand Kleine Zeitung is facing one of its biggest opportunities and challenges yet: How regional content can be used as a gateway to reach young people and why memes can be just as informative as a printed newspaper.

Kleine Zeitung Next is bridging the generational gap by connecting with young readers in new spaces.
Kleine Zeitung Next is bridging the generational gap by connecting with young readers in new spaces.

When print newspapers were the go-to medium

People would read their newspaper in the morning during breakfast or in coffee shops. You wouldn’t be able to start or even finish a day without it. There was almost no other news source providing information other than newspapers and radios.

Today, the situation looks completely different. There are numerous ways to get ahold of news and trending topics. And, we all get this information delivered right to our fingertips via smartphones.

Instead of flipping through the pages of a printed newspaper, most people — and nearly all Gen Z — swipe their way through the World Wide Web.

So, how can a traditional brand like Kleine Zeitung reach those digital natives in the Austrian regions of Styria and Carinthia? How can we create touchpoints and increase interest among young audiences?

In these times of war and COVID-19, young readers are looking for trustworthy news

They are looking for news concerning life-related topics, for information delivered to them on equal footing. Knowing this, and recognising the decreasing number of newspaper readers, Kleine Zeitung created its new business unit called Kleine Zeitung Next.

The main goal of Next is to focus on rejuvenating Kleine Zeitung in general. This may sound like a huge deal, and indeed it is. But the team at Kleine Zeitung understood that it’s essential for something to be done, and that’s why Kleine Zeitung Next was founded.

While the core team of Next consists of only five people, there is also a Next taskforce with members from every single department of Kleine Zeitung. The aim of the taskforce is to ensure that the spirit of Next is transported to every division.

But, how can the ambitious mission of Kleine Zeitung Next be accomplished?

New touchpoints with younger readers must be generated

This includes content as well as marketing activities. To do this, the team created a new process for developing new content and activities by evaluating chances and risks from the very beginning. This is not only within the Next unit, but it’s also evaluated by stakeholders of each division from Kleine Zeitung.

And, as if that’s not enough, after the content and activities are tested and evaluated internally, they are also tested and evaluated directly by the peer group. All of this is done to use resources efficiently and work transparently within the organisation.

This may sound like a huge process, but by doing this, the team saves a lot of time and makes sure the content or activity hits a nerve.

Next Kleine Zeitung is trying to form an arch that connects young people in Styria and Carinthia with international news. When targeting young people, content needs to be genuine. Companies can’t just preach about responsibility without trying to make a change by themselves.

Media companies need to write about things younger generations care about and, in doing so, those within the company must show they care about those things as well. Otherwise, readers see the efforts aren’t genuine. And once this is exposed, it creates a cringe-worthy situation.

We are trying to avoid this with the help of Kleine Zeitung Next. We are trying to become more valuable for younger target groups and prove that we are a reliable source in all life circumstances and for people of every age.

About Andrea Rachbauer

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