Project Ella: Migrating 100+ Years of Local Print Loyalty and Community Dependency to Digital Mastheads
2021 Finalist

Project Ella: Migrating 100+ Years of Local Print Loyalty and Community Dependency to Digital Mastheads

News Corp Australia

Surry Hills, Australia

Category Events

Overview of this campaign

Our local towns had strong and vocal sentiment about their local newspapers. Newspapers that had been in circulation for many decades, published by local families, with long-time support from local business owners, and a loyal readership.

Although print production would cease, our commitment to local news and our journalists' dedication to bringing their community’s news and information remained. An aggressive education and retention campaign was launched to retain subscribers to our local digital mastheads and our metropolitan newspaper products.

We needed to cement our brands as advocates for their local communities, so developed localised brand marketing plans to positively position our brands in their local communities.  Our brand proposition “Local news is here to stay” underpinned every tactical activity to build the local sentiment, across outdoor, radio, print, social and digital channels.  And went out face-to-face in the community to engage with our audiences, via the Regional Subscriber and Reader Roadshow.

Many of our print readers weren’t digital natives, with a strong reliance on the daily newspaper to keep connected with their community’s news and information. Our digital transition needed to be managed one-on-one. 

We had three major objectives with our campaign:

  1. Reinforce the local news is here to stay brand messaging by position our journalists and brands as advocates for each local community and build local journalist profiles
  2. Educate readers on how to navigate our websites to take full advantage of their subscriptions
  3. Educate and convert 30% print readers to the new look The Courier-Mail & Daily Telegraph Regional Editions  

Over a 2 weeks at the end of July, the Regional Subscriber & Reader Roadshow were held within our local communities to engage both old and new audiences to promote our new products in market and assist customers navigating our online platforms.

Results for this campaign

The Regional Subscriber & Reader Roadshow took place across six key QLD markets where the printed product exited the market to reinforce the “Local news is here” to stay proposition.

The 45 min educational presentations covered:

  • Intro from regional editor, meet the team of local journalists
  • 2 min ‘how to navigate our website’ video
  • Top 5 things to know - explained in detail using live site (digital edition, newsletters & alerts, sections, how to access The Courier-Mail & +Rewards, horoscopes and puzzles)
  • One on one help sessions

A comprehensive pre-promote marketing campaign across press, digital, social, radio, PR, eDM and editorial was executed for each location at a minimum of 7 days out from each event.

Over 600 registered attendees across nine locations. 8 editors, 27 journalists and 6 marketing team members attended from News Corp to provide subscription and technical information.

We helped them with their top three issues during the presentations and in one-on-one !&A sessions with subscription, log in and navigation assistance.

Our post-event survey indicated that the event met 86% of respondent’s expectations with 87% of attendees feeling more confident about using their local mastheads digital product after attending the session.

A competition to win 1 of 3 Samsung Galaxy A tablets was also held at each event to drive interest in attending the sessions along with morning tea which had 303 entries.

We showcased our new regional editions of the daily metropolitan newspapers to deliver a print product back into those markets with local, state and national news.  After 8 weeks, the Regionalised editions of The Courier-Mail and Daily Telegraph were performing significantly ahead of expectation, converting 46% of June Regional baseline sales to Metro (vs. our target of 30%) –adding 67,000 average incremental NCA papers each week.

And most importantly, nearly 70% of these attendees are still subscribers, six months following the Roadshow. 


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