WN Love your local paper.

Sometimes writing some interesting content, which is well informed and current for your blog can be taxing to come up with something worthwhile.

Then there are the times when the net is cast out to you and it would be rude, not to get caught up in it.

Sorry, but the source is instigated from my friend, the Worcester News, yet again. I moved 250 miles away from Worcester about 18 months ago, but the old local rag is like a stray cat, that you know you shouldn’t really feed, but it makes your soul feel good to pet it and show it affection. – But then it’s probably in your best interests to wash your hands thoroughly, after.

So what little maggot is writhing on their hook for me to bite on today? It’s the following tweet from @worcesternews:WNTweet #LoveYourLocalPaperMy insistence on constantly keeping up to date with the Worcester News, hopefully, goes to show that I am all for supporting my old, faithful city, local paper. -I follow it on Twitter, and subscribed to all their email newsletters. ( I get 3 emails every day from the Worcester News, to make sure I am following their digitally published articles, and almost every day visit the site, like I did during my lunch break at work today.)

So why did this tweet get my attention? Because I am well enough informed to justifiably refute the implication that NOT buying the hard copy newspaper is far removed from costing any real person a job…. isn’t it??

Well, you see, WN is owned by a larger company, Newsquest, part of the Gannett Group, as stated at the foot of the Worcester News page:
Worcester News, Newsquest – So you can navigate to this page and it will proudly tell you of the 300 titles, by region, which are published daily under the Newsquest offering – what it doesn’t tell you, is information on the individual companies that come under the ‘Newsquest Umbrella’:
Company Title -> Turnover 2010 -> Total Employees
Newsquest (Bradford) Ltd -> Not disclosed -> 349
Newsquest (Lancashire) Ltd ->£37.54m -> 150
Newsquest (Yorkshire and North East) Ltd ->£25.51m -> 500
Newsquest (Wiltshire) Ltd ->Not disclosed -> 300
Newsquest (Wales Gloucestershire) Ltd ->£129.33m -> 550
Newsquest (Southern) Ltd ->£132.85m -> 57
Newsquest (Midland South) Ltd ->Not disclosed -> Not disclosed
Newsquest (Media Sales) Ltd ->£10.25m -> 400
TOTAL (All disclosed figures) ->£335.69m -> 2,306

(*Data from a third party resource, that I had no involvement in collating. I am fairly sure information could be sourced publicly, but I am unable to verify this. Please read entire article before drawing any conclusions from this data. I could have basically made this up, you just have to trust me the source is fairly reliable and accurate. I won’t even try to prove it, either way!)

From the same source I was able to verify 5 executives dedicated to marketing.

Okay, so let’s look at the information that is given to us by the Worcester News, I’ve interrogated several areas of their site for my data, and performed some very loose calculations, again I make no claims with regards to accuracy and although somewhat logical these figures may be, they are entirely speculative… yada, yada…!

Newsquest boasts 17 paid for dailies, so stretching these figures to the power of 17 gives us some big numbers.

Source: Worcester News>> JIC Reg – Etelmar, Oct 2011: Worcester News tells us that their adverts reach 157,586 potential customers a week across 3 publications. Only one of which is a paid for publication, the Worcester News.

Worcester News Business Advertising Prices

So we divide that figure by 3 to get an average potential customers per week for each publication, gives us 52,528 per week. – That would account for 45% of the population of Worcester alone buying the paper at least once a week OR 9% of the Worcester population buying EVERY day.

This figure sounds reasonable because the Worcester News does go out to other areas, as well.Based on the price of £0.42 for the paper, this works out as £22,061.76 a week (remember this is price paid, so does not include deductions for costs of print, distribution or any other overheads.) the same as £94,550 for an average 30 day month OR £1,134,604.80 per year.

On the assumption that WN would be the region with the smallest £10m turnover [Newsquest (Media sales) Ltd], this revenue would.

So, looking at the bigger picture, does it matter if we buy the paper, or read it digitally?
Well, yes, I think it does actually. See I’m no expert on commercial economics, but my insights are this:

The cost of advertising in the paper itself ranges from £19.85 to £95.25 per week, with a minimum of four weeks subscribed per advert. I don’t know how many adverts go into an issue of the WN, but from their online I can see 14 Localised Banner or Sidebar Ads, and 3 adverts from national companies including BT, RAC and Landrover.

In denial as we may be, there are still a lot of companies from the ‘Yellow Pages’ era of advertising and marketing, and reaching their local potential customers in this way is invaluable to the daily operation of their business, still. As many are forced down the line of building a website to stay in line with their local competition, adverts from the local press, web or print become a natural stepping-stone for them in ever changing marketing practices.

Also as social networking adapts and changes, the faithful local rags will always have a relatively consistent following and following having the local press as a key part of reinforcing advertising bridges can be no bad thing.

I’m not naive enough to think that the people who keep the words flowing would ever find any real hardship if people stopped buying the Newspaper – Good editorial staff and copywriters will always find work..

But it’s everyone else involved in the infrastructure of print media that would be affected, if you didn’t, everyone from the local paper shop, to the recycling companies, to the sole trader, or independent car seller, right down to the paper boy/girl, that would be afflicted.

On a similar note, did you know that Newsquest also run ‘Two’s company’ and ‘Exchange & Mart’?, as well as many other lifestyle magazines and supplements? – It’s all further revenue for them.

It is ridiculous to imply that digital copy of their articles is not extremely beneficial to them, look at the impact of a single, globally trending article, in Google insights:

The data is taken from google insights, over the last 30 days, I have used ‘Chris Smith’ as a benchmark popular search term, then shown Worcester News, and then the recent trending article ‘Lisa Woodman’.

Interest across the UK:As you can see, there is a steady volume of people Looking for ‘Chris Smith’ but 4 times as many searching for Worcester News. But Look what happens when ‘Lisa Woodman’ article becomes popular. The peak of interest exceeds the search volume of the Worcester News, twice as much as the consistent search term ‘Chris Smith’ and the peak in interest in the name ‘Lisa Woodman’ coincides with the peaked interest in ‘Worcester News’s highest search in the last 30 days.

The same Interest Worldwide:This illustrates that the globally trending article, shows interest in ‘Lisa Woodman’ far, far exceeds interest in both ‘Worcester News’ and ‘Chris Smith’. You cannot tell me that this global interest in a single Worcester News article is not beneficial to WN and there is no way they would get this global distribution level without the use of digital news and social networking sites. (You will also see that more people are looking for ‘Chris Smith’ than there are for ‘Worcester news’ globally. I am not sure if this a complete surprise to me, but do WN need to set their global net further?)

So why buy the WN?

Well, if you’re anything like me, you actually like the 2 speed crossword, finding out about local parish and community events. It is interesting to see people you know in the local paper, whether for the right reasons or not.

It’s a great way for people who are not ‘au fait’ with the internet, be able to trade and date between themselves, see the most recent grumble of Mr George Cowley, and the backlash he frequently encourages in his letters to the paper.

I don’t imagine EVERYONE does this, but there is a bit of a game I like to play in certain company, where you read the name of someone in the family announcements, and quiz each other on what we expect the annoucement to be:

For example, guessing whether ‘David Evans’ is celebrating his 13th birthday, or in memorium for his 80th anniversary 10 years ago today, is perhaps a bit morbid for some, but mildly amusing to me and a few others.

Obviously I haven’t mentioned much about the other interests held online, such as Retail Ads online,Expert Services, What’s on, equestrian, local business and click to find, but I think this write up gets my point across.

Yes, we should all be contributing to the local conomy and providing jobs for other in our region, by buying the local paper.

Please though, don’t expect any credibility from your social followers when you expect them to believe that you are dependent on this revenue as your sole income stream and don’t devalue the importance of your online media uneccesarily, we know this is important to you.

CLOSING POINT: A google Search tells me that the WN was the ONLY Newsquest publication that posted this Tweet, but I did check to see if they ALL did!

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2 thoughts on “Worcester News #LoveYourLocalPaper”

Thibault on February 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm said:

What exactly does it mean to be ‘offay’ with something? Do you mean au-fait? Are you Del Boy in disguise? This article makes no sense, grammatical or logical.
Reply ?
admin on February 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm said:

The term is somewhat colloquial and is normally spelt ‘ofay’ rather than ‘offay’. One of the wonderful things about being part of the internet generation is that I can do my research and see it seems to be a derivative of the original term in French, ‘Au fait’.

Seeing other popular uses of this term has made me inclined to correct the way I spell it, so as not to offend minorities in any way. All of the information, although largely based on opinion and a somewhat creative logic, I have gone out of my way to research.

I will acknowledge there are 1 or 2 grammatical errors in the blog post, but I could double the time spent writing it, by correcting over and over again. It is just a blog post, after all.

To describe the whole post as senseless is perhaps a little hypercritical, but then the post is aimed at more articulate readers and I can see why some people may be uncomfortable with it. 😉

Thanks for reading the article and I appreciate the input from your comment. It is rare for me to approve comments on my blog posts.

For all those reading this comment, it is of note that the IP associated with this comment has come from ‘www.hidemyass.com’ a site designed to conceal user interaction on websites. Not sure it comes from the most trustworthy source!

This post is from a younger, more naive Chris Smith and was recovered using:

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