The Newspaper Society has launched Locally Connected, which it claims to be the UK’s first integrated print and online audience currency. In the first research released using the new metric, the trade body has revealed that local media websites increase the unduplicated reach of regional and local newspapers within their circulation areas by 14%, particularly among upmarket and core middle age groups.
The project was instigated in 2006 by the NS, working alongside JICREG and ABCe with the aim of extending the regional press readership database to encompass newspapers’ online audiences and provide agencies and advertisers with a geographical system for analysing the combined net reach of a newspaper and its website within circulation areas down to postcode sector level.
Trinity Mirror, Northcliffe Media and Newsquest are among seven regional publishers on board.
NS president David Fordham, told agency planners, MDs, digital heads, clients, research experts and publishers at the launch event: “More than 80% of adults read a local newspaper in print and ironically, at a time when our revenues have been under such challenge, local media audiences have been growing across multimedia platforms.” He said people spend more than half their time within a five-mile radius of home and are increasingly interested in local news. “The local paper is still the first place they turn to – in print and online.”
He added: “The development of a robust and reliable system of multimedia audience measurement has been one of the biggest challenges facing all media today. Locally Connected now gives advertisers a unique cross-media planning system, allowing them to effectively target local communities across the UK in print as well as online.”
Telmar, the leading international media planning software and consultancy company, was commissioned by the NS in 2007 to develop the methodology for integrating internet audience data with print readership data.
The internet audience data are underpinned by audited web traffic data, survey data (combined sample size of 100,000+ adults) and statistical analysis and modelling.
The NS and JICREG have worked with publishers, agencies and the IPA to develop and test the planning tool at each stage of the project.
Richard Foan, managing director, ABCe, said: “I think it’s fantastic that the regional newspaper brands have delivered self-regulation of accountability for their online delivery using the industry agreed standards and having the results independently verified by ABCe, thereby delivering the stamp of trust that is so important in the digital age.”
Previous research conducted by TNS Media for the NS has shown that local websites draw on the inherent qualities of their parent newspapers, making their advertising nearly twice as trusted and relied-upon as other website advertising.