The project, started in 2006 by the Newspaper Society (NS), the Joint Industry Committee for Regional Press Research (JICREG) and ABCE, extends the regional press readership database to include newspapers’ online audiences.
Locally Connected allows agencies and advertisers to combine the reach of a newspaper and a website down to postcode level. Trinity Mirror, Northcliffe Media and Newsquest are among seven regional publishers on board.
The Newspaper Society said 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.
David Fordham, NS president, told agency planners, MDs, digital heads, clients, research experts and publishers at the launch event last night, “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.”
“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,” he added.
Daniel Stephenson, head of digital marketing for the COI, said, “What is particularly exciting about Locally Connected is that it’s a tool that will drive up our understanding of our audiences and in particular their use of newspapers on and offline so it allows us to give greater insight into how we plan activity that runs across the channel.”
The project comes ahead of a qualitative digital insight initiative by the Newspaper Society to look at how, why, when and for how long people engage with their local newspaper website and it differs from other internet usage.
The results of the research will be released early next year.
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk