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New research to boost role of local press

The Newspaper Society is today unveiling a new website which it says will enable advertisers to target local campaigns more effectively and hence boost the role of local papers.

Local Matters, which went live at 10am this morning, aims to provide unique insight into social, behavioural and political differences between communities within the UK.

Users will be able to break down the Local Matters data by region, lifestage or population centre to highlight how people’s needs and behaviour vary according to where they live.

The NS hopes it will enable people planning advertising campaigns to target their message more effectively, and show that local newspapers are a good way to communicate with individual communities.

The media planning tool has been built using the findings of a six-figure research project carried out on behalf of the NS by consultants Millward Brown.

NS marketing director Robert Ray said: “Local Matters was undertaken to show advertisers and agencies the differences between communities within the UK, and benefits of taking them into account when planning an advertising campaign.

“The research has revealed some fascinating insights into individual communities, from north east football fans’ views on England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008, to people in the West Country’s thoughts on parenting.

“The Local Matters planning tool will allow advertisers and agencies to use these unique insights to build stronger communications plans.”

Those who took part in the research project were quizzed on a range of subjects from environmental awareness and green practices to enthusiasm for sport and attendance at local clubs.

It also looked at regional differences in social trends such as how safe people feel in their community, how proud they are of it, and perceptions of public services and economy at both national and local levels.

Attitudes towards different types of media, relating to these differences, were also explored.

Today’s launch will be followed by a UK-wide roadshow when the findings will be presented to agencies and advertisers across the UK.