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‘We’re bucking trend’ says MD as print-first title marks 4th birthday

An independent free newspaper has increased its print run to 24,000 as it marks its fourth anniversary.

Your Local Paper published its first 48-page edition in King’s Lynn in March 2013 and now runs to 104 half-Berliner pages.

Owner and managing director Alan Taylor says the title’s print-first ethos is paying off, with a digital edition of the paper available only the day after the print edition comes out.

To meet increased demand from readers, YLP last week increased its print run from 23,000 to 24,000, the second increase in a year.

YLPbirthday

Said Alan: “We are bucking the trend because our readers love the size of the paper which is packed with hyperlocal community news which is well-written and designed.

“The paper is stitched so our readers can handle it with ease and many of our front pages are exclusives with another 60-odd pages of news, leisure and sport.

“Our giveaway is a big thank you to our readers, advertisers and contributors, all of whom have put us where we are today.

“We are the largest and market-leading newspaper in West Norfolk and one of the few titles still to be growing in the UK.”

A new editor, Paul Thomas, joined the paper in January and has since redesigned the title with a new focus on community news.

The paper will mark today’s anniversary with a goodie bag giveaway, with 400 bags packed with local produce to be given out to readers who visit the office.

28 comments

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  • March 17, 2017 at 8:29 am
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    That’s the way to do it, Alan. Best of luck to you.
    And big groups take note.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 8:30 am
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    Well done Alan and the team on establishing Your Local Paper as the go to publication in west Norfolk, a great local paper that has gone from strength to strength .
    To set up an independent newspaper in an area where other larger publishers operated and to thrive and grow is remarkable and shows what can be achieved by clear focus on the people and local businesses in the area and by going back to basics with a truly local news service,unlike the bigger publisher down the A47 who until your emergence and success had all but abandoned the area but who funnily enough suddenly threw staff and resources at attempting to grab hold of any ad revenue going.
    Well done all concerned and here’s to your continued success and on truly bucking the downward speak trends

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  • March 17, 2017 at 9:02 am
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    A real success story and an example that there is life outside the regionals and showing what can be achieved by putting the audience first and focusing on a hyper local area.
    I first became aware of YLP shortly after it starred up when a friend of mine and an ex colleague of Alan’s told me how good it looked and how well it was being received.
    Independent papers and magazines are thriving in Norfolk and Suffolk as they give a real alternative to communities and they are thriving by putting the customer first ( reader and advertiser) and by using the best ex local press staff who are known and respected in the area and who have real depth of knowledge to help grow the business.
    All good wishes to Alan Taylor and his team in west Norfolk.
    See there is life and a good living outside of the local regional press

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  • March 17, 2017 at 9:28 am
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    Great work Alan and the team. You are proving it can be done with a lot of hard work and knowledge of the market place. Keep it up.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 9:59 am
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    Nice little paper in an unusual format size which has captured the market in the kings Lynn and fens area – no mean achievement.

    This is obviously the way to do it by remaining local and being directly involved with local people and community.

    Getting back to doing one thing well rather than grabbing any loose ad money out there is proving the way ahead in an age when local weekly papers are on their way out.

    Not taking anything away from the success Mr Taylor has made of this publication and offering good wishes for a continued ‘independent ‘ future

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  • March 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm
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    Not only is this a good local newspaper for the west part of the region there is also strong and established independent competition from local community magazines on the doorstep in the Norwich area as well as top quality glossy magazines on the east coast, all doing well while we limp along the bottom turning off lights and reusing envelopes.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm
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    How encouraging for us all to hear such a great success story. And how good to know one of my former colleagues, Paul Thomas, is now editor of this expanding title. On that basis it’s pretty safe to say you will continue to thrive.
    Keep up the great work Paul and the team.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm
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    Let’s keep this in perspective. Your Local Paper does what it does well. But its success is based on a skeleton staff and very little original news gathering. This is not a slight: it sets out to be a good, low-cost local, free paper and achieves it. But to suggest this is a model that could and should be adopted by larger groups is disingenuous.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 1:49 pm
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    Good to see a paper bucking the trend. I remember Paul’s great work in the Local paper in Windsor many years ago – Windsor’s loss was National News’s gain when he moved on…

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  • March 17, 2017 at 2:03 pm
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    This is brilliant news for regional journalism. As a former colleague of Paul Thomas, it doesn’t surprise me that the paper is going from strength to strength as Paul has always held a passion and commitment to regional newspapers. Keep up the great work.and congratulations to the whole team. X

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  • March 17, 2017 at 2:13 pm
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    Thank you all for your comments and kind words, well most of you. The whole team is behind our incredible success. A bitter Norfolk ‘n Good takes a stab at what may have once been when we started but those days are long gone. To say very little original news is another lame comment and is clearly a slight and not the truth. Just ask the readers, around 65,000 of them and of course the loyal advertisers who get incredible response, week after week. Long may our success continue. We have zero returns every week – what does that tell you. Pop back in the office and we’ll thank you in person for taking the time to post your negativity. Your Local Paper are proud to be the market leading and best title in West Norfolk. Investment in the title and community is ongoing with many more surprises on the horizon. Thank you again for your incredible kind words.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm
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    How can a free newspaper increase the print run to meet the demand when there is no demand?
    You either push a free edition through someone’s door or you don’t. How many doors is up to you, not them.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm
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    Plain and simple REGIONAL, not that difficult, quite simple really. . We distribute 24,000, some through letterboxes on news rounds but mostly in supermarkets, newsagents and other pick up points like the Evening Standard. How come they print more…because the distribution pick up points run out. Our copies are audited, and as all of our distribution points run out, guess what? We have to print more to meet demand! It is not letterboxes with our and many free titles, it is pick up. Does the Standard and the Metro go through letterboxes? No, they are pick ups. Again, when demand is such that there are not enough copies in circulation…you print more to meet demand…

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  • March 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm
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    Not intended as a slight at all Alan. As I said, I think it’s a good paper which achieves what it sets out to achieve and serves its readers well. As I understand it you have two maybe three reporters? They definitely bat above their average but you can’t pretend it’s a huge editorial enterprise.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 3:39 pm
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    Norfolk ‘n Good, Three experienced, committed and talented reporters who feel valued, are worth twelve underpaid, unappreciated and inexperienced reporters who do not.

    If the larger groups cottoned on to that they could actually publish profitable newspapers they, and their communities, would be proud of.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm
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    Fleetwood – you are absolutely right. My point is not an attack on the paper. What I’m questioning is how applicable the lessons learned by Your Local Paper are to the large operators which, by the way, I am not fan of.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm
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    Norfolk n good the whole model is based on lean teams low overheads and working at a hyper local level , that model can be used by any publisher. Good luck to Alan and well done

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  • March 17, 2017 at 4:41 pm
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    I think the lesson for the larger publishers is quiet obvious.
    Produce a product that the community actually want, staff it correctly and the profits are still there. Produce a sub par product full of out of area shared content that nobody wants created by people miles away and you will continue to fail.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 10:19 pm
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    I am glad to see you are doing so well. I am not surprised, seeing that Paul Thomas is the editor. He was the inspiration for me to take some great photos in Windsor when he was my editor on the Windsor Express – for example organising an amazing photo opportunity to get a spectacular ‘Queen Mum’s funeral’ world class picture at Windsor Caste, which was then wrapped around the paper. Well done all!

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  • March 17, 2017 at 11:24 pm
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    How refreshing to hear that a regional newspaper is doing well.Not that I’m surprirsed. As a former colleague of Paul Thomas’s I have huge respect for him and his passion for newspapers and it’s good to see him back in the driving seat. Keep up the good work Paul.

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  • March 18, 2017 at 1:53 pm
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    ” ….to suggest this is a model that could and should be adopted by larger groups is disingenuous”
    .
    Whoops! Norfolk n goods missed the point
    I can’t see where Alan Taylor claims it to be ” a huge editorial enterprise?”
    It’s simply giving a quality news service to a community which is lapping it up in spades thus establishing YLP as THE news provider in that area, has that hit a nerve perhaps?

    And this is a proven success model for ‘independent publishers’, the longer established and larger groups would no doubt love to work this way but are so weighed down by huge staff numbers,huge costs etc.
    As for @Regional ,surely in your position you can understand supply and demand and real ‘brand impact’ in a community?
    Let me explain ; when stocks run out due to popularity you put more in place by topping them up
    when more areas or communities want them you distribute to those areas. However with so few paid for papers sold by the main publishers and by questioning this very simple process, it makes me wonder is not used to supply and demand and if in fact regional works for one of them?

    Success can be a bitter pill for some to swallow

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  • March 20, 2017 at 9:45 am
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    My local independent free has slashed the sales of a big group weekly with a small but dedicated staff who know what readers want. and it ain’t filler copy from way off the patch. Well done this lot. It is the future.

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  • March 20, 2017 at 9:56 am
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    The weighed down by costs point is an interesting one. Of course one way of not being weighed down by costs would be to not offer competitive salaries for journalists. For example, offering the editor a salary of say, ooh, £25,000. A figure more befitting a senior reporter. But I’m sure that’s not the case here…

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  • March 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm
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    Goodness me such bile and bitterness from Norfolk n good, YLP must be a real thorn in his side as first he cannot understand their simple ‘supply and demand’ metric next it’s basic staff numbers and costs he fails to comprehend.
    Allow me:
    controlling staff numbers and costs and ensuring everyone is accountable and adds value to the business is a basic operating priority for any ‘successful’ business, in this case an independent publisher,
    However by cutting one key department to the bone e.g.: editorial ,with fewer staff doing more work and relying on the public to supply camera snaps and social media story ‘content’ whilst over staffing in another department e.g.: sales who account for a large proportion of costs,salaries,bonus and FTEs and run with a huge number of managers managing other managers on high salaries producing little or nothing in terms of revenue or values to the company is a recipe for abject failure and accruing copy drop off and ad revenue losses
    If an independent business operated in this way without the safety net of being propped up by another part of the business it would crash and burn in double quick time so they have to operate efficiently and with a customer first strategy- a real one ,not a mantra trotted out to 200 yesmen who will nod and agree with anything the big suit says (whilst the big chiefs are listening anyway)
    Staffing up appropriately by department as Alan Taylor has clearly done and operating with well motivated,happy, committed employees,as opposed to overworked and demoralised staff must be a big measure of this company’s success story in taking on and beating the punch drunk bigger publishers and giving the local communities a top quality relevant news and commercial service.

    Being weighed down by multiple layers of management,inexperienced reporters and sales people who clearly aren’t selling must be a heck of a weight to carry round so it’s no wonder bitterness and, might I say, jealousy Comes to the fore , although I’m sure it’s not the case here….

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  • March 21, 2017 at 10:49 am
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    It would help the paid-for papers if they were not so sloppily written and edited. I could give 20 examples a week but I am not going to add to the misery of the under-paid over-worked under-trained boys and girls doing their best for the big groups more interested in web riches (?).

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  • March 21, 2017 at 10:47 pm
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    Last April we had basically the same story, and I got slated in the comments for daring to be inquisitive and pointing out that why YLP might be bunging out lots of papers it was insolvent and losing money.
    Alan Taylor said to come back when Year 3 accounts were published – so I have.
    Well, YLP is still insolvent and still owes £125k to its parent company, majority owned by Mr Taylor. The good news, though, is that it turned a profit of £15,703 in the latest accounts.
    It’s the right direction and a better performance than most of the big media groups, so congratulations – and see you again in a year…

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