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More buzz required to lure 'irregular' readers

Changing newspapers to create “more buzz” is what’s needed to lure irregular readers into becoming regulars, according to industry researcher Chris Brandford.

Daily newspapers are improving their readership, but the growth is coming from readers who only occasionally buy the papers.

Chris, who is research manager at Northcliffe Newspapers, told the Newspaper Society Circulation, Editorial and Promotions Conference about a new study examining the opportunities on offer to newspapers by tapping the potential new readership.

He admitted that current marketing was ineffective for irregular readers – and that readers found the regional newspaper in the survey hard work, adding: “This generation is used to its media being easy.”

One example of changes made on the back of the Northcliffe research was the Hull and East Riding Daily Mail, which had introduced 40-word write-offs for each major story, factboxes, and running panels for running stories on what was expected to happen next, and what the paper would be running next. It is also better-targeting bills to local areas and newsagents and making the most of its front page.

Chris said: “We need to see better news, better pictures, and better impact to get people into stories.”

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