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Award for dedicated circulation-boosting editor

A “focussed and dedicated” editor who has achieved a rise in circulation was among the winners at her publisher’s annual awards.

Anne Edwards, of the Great Yarmouth Mercury, was crowned Employee of the Year at the Archant Norfolk People Awards 2008.

Anne joined Archant in 2002 as editor of the Mercury since when the weekly has undergone a re-design and she has introduced a host of new regular features into a very traditional and respected local paid-for weekly title.

Judges praised her hard work, in particular the audited circulation increase for the January to June 2008 period, despite a 5p price rise in the same period.

Judges said: “Anne is amazingly focused on her title, totally dedicated, and committed to improving trade sales at a time when the majority of the industry are struggling to retain sales at the level of the previous year.”

Anne joined around 150 other staff at the awards ceremony in Norwich with nominations this year at record levels.

Norfolk MD Stephan Phillips, who hosted the ceremony, said that despite 2008 being a tough year, the awards were held to recognise and celebrate those team members and products which made a real difference to Archant.

Winners from the Archant Norfolk awards will join staff from the company’s Herts and Cambs, Suffolk, London and South West divisions at the group wide awards in London next Friday.

The other Norfolk editorial winners were:

Editorial Person of the Year
Paul Hill has recently taken on the role of business editor at Norwich-based morning title the Eastern Daily Press and is already developing new initiatives and revenue streams.

Judges praised him for working tirelessly with commercial colleagues and securing sponsorships.

The panel added: “Paul is a good ambassador for Archant. A perfect demonstration of how editorial and advertising can combine to make a much stronger offering to clients without compromising integrity on either side.”

Administration, Print, Production or Support Person of the Year
Trevor Tubby was formerly chief sub-editor on the Norwich Evening News before taking over the role as a production editor in the 2006 re-organisations.

Judges said Trevor was immensely talented and combined a huge experience of laying out good quality pages with exemplary calmness.

“Trevor has a sharp journalistic brain which means that he is truly a production journalist, and adds to the story in his treatment of it, in terms of subbing and design and layout, ” the panel said.

“His team trust him to lead them to the deadline safely and without panic. He is an improver of content rather than a barrier.”

Innovation or New Launch of the Year
The launch of EDP2 saw disparate components of the existing paper, including TV listings, coffee break, columnists and features, to be re-packaged as a new Monday to Friday 12-page lifestyle pull-out.

EDP2 was praised for its improved TV listings, reinvigorated features and innovative campaigns as well as creating a daily platform that is positive about living in the region.

Judges said: “With a mature, established product, a key requirement is to deliver new ideas which capture the community and energise them. EDP2 has done this well.”

Product or service of the Year – Joint Winners
The 48-page ‘Wembley Special’ edition of the Lowestoft Journal was produced on 12 May and sold for 60p, following the FA Vase final between Lowestoft and Kirkham and Wesham at Wembley, the day before.

Editorial, subbing, photographic, sales and marketing teams worked together to produce the niche title which included action from the final, match analysis, statistics, fans, pre-match interviews, behind the scenes stories and photos.

The result saw 6,246 sales, giving a lift to weekly ABC figures for the title of around 24,000.

The Perfect Day Wedding Show was the creation of the editorial projects unit and the Archant team based in Diss which joined forces to launch the first of four wedding shows during 2007.

The event is held at Dunston Hall, near Norwich, and has become one of the most successful in Norfolk in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers.

Judges praised the show for raising profits of £31,070 in 2007 and £57,000 in 2008.

  • Stephan Phillips with the Archant Norfolk award winners