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Regional publisher launches online public notices platform

A regional publisher has launched a new online platform for public notices placed by local councils.

Newsquest has unveiled the initiative, which has been introduced on 160 of its newspaper companion websites across the country.

Features of the platform include a hyperlocal search, which allows readers to search by distance and local authority, and the ability to set up email alerts for notices relevant to their area.

Dedicated pages for different local authorities are also included, along with a social media sharing tool which allows readers to share, comment, write to their MP or council for each notice.

How the new platform looks on the Southern Daily Echo's website

How the new platform looks on the Southern Daily Echo’s website

Henry Faure Walker, Newsquest chief executive, said: “In order to make sure the public is kept properly informed it’s essential that local councils and government bodies continue to use their local newspaper to advertise their notices in print and online.

“Our local news websites now regularly reach over 70pc to 80pc of the population of their local towns and cities.

“There is no media platform with this scale of local audience penetration and no better place for local authorities to communicate with their local residents.

“Local councils squirrelling important notices away in a dark corner of their own websites is not a viable alternative.”


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  • January 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I just don’t get it!

    If I lived in, let’s say Fareham, I’d have to visit the select Announcements, select Public Notices, search and then refine that if required. Strangely, a site search for ‘public notices’ doesn’t get you where you want to be but that’s something you can fix.

    Now, the normal route for people would be to use Google or another search engine to search for ‘public notices Fareham’ or, if I was enquiring more specifically, maybe ‘planning applications Fareham’.

    Topping the results list for these searches are either or where I can already search and refine exactly the same content.

    So, Mr Walker, when you say “a dark corner of their own website is not a viable alternative”, it suggests that you don’t understand how search engines index ‘trusted’ content from domains.

    The scale and reach of your sites as a whole has absolutely nothing to do with public notices. This is about targeting specific audiences with the information which is most relevant to them or providing the quickest route to the information when they want it.

    Simply copying information from one website and pasting it into another is of no use to anyone.

    At least you haven’t yet gone down the TM route of creating a pointless app for this very same purpose. I enjoyed the demo of that in which they claimed people who trialled it though it was brilliant. They just forgot to ask if people really wanted an app in the first place! Answer, no!

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  • January 30, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    “.. it’s essential that local councils and government bodies continue to use their local newspaper to advertise their notices…”
    Essential to whom?
    The large publishers Presumably who sounded loud panic alarm bells once the fall away of print PN revenues happened when freedom of choice to advertise elsewhere, was given,that’s who.
    It also sounds like HFW has given up on them ever appearing in newspapers at the vast sums charged hence this across the board on line scheme to try and recapture a once highly lucrative market,unless of course,he is offering this service free as a genuine community gesture to the areas his papers serve?
    If not is it packaged up with a print title? Or does it have its own stand alone price?

    It also seems a nerve has been hit by his last quote about councils hiding notices away, not the best way in which to encourage said councils to advertise is it

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  • January 30, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    How come this is being launched only now. Surely all local newspaper websites should have had this feature for the past decade or more? Hardly something to boast about.

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