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Panpa Bulletin : November December 2006
18 | PANPA BULLETIN November--December 2006 US: big men arrive on campus While the rest of the newspaper world frets over how to attract and keep youngsters, The Wall St Journal has reported on one major niche success story in the US. College campus publications are proving a great way for advertisers to get in front of those all-important spendthrift teens and twentysomethings. Makes sense: they are, after all, in WSJ's words, "hip, local, relevant and generated by students them- selves" -- all the factors known to give youth pubs that all-important street credibility. Their readymade local readerships have seen them buck the trend towards decline in circulation. Which is why they've attracted ad placements from the likes of Ford, Micro- soft, Samsung and Wal-Mart. Now, the traditionally not-for-profit sec- tor is making what some might deem the natural progression towards profitability, and the moguls are moving in. The owners of Florida's Tallahassee Democrat buying Florida State University's FSView & Florida Flambeau, one of the nation's few for-profit college newspapers, while Viacom's MTV division acquired Y2M: Youth Media & Marketing Networks, a company that hosts the websites for 450 campus papers, to sit alongside its existing mtvU college campus network. US study shows teen reader attraction key to retaining adult readers With a two-year old study already having shown that an introduction to newspapers in the classroom helps keep citizens loyal and literate, an- other study has concluded that papers that put resources into attracting teenage readers boost their chances of keeping them in their adult years. Announcing the results at the Newspaper Association of America's (NAA) Young Reader Conference in July, the NAA found that teens haven't simply ditched print for electronic, but are still drawn to print content about their peers and prepared by their peers. WAN's newsletter reports the NAA ran the survey of 1,600 18-to-24 year-olds in seven communities notable for the well established teen sections in their local newspapers. Three in four older respondents who had read these teen sections between ages 13-17 stayed with their hometown newspaper into adulthood, reading it at least once a week, the report said. NAA vice president Jim Abbott told The St Louis Post-Dispatch that the study gave empirical evidence to what people had known or assumed for some time. "We're saying to the industry that this is your insurance policy. You want to get these kids when they're 13, 14, 15 years old when they are deciding where they want to go for their information. Trying to get them back when you've lost them is a whole lot more expen- sive," he said. A 2004 study showed that introducing children to newspapers in the classroom is one way to achieve readership later in life. Netherlands: PCM s young reader tabloid o to ying start Dutch publisher PCM appears to have hit a new market jackpot with its youth-skewed tabloid. Despite a one-Euro cover price in the face of competition from two free rivals, circula- tion figures for NRC Next reached 70,000 in its first six months -- nearly double its first year target of 40,000. About 70 pc of readers come from the target market of educated non-newspaper readers under 35 years old. PCM wanted to capture the segment without wreaking havoc on the editorial content of its existing NRC Handelsblad. The answer, it decided, lay in creating a new title leveraging 60 pc of its content from that paper. The remainder is filled by a dedicated staff of youngsters. Europe: young Belgians lead the way in blogging Asurvey has revealed that young Belgians are by a sizeable margin European youth's most enthusiastic advocates of weblogging. While the Euro- pean average sits at about 18 pc, about 38 pc of young Belgians have a blog. The Mediappro survey of 9000 12-18 year-olds across nine countries found the biggest response among 14-16 year-old girls, 42 pc of whom keep an online journal of some sort. It also found the lifespan of most blogs was only 6-12 months. Among the 90 pc of 12-18 year-olds who use the internet, 70 pc went online regularly to chat to their friends, mainly via MSN Messenger. Some 48 pc of youngsters also admitted to using the internet to download music illegally. Grabbing and holding young women readers In 2003, in a bid to boost readership among young women, Arizona Repub- lic features editor Nicole Carroll came up with Yes---Your Essential Style, the paper's pitch at young women readers. The section won first place in publisher Gannett's 25 to 34 Review for outstand- ing achievement in targeting younger readers, and remains a successful part of the paper's formula. Here's an edited summary of Carroll's formula. 1Write like they re talking to their best friend. Someone who shares secrets with them, revels in their finds, and shares their passions. 2Be quick and to the point. No story over 25 cm, no jumping. Lots of quickie pieces with strong visuals. 3Don t talk to young women -- talk with them. Write from the perspective of GenX/Y women. Lots of "you" and "how," "our" and "we" headlines. 4Every story must have a payo . Help time-poor readers learn quickly about new products or trends, share new life- and practical skills and share the experts' secrets in the things that matter. 5Give them instant grati cation. Don't just tell them what's hip -- show exam- ples, tell them where to get it, give them web links to the product on display. 6No old news. Just like their best friend, be the first to tell them something. In this demographic, credibility hinges on speed and credibility is everything. 7 Make it local. When you run celebrity and high fashion pics from New York, tell them how to get the same look locally. 8No room for nastiness. Be hip, but not exclusive, and helpful without being lecturesome. 9Build trust. When you say something will be all over the clubs, it had better be. Informal "style councils" can help here, with input from officials like depart- ment store buyers and street-smart consumers. 10Advertising is content. Young readers buy magazines as much for the advertising as the editorial, so it's important to match the ads -- and indeed the advertisers -- to the tone of the stories.