Media24 local titles cater to the needs of the affluent Western Cape readers

16 Sep 2020

The Western Cape is an essential market for advertisers: its residents are affluent, influential and sophisticated.

Whilst the Western Cape is South Africa’s third most populous province, its residents enjoy household incomes that are 26% above the national average, according to the Publishers Audience Measurement Survey (PAMS 2019). Not surprisingly, full-time employment is 40% higher than the national average and more than half (53.9%) of the population falls into the comfortably off SEM Super Group 3 (High). By contrast, less than 8% fall into the constrained SEM Super Group 1 (Low). The bulk of inhabitants live urban lives: over two thirds of its residents dwell in the metropolitan area of Cape Town and a further 28% in urban areas. It is a thoroughly multicultural community, with nearly half (48.2%) being Coloured, a third Black and nearly 18% White. Afrikaans is the predominant language of conversation used by half the inhabitants, with roughly a quarter choosing to speak English or isiXhosa most often.

Brandmapp 2018 gives insight into the hearts and minds of the residents of this province: like most South Africans they are strong exponents of equal opportunities. They are sociable, believing it is important to keep in touch with their friends. They are committed patriots, with one in two believing that “we all should be proud to be South Africans.”

They look towards self-actualisation in their work, believing it should be interesting and not merely a way of making money. They have a pragmatic outlook, with one in two saying they “live each day as it comes”. A similar ratio exhibits an individualist streak, acknowledging that they like being original and different.

Dwellers in this province are adept at enjoying the pleasures it has to offer: 60% relish wine tasting. Traditions remain strong 52% hunt, whilst just under half enjoy socialising and gardening. They are culturally sophisticated, with one in two adults enjoying opera or orchestral performances and one in four listing painting as an interest. Just over a quarter go to food markets and a similar percentage go to expos or exhibitions. Also popular are outdoor music festivals and arts or crafts markets. Favoured sports are walking (47%) and running (40%) which enable the participants to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

PAMS 2019 shows that the residents are influential and aware of their privileges: they are 46% more likely than the average, to say that “they earn and think more than most South Africans”. Close to 60% claim they “would like to believe that I am better informed and up to date on what’s going on in South Africa at the moment than the average person”, whilst more than a third claim they “have been quoted by friends or in the media, on a few occasions”. They are civic minded, putting their knowledge and opinions to good use: they are a third more likely to serve on at least one committee - at work, their kids’ school, a local society, sport club or neighbourhood.

When reading their newspapers, their most popular topics are community news/local news followed by sport. Given their beliefs and past times, it is no surprise that jobs/careers, food/recipes and SA news/current affairs follow in popularity. They are house-proud, showing an above average interest in articles about property and home, gardening and DIY projects.

Despite being relatively well heeled, they are informed shoppers: nearly one in two people say that they use advertising inserts to plan their shopping, whilst over 60% use them to compare prices. A further testament to the efficacy of this form of communication is that four out of ten people testify that they have bought products as a result of seeing them advertised in inserts.

Brandmapp 2018 underscores the importance of local titles to readers in the province: four out of ten remark that the titles enhance the sense of community and an equal proportion commenting that they like the community notices. Nearly twenty percent express enjoyment at seeing people in the news that they personally know.

The journalists working on Media24’s portfolio of local titles understand their readers and have served them well during this time of crisis. As a senior journalist on the Swartland Gazette succinctly explained: “This means writing for the community and not necessarily just about them”. It is about keeping them informed about anything and everything that affects them as a community, as well as helping them share their stories, hardship, joy, achievements and experiences with their fellow community members.

These titles offer advertisers well established, trusted and credible environments in which to communicate. A re-alignment in the portfolio is the incorporation of The Theewaterskloof Gazette into the Hermanus Times, which will now become a free sheet with a healthy print order of 20,000 copies, distributed throughout the Overberg. From September, Hermanus Times will appear on a Wednesday. Good news for advertisers is that advertising rates will remain unchanged.

Hermanus Times has a history spanning more than 70 years and is the preferred source of local news in the Overstrand. This reliable and well-loved news source will now serve the news and entertainment needs as well as advertising opportunities for the whole Overberg region. Daleen Fouché, Editor of Hermanus Times, says she is proud to be turning Hermanus Times into a fully-fledged regional newspaper. She says: “In these uncertain times that we find ourselves in, it is a privilege to be able to guarantee news that is accurate, timely and important for the Overberg communities.”

“Readers can expect a community newspaper with profiles, community-related stories, hard news, municipal news, sports, entertainment and school news. Our popular fun page with local crossword puzzle and sudoku will be retained as well as the popular letters page, on which readers can air their views.”