In order to keep communities in in the Free State and Northern Cape informed and supported in these challenging times, Media24 has realigned its local newspapers servicing these areas.
Lockdown revealed the importance of local titles to their readers. Editorial staff on Media24 titles absolutely understood how to inform and support their readers in this unprecedented period. Readers want to learn how their communities are functioning through the pandemic, they want to understand how local people are coping, they want to know what support is there for them and their families and they want to be able to make savvy purchasing decisions in these tough times. Of course, the Media24 journalists on their local titles also knew the importance of providing encouragement, inspiration and hope within a realistic context. They have ensured that their readers can access credible and reliable information.
As South Africa moves into Alert Level 2, Media24 has had to assess how to best service their readers in the communities of the Free State and Northern Cape.
Home to SA’s judicial capital, Bloemfontein, and "The Diamond Capital of the World", Kimberley, this region accounts for nearly 7% of the South African adult population.
Brandmapp 2018 showed that the communities in these two provinces are bound together by many commonalities. Psychographically, like most South Africans, they share a strong belief in equality of opportunity for men and women and value keeping in touch with friends. Nearly six out of 10 of them believe that work should be interesting, not simply a way to make money. Residents of this rugged area are distinguished by the fact that they like being original and different (63%) and place importance on dressing well and looking good (52%). Keen to improve their lives, a third aspire to getting a new job, whilst 28% aspire to buying or changing their cars: a fifth look forward to graduating. This certainly underscores their attractiveness to marketers and advertisers.
Residents of these provinces are active and outward looking. Whilst they are team sports enthusiasts enjoying soccer (44%), cricket (30%), rugby (29%), four in ten enjoy gym training. Their favourite interests are music, (62%), travel (56%), cooking (53%), DIY (41%) and movies (40%). It is little wonder that they joy attending food markets (40%), live sports events (35%) and outdoor music festivals (28%).
Even before COVID-19, Brandmapp 2018 showed that the readers of local titles in these areas valued the social cohesiveness fostered by their publications. Readers particularly enjoy the community notices in their local newspapers (41%) and say they believe that they foster a better sense of community. Feedback to local publication staffers over the past months has clearly shown that readers have built even stronger connections with their local news titles.
Given the current constrained economy, Media24 will be consolidating The Noordkaap and Kalahari Bulletin into a single newspaper called NoordkaapBulletin. This will ensure that their readers will continue to receive trusted and credible news. The distribution footprint of this new title will cover Barkley-West, Boshoff, Bloemhof, Christiana, Danielskuil, De Aar, Douglas, Groblershoop, Hartswater, Hopetown, Jacobsdal, Jan Kempdorp, Kakamas, Kathu, Keimoes, Kimberley, Kuruman, Lime Acres, Olifantshoek, Postmasburg, Upington and Warrenton.
Similarly, The Kroonnuus and Vrystaat Nuus will be amalgamated to become the VrystaatKroon. The towns of Bethlehem, Reitz, Senekal, Ficksburg, Fouriesburg, Viljoenskroon, Koppies and Kroonstad will constitute its distribution area.
Central24 publications are BloemNuus/News, Express, Vista, VrystaatKroon and NoordkaapBulletin. They print a total of 156 000 copies divided into 5 publications on a weekly basis. These are distributed throughout 67 towns in the Free State and Northern Cape as an advertisers’ preferred choice.
Advertisers will continue to have access to these purchasing savvy communities - over 6 out of 10 decision makers in this area always plan before shopping for food and groceries (Roots 2019) – and be able to communicate with their customers in a safe, trusted and credible environment.