UK's first print and online planning tool set to launch

Fordham: “unique and powerful”
Fordham: “unique and powerful”

Locally Connected, the UK's first integrated print and online planning currency, launches on 24 November.

The launch follows the completion of a three-way project between the regional publishers' trade body, the Newspaper Society, with JICREG, the Joint Industry Committee for Regional Press Research, and the ABC.

The planning currency uses a combination of ABC print circulation and ABCe web traffic data, plus research conducted by Survey Interactive to give the net reach of online and offline titles.
Publishers on board are Trinity Mirror, Johnston Press, Northcliffe Media, Newsquest, GMG Regional, Iliffe News & Media and the Midlands News Association. The Newspaper Society hopes all publishers will be involved in future.

The planning currency will be used by the vast majority of media agencies at launch and includes 70% of the local media market.

Before the launch of Locally Connected, the only way to trade ads to a postcode level was through ABC print data alone.

David Fordham, Newspaper Society president and chief executive of Iliffe News and Media, said Locally Connected will demonstrate how local media is "reaching and engaging bigger audiences than ever across multimedia platforms".

He said: "Locally Connected will give advertisers a unique and powerful cross-media planning tool that demonstrates how they can effectively target the UK's local communities online as well as in print."

The Newspaper Society has worked with agencies, media owners, the IPA and ISBA throughout the process to ensure the currency meets their requirements.

Matt Merrett, director of regional press at OMD UK, said: "As an extension of JICREG, the bible for regional planning, Locally Connected will give planners a deeper understanding of the reach of regional titles at a local level. We have never before been able to prove what a campaign will get in terms of reach online. This provides the net extra reach online, down to postcode level."

The project began in 2006 and research outfit Telmar devised the methodology of the integration of internet audience data with print readership data. The result incorporates audited web traffic data, survey data and statistical analysis and modelling and will be updated regularly.

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