Caxton Local Newspapers

Caxton Local Newspapers readerships remain the highest in the communities that they serve.

The group now has more than 140 newspapers with a combined weekly print order exceeding 3.7 million copies, with representation in the large majority of provinces across the country.

Our focus remains to deliver relevant hyper- local content that cannot be found anywhere else, this focus of each newspaper gives readers a sense of belonging, and has created loyal readership for decades.

Local newspapers cover serious issues affecting communities which can include poor service delivery, massive potholes or exposing bogus businessmen who operate within a distribution area. But, they take an equal interest in school news, community, social and sport events. Readers expect their local newspapers to act as watchdogs on issues that affect them, and are seen as the very heartbeat of their communities, and are indeed referred to as custodians of the communities that they serve.

We strive to represent every reader of every community within the pages of our newspapers. Editors and staff are encouraged to be active citizens in their areas and local newspapers are often seen as the driving force behind fund-raisers and other social initiatives. Caxton newspapers often scoop dailies when big stories break because they are so entrenched in their communities.

With the rapid growth in lower LSM markets the group has embraced exciting developments and partnerships. Communities in township areas have welcomed a ‘voice’ of their own and the publications have gained a lot of popularity in recent months. We constantly review and redefine the footprints that our newspapers are delivered to, making sure that we reach the right readers in each community with minimal wastage.

In the commercial space readers definitely use their local newspaper for price benchmarking and to see what specials are available within their local area. Run-of-paper advertising remains popular, with prime clients booking the front section of these publications a year in advance. Caxton publications are carriers for some largest national brands’ inserts; these advertisers know that their leaflet product range will reach their intended market, as Caxton Local Media has a proven track record.

An often neglected advertising space is a newspaper’s ROP (Run of Print) space. It’s a very powerful platform that Caxton Local Newspapers is unlocking for local and national businesses.

Jaco Koekemoer“ROP is still a very powerful space,” says Jaco Koekemoer, MD of Caxton Local Media & Coldset Printing, “and one of the most powerful elements within ROP is our ability to localise content!”

Latest eye-tracking research shows that ROP print media remains one of the most effective advertising mediums if the human eye is used as a yard stick. This medium becomes even more effective if it is delivered in conjunction with local content within a local newspaper. The advert itself becomes more trustworthy by association as people trust and believe the paper’s editorial content.

The research also indicates that ROP advertisements become even more noticeable and effective the larger the size of the advert. In this instance bigger is better! Unfortunately many large retailers have missed this opportunity and many have only been focusing on pre-printed pamphlets for print media. “At each branch within Caxton we have a team of designers to design effective relevant adverts for local clients,” says Koekemoer. “A well designed advert next to quality content, provides the client with a great opportunity to reach a high amount of consumers.”

Each town or region is unique in terms of its residents and SPARK Media’s ROOTS research proves this. For example, in Bellville/Durbanville in the Cape where 96% of homes fall into the LSM 8-10 bracket, the average grocery shopper will visit up to four stores in a four week period while in Ezakheni near Ladysmith, where 97% of the consumers are lower income earners (LSM 4 -7), shoppers will visit at most two different stores over the same period.

The benefit of local news media is that a national story can be adapted to make it more editorially relevant to the local community. Take the example of a national brand with multiple outlets; the community needs to know where the store is located and who the manager is – perhaps he’s a person of interest to the community. Caxton has the ability to take a national advertising campaign that has been localised to make it more relevant to the people that matter – the readers in that specific geographic area.

Caxton employs journalists in every area it has a paper – local editors and journalists that may be born and bred there who write in, and about that area. These are the people that know and understand the local community and the team that the local community trusts.

Caxton has touch points all over the country with a weekly footprint and print run of 3.5 million. Remove the metro and city papers and there is still a weekly print order of 1.5 million representing smaller communities across South Africa. Having this type of reach and influence means that Caxton Local Media is very often the first with the news. A small local paper may break a story which is escalated up the Local News Network to other news outlets.

Being a supplier of local relevant news also means that Caxton has an exceptionally strong readership which is the customer base of business and advertisers within their geographic areas. “We know people, in particular local people and local companies, and can unlock a local environment for corporates,” says Koekemoer. “Take Roodepoort for example, we know that there are over 3600 businesses in the immediate vicinity forming part of the local community. Many of these are national and international brands that advertise.

The “shotgun” approach to advertising is long past! It’s all about the engagement, relevance, precise targeting and making use of those that know and understand who the target market is.

“Wouldn’t there be more value to a brand if the locals could relate to the story at a personal level?” concludes Koekemoer.