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Ouest-France: increase number of local editions within the same geographic area to up circulation

Ouest-France: increase number of local editions within the same geographic area to up circulation

François-Xavier Lefranc, director of the regional and local newspaper Ouest-France spoke at WAN-IFRA's Summer University in Paris about the paper's new strategy in developing and multiplying local coverage in order to increase circulation.

As the name implies, Ouest-France, with 47 local editions, covers three regions in the west of France: Normandie, Bretagne and Pays de la Loire, which represent a mosaic of territories with 12 departments and 4800 towns.

According to French circulation bureau OJD's figures, it is the best selling French newspaper and, after Le Parisien, its website is second in the ranking of French regional newspapers' websites with 8.7 millions unique users.
In recent years, the paper's strategy has been to multiply the number of edition for a same geographical area, creating new local pages. Since Ouest France started to introduce new editions 3 years ago, circulation has gone up, Lefranc said.

The area of Brittany was previously covered by 5 editions and the two important territories of Saint-Brieuc and Lamballe were covered by the same local edition. As part of Ouest-France's new strategy they were split into two different editions in order to generate more local pages.
The circulation of the new edition area increased from the 1,5% to 4%.

Lefranc stressed how important it is to focus on the audience's needs, as even if the region is small it is very diversified and different editions have to meet everyone's needs.

The launch of new editions also means an rethinking of the whole editorial strategy and the redefinition of the paper's priorities. "Each time we create a new edition we try to completely recreate the editorial project", Lefranc said.

Local coverage is therefore the paper's priority. As the aim is to help people to understand their region and get closer to readers, journalists need to have a high knowledge of the area.

Continuous contact with readers, in order to stay in touch with people's concerns, is maintained by monitoring comments in-house, rather than outsourcing them.
For the same purpose of building and maintaining communication with readers, all breaking news is free to access, while to access the whole newspaper online, readers have to pay.

All our journalists have a multimedia approach. As soon as a journalist has material, he or she uploads it.

Recently Ouest-France has also invested in a new print press to develop new editions, as Lefranc said his paper believes that developments needs to be both in print and on the web.



Federica Cherubini


2011-06-27 17:01

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