Sanj Samachar, the eveninger from Gujarat, has recently adopted an unique strategy to keep its readers updated on developments happening through the day. Instead of a single edition, the newspaper has started to come out with eight editions in one single day.
The first edition comes out at 9.30 am in the morning. It mainly caters to the Kutch region but 10-15 per cent of the total circulation is also diverted to Rajkot, the city where the newspaper is printed.
Ankur Shah, director, Jaihind Group, which publishes Sanj Samachar, says, "The 9.30 am edition has lots of financial and stock market news to keep our readers updated on the financial market."
The second and third editions come out at 10.30 am and cater to the coastal areas of Porbandar and the Junagadh district, respectively. The 11.30 am edition caters to the Surendranagar and Amreli districts.
The 10.30 am and 11.30 am editions have mostly outstation news, apart from an extensive coverage of commodity prices. The edition for Jamnagar and Bhavnagar is printed at 12.30 pm. Shah said, all five editions cater to the readers in Rajkot.
These editions have 12 pages of content. Of this, four pages are devoted to local news for the districts individual editions cater to. The main page of each edition is updated in accordance to latest developments.
Shah says, "In these regions, television has still not reached extensively. So, by updating our editions every hour, we try keeping our readers informed about the latest developments."
The publication also has three Rajkot editions in the afternoon, printed at 1.30 pm, 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm.
The 16-page 1.30 pm edition caters to people at their homes and sums up all the major developments of Saurashtra and Gujarat during the day. Shah says, "In Rajkot, people do have a habit of going back to home for lunch and during this time, the readers have developed an habit of reading newspapers to keep themselves updated on the latest development."
The 3.30 pm edition is similar to the earlier edition with a few additional updates, "unless a major development takes place during the day", Shah explains.
The last and final edition, which comes out at 5.30 pm, covers everything from national to regional news apart from the closing details from the stock and the commodity markets.
The eveninger is strong in distribution as it quickly reaches out to the readers in different districts of Saurashtra. Shah says, "Our penetration is so strong that Sanj Samachar reaches out to such small villages, which do not even have a population of 500."
He claims that the evening dailies in Gujarat has seen a handsome growth in terms of advertisement revenues (both corporates and local) in the past two years. The readership base is also growing as compared to morning dailies.
As per IRS 2004, round 2, Sanj Samachar has become the number one evening daily in Gujarat with a readership of 1.48 lakhs.
With this strategy of launching eight editions, the publication is hoping to see a substantial rise in readership. If this initiative becomes a success, the publication has a few big plans for the next year. Shah says, "We are planning to launch a separate edition of Sanj Samachar in Ahmedabad by early 2005, once the IRS reports are out. After all, Ahmedabad is a far bigger market than Rajkot."
Incidentally, the parent daily Jaihind already has a morning edition in Ahmedabad. Shah says, "We already have the necessary infrastructure in Ahmedabad, so it won't take time to act immediately on our plans."
© 2004 agencyfaqs!