Patrika enters Madhya Pradesh with Bhopal edition

By Dhaleta Surender Kumar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | May 27, 2008
Patrika finally launched its Bhopal edition, and it has lined up a number of activities to wean away the Dainik Bhaskar reader

The & #BANNER1 & # wait for Patrika, the Hindi daily from Rajasthan Patrika, was finally over when its Bhopal edition was launched on May 25. The daily was earlier slated for a May 15 launch, which was later postponed to May 29. However, it was launched four days ahead of its rescheduled launch date, catching the competition unawares.

For the first time, the daily is not targeting the Marwari community outside its home state, Rajasthan. So, it has dropped 'Rajasthan' from its name. According to Arvind Kalia, national head, marketing, Rajasthan Patrika, the initial print run of Patrika is 1,20,000 copies and it will be targeting Bhopal city and its adjoining areas.

Rajasthan Patrika has editions in Ahmedabad, Surat, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hubli and Chennai, in addition to 12 editions in Rajasthan.

The daily in Bhopal has a cover price of Rs 1.50 and comes with a city supplement, Just Bhopal. Three more supplements, Bollywood, Parivar and Hum Log, are part of the package on Saturday, Wednesday and Sunday, respectively. According to Kalia, the daily is aiming to come up with special supplements frequently.

Patrika will be competing with the leader, Dainik Bhaskar, which has a circulation of 1,06,105 copies as per ABC figures for July-December 2007. Patrika aims to beat Dainik Bhaskar in its home state, something that the latter did to Rajasthan Patrika almost a decade ago. The other players in the market are new entrant NavDunia (which claims a print run of 1,50,000 copies), Raj Express (which claims a print run of 72,000 copies), Dainik Jagran and Nava Bharat.

Dainik Bhaskar sells at a cover price of Rs 3 on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and at a cover price of Rs 2.50 on other days. NavDunia sells at Re 1 on weekdays and at Rs 3 on Sundays.

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Hari Bhoomi, the leader in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh (also published from Raipur, Rohtak and New Delhi), has plans of entering Bhopal later this year.

According to Kalia, Patrika had an extensive pre-launch campaign in the city, which included outdoor (hoardings, canopies, camel road shows, motor bike rallies, games and fun activities at malls, human banners and vehicle branding), radio spots, cinema slides at cineplexes and direct contact activities. Patrika is using the baseline, 'Hum Hain Bhopal Ki Awaaz', for the campaign.

More than 2,00,000 SMS messages were sent to select people, informing them about Patrika's entry into Bhopal. Rajasthan Patrika also has its own mobile value added service, Patrika Mobile, with the short code, 56969.

Events held in corporate offices included fun activities and presentations on the newspaper. Through these, the paper was able to target both the readers and the advertisers.

The campaign, according to Kalia, has just begun, and there will be more innovative branding initiatives in the near future. He refused to divulge figures for the ad spend.