Dainik Bhaskar poised to launch Jammu edition

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | October 18, 2010
The launch is slated for October 18, 2010

Dainik Bhaskar Group, one of India's leading print media companies, is set to roll out its Jammu edition on October 18. Ashu Phakey, chief operating officer for the states of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, will head the Jammu project.

The launch of the Jammu edition will serve to augment the company's presence in North India and expand the pan-India footprint to 13 states through 51 editions.

The new edition will be launched in the city of Jammu and will expand to other districts in J&K in due course. To start with, there will be only one edition; add-on editions will see the light of day as the paper expands across the region.

The cover price of this edition is slated at Rs 3 for five days and Rs 3.50 for two days. The newspaper will contain 16 pages in all -- 12 main pages (of which four pages will be in colour) and a four-page Jammu City pullout (entirely in colour). Additionally, three supplements -- Madhurima, Navrang and Rasrang -- are part of the offering.

"We believe that Jammu, with a population of around 1.6 million, presents strong potential towards readership expansion. Through this launch, we aim to address a readership penetration gap of around 4,54,000 (according to IRS 2010 Q1 data) readers," Phakey informs.

A fair deal of on-ground research and in-depth market surveys were conducted for this launch. The pre-launch surveys targeted 1,10,000 households and enterprises in the Jammu district.

"We have collated and distilled their feedback and views to design and strengthen the editorial content of the Jammu edition," says Phakey. These pre-launch surveys commenced in June 2010.

In order to ensure optimum coverage for the surveys, the Dainik Bhaskar Group segmented Jammu city into five regions. For each region of the city, exhaustive lists of residential colonies and markets were created and the regions were categorised on the basis of socio-economic classification.

As part of the pre-launch surveys, readers were first educated about Dainik Bhaskar and were thereafter requested to share their views on their 'ideal newspaper'. In the second stage, households were visited to book orders and generate subscriptions.

When quizzed about the ad rates for the new edition, Sanjeev Kotnala, vice-president, marketing & communication, Dainik Bhaskar Group, says, "We will offer competitive rates, which will ensure that advertisers get the best value out of both the Jammu edition and our national editions. It is only through Dainik Bhaskar that advertisers in Jammu will have the opportunity to be seen across 13 states, where the paper is dominant and offers the best value for money opportunity."

Kotnala goes on to tell afaqs! that the intention is to give the readers of Jammu a healthy mix of local as well as national news. "Our Jammu City pullout will exclusively cover city news, ensuring in-depth and extensive coverage of the city," he adds.

As the Jammu market has both English and Hindi newspapers, Dainik Bhaskar will be competing with the market in its entirety, believes Kotnala.

Clearly, the group's endeavour is to build its presence and dominance in all relevant markets and will be looking at any opportunity that takes it closer to this goal. It is, thus, safe to expect more such launches in the near future.

It may be recalled that the most recent Dainik Bhaskar launch was on September 12, 2010 -- that of an edition from Bhatinda, Punjab.

The Dainik Bhaskar Group is home to flagship newspapers, Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar and Saurashtra Samachar.

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