afaqs!

The Telegraph's strategy in Bihar and Orissa

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, Jaipur | In Media Publishing | April 19, 2011
Suman Banerjee, AVP, Circulation, ABP, chronicled the journey of The Telegraph, which after nearly a decade of silence, recently entered the states of Orissa and Bihar.

At INMA's South Asia division's seminar on Circulation Growth, Suman Banerjee, AVP, Circulation, ABP, talked about the lessons learnt during The Telegraph's launch in Orissa and Bihar.

Banerjee said that since The Telegraph was already a well-established player in West Bengal, it was time for the newspaper to enter other markets, particularly those of Bihar and Orissa, as they were important markets of North-East India. "Having launched in Bihar and Orissa, we aim to be the national daily of those states," said Banerjee.

He said that Bihar, ignored for a long time, has a lot of potential, especially with 101 investment proposals having been cleared in the last two years, and is now poised to grow in the next few years. Companies like Tata Steel and Hindalco are already looking at the state with renewed interest, and so are the IT and education industries.

"All this will give us tremendous advertising revenue in the times to come," said Banerjee.

Keeping this in mind, the ABP Group did a pre-launch survey, and with the help of IMRB, met the decision makers of households, youngsters of Patna, and the owners of the state-centric publications, in order to understand their requirements of an English daily.

"It is not that the media present in the state is not portraying the state scenario, but it is sensationalising it, as well," said Banerjee.

According to the survey, Bhubaneshwar's local population likes to believe that the city is progressing at a fast pace, and will soon be counted as one of the metros, which in turn, will generate numerous career options. The Telegraph also found that the people of Bhubaneshwar want a newspaper to highlight the achievements of the city and the state government, as well as have something for every member of the household.

The daily's main edition has 16 pages, of which 12 are coloured. It also has an entertainment and lifestyle tabloid, apart from other regular supplements.

Banerjee said that the daily did not attempt at getting into the market with a low cover price as they believe that it is not a sustainable model.

"That is why we followed price parity in the cover price and trade margins at both places," he said.

The daily undertook a host of activities during its launch phase to promote the new entrant in both the markets.

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