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Jagran Prakashan launches Punjabi Jagran

By Nandana Das , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | June 20, 2011
The 16-paged newspaper will be printed in Jalandhar and Ludhiana, and circulated across every district of Punjab.

In a bid to cater to the Gurmukhi-reading Punjabis, Jagran Prakashan has launched its Punjabi daily Punjabi Jagran, on June 18. The 16-paged daily will be printed in Jalandhar and Ludhiana, and circulated across every district of Punjab.

Talking to afaqs! about the launch, Sanjay Gupta, chief executive officer and editor, Jagran Prakashan, says, "Punjab has been a very steady readership market for both Hindi and Punjabi dailies. The readership numbers haven't had too many swings in the last five years. However, in the last one decade or so, there has been a lot of action in the Hindi space in Punjab, and we saw the market developing from a single Hindi newspaper to three Hindi dailies. Hence, we wanted to launch a newspaper in Punjabi which could foray into all stratas of Punjab."

He adds, "We believe that we will be able to actively expand the Punjabi market and create space for ourselves. The readership numbers for both Punjabi and Hindi are almost at a similar level, but the Punjabi newspapers are marginally ahead."

Punjabi Jagran will compete with Ajit and Jagbani, two widely read Punjabi dailies in the region. Basant Rathore, vice-president, strategy planning and brand development, Jagran Prakashan, mentions, "Though both are well-established and powerful brands in their own domain, our newspaper has been perceived and positioned very differently from the existing ones."

Dainik Jagran, which has completed 10 years in Punjab, has already established itself as a strong brand. While Hindi dailies are doing very well in Punjab, the existing Punjabi papers also have a steady readership. According to Gupta, as Punjabi is a widely-used language in the state, it was an automatic decision for the Jagran Group to launch a Punjabi newspaper to complete the group's bouquet for Punjab.

Gupta adds, "With the launch of Punjabi Jagran, we hope to add newer readers, newer advertisers, and strengthen and fortify our presence here. We are sure that it will also give Dainik Jagran good leverage in terms of circulation, and work well for the advertisers."

In order to understand the needs and expectations of the readers, surveys were carried out before the launch to understand the deeper nuances of the Punjabi language and cultural codes. This helped the publishers to tailor the newspaper.

From the advertisers' point of view, Punjab is a fairly large market, growing at a good pace. Rathore explains, "The market size is estimated to be around Rs 75-85 crore. With a lot of grass root level development work happening in Punjab, we expect the market to grow at a good pace. While the combination of Punjabi Jagran and Dainik Jagran will largely drive our advertising revenues, we are also looking at other aspects to fortify Punjabi Jagran's presence in the state."

An extensive campaign, which began prior to the launch of the daily, is being carried out across the state. Based on the theme 'Punjabiyaan di shaan' (Punjabi Pride), the campaign celebrates the quintessential Punjabi spirit.

Speaking about it, Rathore says, "It is said that Punjabis are known for their verve, energy and zest for life, and there is never a dull moment in Punjab. Hence, the thought was to develop communication which is deeply rooted in the rich tradition of the Punjabi language, which celebrates the language, rituals and the spirit of the state. Through this campaign, we will be essentially saying 'Punjabi suttee hue changge nahin lagde' (Punjabis never look good when they are sleeping and without any energy) because Punjab is all about energy."

The campaign is being carried out across television, radio, print, posters, hoardings, road shows and a host of other outdoor activities across Punjab. Additionally, Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan has been roped in to endorse the brand.

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