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GO Local Research Brandmastering Project BM103 Project Manager Spike Williams Research Consultant To


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Title: GO Local Research Brandmastering Project BM103 Project Manager Spike Williams Research Consultant To

GO Local ResearchBrandmastering Project
BM103Project Manager Spike WilliamsResearch
Consultant Tom Langton-Lockton October 2005
  • Background
  • Media
  • GO Local
  • Ideal Community Paper 45
  • Conclusions Recommendations 51

  • GO Local is a quarterly publication financed by
    GO Partnership and distributed to homes in
    Castlehaven, Gospel Oak, Maitland Park and
    Southend Green.
  • A very low level of interaction between the paper
    and the local residents suggested a general lack
    of engagement. Research was therefore required to
    identify the underlying reasons behind this
    phenomenon and gain insights into potential
  • Qualitative research was conducted in the GO
    Area, north London, to gauge local residents
    attitudes to GO Local in its current form and
    generate ideas for optimising its appeal.
  • 4 x 2 hour Creative Discussion Groups were
    conducted with a representative sample of the
    local population (see sample details). Groups
    were managed and moderated by experienced
    international qualitative researchers, Spike
    Williams and Tom Langton-Lockton.
  • Spike Williams has conducted research on media in
    UK, Europe, USA, Asia (including the Far East)
    covering TV, radio, printed media and the web.
    Clients include Nokia, IBM, Philips, Fiat, BBC,
    Financial Times, Unicef and Lancashire County

See map
  • The research focussed on local residents reading
    media use, the role of Free Local Papers and
    specific issues relating to GO Local. The
    discussions focused on four key areas
  • The role of Local Media and Free Papers
  • Understanding the value of local media
  • Understanding Information Vs Entertainment needs
  • The Current Image of GO Local
  • Perceived origins and objectives
  • Relevance and value
  • The Current Format of GO Local
  • Strengths Weaknesses of
  • Design overall design language
  • Layout the balance of text images
  • Journalism topics, style
  • The Ideal Community Paper

The data and ideas generated in this research
project will feed into future issues in order to
maximise GO Locals appeal and relevance to local
residents and encourage engagement among
community members.
  • Group 1
  • Females, 18 to 40 years old (7 respondents)
  • All living in the GO area
  • All were parents with young children
  • Group 2
  • Females, over 40 years old (7 respondents)
  • All living in the GO area
  • A mix of working and housewives
  • Group 3
  • Young People, 13 to 18 years old (9 respondents)
  • All living in the GO area
  • Mixed sex (6 males, 3 females)
  • Group 4
  • Male Group, mixed age group, over 18 (8
  • All living in the GO area
  • Some creative and media professionals

GO Local Awareness
More than half the sample were aware of GO Local
without being prompted. GO Local awareness
(unprompted) 51 GO Local awareness (prompted)
21 Total awareness is 72 in this
sample Non-delivery (28) is clearly a major
problem for over a quarter of the sample!
The relatively low awareness, especially the
unprompted responses suggest GO Local is weak on
Identity, Branding and Relevance.
  • Everyone who was interviewed in the screening
    process (n104) was asked to rate GO Local on a
    scale of 1 to 10 (where 10 is best and 1 is worst)
  • Male Rating averaged 5.2
  • Female Rating averaged 5.9
  • Overall Rating was 5.37

These figures are indicative of an ambivalent
attitude to GO Local.
16.9 (11.5 of the total sample) of those who
received a copy had never read it or had thrown
it in the bin. There is empirical evidence to
suggest that those not willing to participate in
the research are more likely to be rejecters in
this case, rejection levels could be far higher.
The ratings respondents gave in the screening
interview showed some polarisation. The rating
among readers rises to 6.25 but this is still low.
Overall, GO Local is not highly valued among
local residents.
GO Local - Return
Our Sample
  • Respondents attending the groups came from a
    variety of backgrounds. Cultural factors (and the
    fact that the groups were held during Ramadan)
    had an adverse effect on the recruitment of a
    representative Asian sample despite our best
    efforts (which included rescheduling the male
  • Younger people, including the younger female
    group (18-40), aspire to moving out of the area
    this seems to be motivated by fear of their
    children being affected by crime and other
    negative social phenomena they associate with
    this area.
  • These fears are quite concrete and based on
    experience as opposed to the mainly media-led
    fears that affect the general population.
  • Despite this, there is a strong sense of
    community and a desire to see the area achieve
    its full potential.
  • Concern and considerable sympathy was shown to
    the plight of both young people and senior
  • Almost all of the sample could be described as
    Socially Concerned they really care!
  • Around 23 of the sample were not involved in any
    community activity at all (school, library,
    community centre, tenants assoc, church/mosque or
    other) though this figure is considerably higher
    (up to 40) if we exclude the school activity
    which, in many cases means mandatory attendance
    or dropping children at the gate.

Females 40 Mainly with children Mix of working
housewives Very sympathetic to youth Higher
motivation to read papers Concerned about the
community Hostile to local authorities
  • Females 18-40
  • Mothers with young children
  • Aspire to leave the area (fear)
  • Kids are top priority
  • Low motivation to read papers
  • Concerned about the community
  • Hostile to local authorities

Young People 13-18 Mix of ages/school/unemployed P
eer and Image driven A mix of backgrounds Finding
their identity Urban attitude Concerned about
youth issues
Males (mainly 40) 50 with children Mainly
skilled professionals Less sympathetic to
youth Higher motivation to read papers Concerned
about the community Hostile to local authorities
Hostility to local authorities and bureaucracy is
Media Overview
  • Respondents use of reading media was fairly
    consistent between groups.
  • Papers such as The Sun and Camden New Journal
    were widely read in most groups.
  • A minority of the sample were reading The
    Guardian, Telegraph and Independent. These
    serious papers seem to be bought more often on
    a Saturday when they include a weekly TV guide
    and occasionally give away free CDs or DVDs.
  • Free gifts and promotional offers can trigger a
    non-routine purchase of a paper.
  • Any kind of over-claim is frowned on as
  • Very few of the sample seem to read a newspaper
    on a daily basis (c10-15). The Sun seems to be
    the most frequently read national newspaper
    (although many of the readers were almost
    embarrassed to admit it). Around a third of the
    respondents read The Sun fairly frequently.
  • Camden New Journal was by far the most widely
    read paper with around 90 of the sample reading
    it on a regular basis.
  • NB People Select their preferred media based on
    routine, perceived relevance and need.

The World of Printed Media
  • The World of printed media operates on
    different levels based on proximity.
  • At a Macro level, national (and international)
    publications generally cover global and national
    (i.e. distant) news with less emphasis on local
    issues that directly affect a specific community.
  • At a Meso level, articles are more regional (e.g.
    London and the South East) but remain quite
    distant on an emotional level (rarely touch us
  • At a Micro level, communications that relate to
    the individual reader have high relevance and
    complex emotional links with the reader. These
    communications include
  • Hand-written notes and personal letters and
  • Post addressed to the individual (Me)
  • Posters and information relevant to our lives
  • Published articles featuring people and places we
  • Communications at the Micro level tend to be
    highly trusted and highly valued, often having a
    direct affect on the individuals decision-making
    and behaviour (Action e.g. your dinner is in the

Macro, Meso Micro Media
Most media spread across segments as they cover a
range of articles that differ in proximity
  • Media that is closer to Me is more
  • Relevant/important
  • Real (tangible)
  • Active (and interactive)

Marketing communications are not generally
regarded as media per se. They are often seen
as uninvited guests that are wasteful and
inconvenient a disruption, an invasion of
personal space.
  • Micro Media are often described as real as
    opposed to the distant and more abstract Macro

As with personal relationships, an element of
Trust is involved in getting close to the
Proximity Language
  • Proximity affects the language we use in two
    major ways
  • Geographic
  • Accents Colloquialisms
  • Area descriptors
  • UK (global e.g. on holiday abroad)
  • London (national)
  • North London, NW5, Camden, Kentish Town, Chalk
    Farm (regional)
  • Queens Crescent, Near Camden Lock, South of
    Hampstead Heath, (Camden)
  • Wellesley Road, next to the Sir Robert Peel pub
  • Relational
  • Formal Language (authority/superiors)
  • Safe or guarded Language (strangers)
  • Common language (peers)
  • Informal language (family and friends)
  • NB The terms and tone we use reveal much about
    who we are, where we are and who (we think) were
    talking to (and perceived status relative to us).

Media Motivations
  • Rational
  • News (Information Facts)
  • Sports News Results
  • TV Listings News
  • Freebies Promotions
  • Quizzes, Games, Competitions
  • Events (coverage and publicity)
  • Opinion (editorial/letters etc.)
  • Jobs, Flats Opportunities
  • Restaurant/Cinema/Music reviews
  • Special Interests (e.g. mopeds)
  • Trade (buying/selling/browsing)

Emotional Confidence - armed/prepared for chat
(News, Celebrity Gossip/Scandal etc.) Belonging
shared experiences, normal Affirmation (My
views/politics) Amusement Relax, distract,
etc. Security know the dangers, hide
etc. Advancement learning, expanding
possibilities, opportunities, intelligent Palliati
ve (Heart-rending stories make me realise how
lucky I am)
The Emotional drivers are often obscured by the
Rational. However, it is these Emotional benefits
are the underlying reasons people use the papers
they read.
The Sun
  • While many were clearly embarrassed to admit
    buying it, The Sun was by far the most popular
    daily newspaper.

The Sun is universally understood and, while it
is often ridiculed by its readers, the content
plays an important role in social bonding acting
as a common reference point enabling casual
conversation and discussion (Emotionally
Camden New Journal
  • Camden New Journal was by far the most widely and
    regularly read paper among the sample.

Local crime (too close to home/frightening) Dull
(1 respondent)
Free Accessible/Available Local
(relevant) Serious Know people
places Campaigning Independent Exposés Reviews Eve
Although GO Local should not aim to compete with
CNJ, acquiring some of its strengths is vital if
GO Local is to be taken seriously and valued as a
source of information. Its key strength is being
a trusted source of local (Meso-Micro)
information that instils a very tangible sense of
Belonging in the reader. Importantly, it is seen
to be both Active and Pro-active in the community
giving it the character of a Peoples Champion
(NB Mine).
Camden New Journal (cont.)
  • The vast majority of the sample valued the CNJ
    highly. Part of this value comes from the fact
    that it is Local and knowledgeable about local
  • CNJ performed well on Rational strengths (layout,
    information, journalistic standards etc.)
  • However, there was an emotional element to the
    support respondents showed for the CNJ that was
    not present in the discussion of any other local
    medium (Camden Gazette, Camden Living, GO Local
    or Evening Standard).
  • Key to its popularity is the strong perception
    that the CNJ is independent and therefore free to
    write what it chooses (this builds Trust).
  • This perception is fuelled by the frequent
    campaigns and exposure of corruption and
    incompetence (often aimed at Camden Council).
    This gives respondents the impression that the
    paper is a peoples champion (on our side, one
    of us).
  • Respondents feel that the paper often echoes
    their views and empathises with them. This
    reinforces the perceptions that the CNJ
    understands the realities of life in Camden.
  • Whether we like it or not, the CNJ is the
    benchmark for local media.

  • Entertainment is a special category covering a
    wide range of media content. Essentially, it is
    any kind of media that touches the emotional
    world of the reader (Me).
  • Entertaining content such as cartoons,
    crosswords, puzzles and quizzes operate on an
    individual level and are not generally shared
    (though they are in certain situations).
  • Entertainment is associated with active
    involvement, and often highly social, hence a
    wide variety of media communications can be
    defined as Entertainment
  • Celebrity gossip, Soaps news, Sports news,
    scandal enable and enrich conversations
  • TV guide information that influences individual
    (and group) activity
  • Cinema and restaurant information influences
    individual (and group) activity and social
  • Active Entertainment content plays quite a
    dynamic role, operating on the very personal
    Micro level (Me). As a result it is highly
    valued and behaves almost like a social glue
    (shared experiences NB The Sun) .

Mapping Media
  • Papers can be grouped in various ways but the
    clearest grouping is Price-based

Camden New Journal
Camden Gazette
The Sun
The Mirror
Entertainment (Emotional)
Information (Rational)
TV Guide
Take a Break
The Mail
This Price-based grouping would be less likely to
occur in a more affluent area. As we will see, GO
Local is currently outside the Mainstream (and by
some distance). GO Locals optimum position would
be near the top left of the Mainstream triangle.
  • Modern, demanding consumers value choice. They
    choose what media they interact with by
    purchasing, collecting or browsing their
  • They control the level of interaction, often
    depending on how much time is available
  • Detailed reading from cover to cover
  • Selective scanning for items of interest/appeal
  • Scanning often time-pressured gleaning
  • Specific searching out a specific detail
  • What consumers choose to interact with is often
    based on time available and mood.
  • Motivations to read and what appeals can alter
    from day to day and moment to moment.
  • Fundamentally, there are two mutually exclusive
    mood modes (metamotivational states) that
    condition our choice of media and media type
  • The need for Excitement/Arousal (Active)
  • The need for Calm/Relaxation (Passive)
  • These modes determine what the reader requires
    from a given medium at any given moment. This is
    one reason papers need a wide variety of content
    (and lots of pages!).
  • Source Michael Apter, Reversal Theory

More Time
Less Time
Active Vs Passive Media
Word of Mouth
Take a Break Tragic tales
The Sun
CNJ is perceived as a campaigning paper (Active).
It also stimulates activity in the local
community by publicising events.
Camden New Journal
The Mirror
News of the World
TV Guide
NW5 Fridge
Camden Gazette
Special Offer!
The Guardian
The Economist
Camden Life
International News
  • Most media is passive by nature inasmuch as it
    doesnt have a direct impact on our behaviour. As
    media enters the Micro-world, it becomes more
    active (and inter-active). This is the area GO
    Local should aim to occupy if it to succeed.

NW5 Fridge
  • We only have data on this from the older female
    group but it is worth mentioning as it caused a
    lively debate and considerable interest.
  • This paper arrived through the letterbox and
    was not regarded as junk mail despite its not
    particularly attractive format and design.
  • It looks bland but its interesting
  • NW5 Fridge offers a host of useful local
    information (not news) that clearly has value.
    Respondents talked of keeping it for future
    reference and sticking it to their fridge.
  • NW5 Fridge is seen as
  • New novelty value, fresh, cool (literally
    from the name Fridge)
  • Interesting informative
  • Local people, restaurants, traders, who
    delivers etc.
  • Good content (relevant)
  • Useful - Ideal for someone who has just moved to
    the area everything you want in one.
  • The fact that NW5 is universally understood
    should not be underestimated in terms of NW5
    Fridges perceived relevance.

GO Local
The Local Market
  • Before presenting what are generally very
    negative results, two important findings should
    be noted
  • The vast majority of respondents show a STRONG
    DESIRE for a local paper to exist. We would not
    get this response if people didnt think there
    was a genuine NEED for a local paper.
  • There appears to be a gap in the media market for
    a local paper. Without this gap, there would be
    little chance of success as we would have to
    compete for market share (expensive and
  • This is REALLY FANTASTIC NEWS for GO Local.
  • All the criticism that follows (and there is lots
    of it) should be viewed in this context.

GO Local What is it? Where is it?
  • Respondents had difficulty in defining what GO
    Local is. It was defined as a Newsletter (45) or
    a Paper (45)
  • 50 of the group respondents had never read GO
  • There was no clear idea of who produced it (33.3
    assumed Camden Council top of mind).
  • When asked what GO means, 29 assumed Gospel
    Oak 29 didnt have any idea. The remainder of
    the responses were random guesses (including
    bugger off/go away).
  • The GO area means? 45 assumed Borough of
    Camden, 29 Kentish Town.
  • 90 of the sample got their community information
    from local papers (CNJ) or word of mouth. This is
    actually good news for GO Local there is a gap
    to be filled by a community newspaper, what is
    more, there is a strong desire for a paper to
    fill the gap.
  • The local community is very important to the
    respondents. On a scale of 1 to 10, the average
    rating is 9.12 in the overall sample (n104).
    62 rated it as 10 (extremely important), 96
    rated it 7 or above. This suggests that local
    residents are far from ambivalent about their

Screener rating
GO Local in detail
  • Some differences between groups were observed.
    Younger females were generally less critical,
    Males were most critical
  • Positives
  • Local, normal people
  • Hoodie article, real, I know them! (not
  • Kids Sure Start/Youth assoc.
  • Colourful
  • Clear easy to understand
  • No advertising
  • Print doesnt come off on hand
  • Big print (x1)
  • Interesting
  • Encourages involvement
  • Negatives
  • Distribution (favouritism?)
  • Newsletter, not paper
  • Purple colour (all)
  • Sparse, empty, nothing to say
  • Self-promotion, back-slapping
  • Marketing assoc.
  • Government assoc. Propaganda!
  • Area descriptors are unclear
  • Expensive (colour/weight of paper)
  • Looks amateur/boring
  • Repetitive/overlap with other papers

Overall, the negatives far outweighed the
positives. GO Local is very low on Trust and this
appears to be strongly linked to marketing and
propaganda associations. Understanding precisely
what triggers these associations (and addressing
them) is key.
The Colour Purple
  • Colours are a form of communication in themselves
    and often come loaded with deep symbolism that
    is embedded in the collective consciousness (Red
    a warning).
  • The rejection of purple is not merely a matter of
    personal taste (as the almost universal rejection
    indicates). Purple triggers associations with
  • Royalty Superior, Rich, Elevated, Ruling Class,
    Distant, Unattainable
  • Deception Tory trying to be street (i.e.
    concealing true identity, something to hide?)
  • Compromise - neither red nor blue, Politically
  • Depression can link to suicide and bipolar
  • The purple colour seems at least partly
    responsible for the perception that GO Local is
    created by outsiders who do not understand the
    realities of living in this community.
  • While the purple colour is not the reason
    respondents broadly reject the current GO Local,
    it raises a number of questions and doubts which
    combine with other factors to form a significant
    barrier to success.

Masthead Title
  • The Masthead Title were criticised as
  • Meaningless (invites scepticism)
  • Unclear What is it supposed to be?, I cant
    identify with the areas they are talking about
    (respondents assume the worst)
  • Divisive It doesnt apply to me. I dont live
    in Gospel Oak
  • Trying to be clever (but failing)
  • The main problem is that it fails to communicate
    the key concepts of
  • Locality and therefore Relevance
  • Community (so it cannot be ours)
  • Unless the Masthead communicates these concepts
    in a way that everyone can understand, there is
    little reason for potential readers to
    investigate the contents.
  • There were no positive comments.
  • The Masthead is the first point of contact for
    all potential readers. It represents the identity
    of the paper. Failure here has very serious

Front Page
  • The front page Hoodies article drew polarised
    responses (mainly positive) but provoked a lively
    debate. The tone of the headline alienated some
    respondents who felt the article may be
    glamorising people who frighten and intimidate
    local people.
  • Most respondents who read the article felt this
    was an important story which was balanced,
    well-written and dealt honestly with the reality
    of life in this area (Ours).
  • The article had impact and encouraged people to
    look further into the paper with expectations of
    local relevance. NB the words Queens Crescent
    and Tell it how it is are explicit!
  • The photo of young kids had some appeal for
    females and was generally associated with youth
    (both positively and negatively). It can alienate
    some sections of the community (esp. males). The
    main weakness of the picture is that there is no
    link with a headline.
  • The presence of Look Inside and a contents list
    where respondents expect to see a headline draws
    negative marketing associations and generally
    creates confusion.

Pages 2 3 Not Real, Not Us
  • These pages are a very useful illustration of how
    local people respond to messages they perceive to
    be confusing. The responses to these pages should
    serve as a warning as to what happens when you
    unwittingly press the wrong buttons.
  • The only positive elements on these pages are the
    explicit reference to Castlehaven in the
    headline and pictures of places that are
    identifiably local.
  • The other headlines and their relationship with
    the picture simply confuse everyone and lead to
    rejection (messy, unclear, boring etc.).
  • The collage format is universally rejected as
    confusing. However, the underlying reasons behind
    this rejection are less about the format and much
    more about what the images say about GO Local and
    where it stands in relation to the community.
  • For most of our sample, this is where GO Local
    actually comes clean about its identity and
    purpose. The front page left them guessing, now
    they make assumptions.
  • It is clear that the vast majority of our sample
    would not read any further than this page.

Hidden Messages
  • Look carefully at the pictures on p23 and you
    will, like our respondents, pick up contextual
    elements that give the impression that the author
    of this story (1 picture 1 story) is writing a
    marketing message on behalf of the authorities
    (Camden Council logo is clearly present 3 times
    and subliminally at least 7 times on p2).
  • The fact that the photos are stage-managed (fake)
    only reinforces this perception and alienates the
    reader (not by the community, just about the
  • This outsider perspective is supported by other
    images such as the outsiders and press
    photographers present (top left/bottom right p3)
    at the Crazy Golf.
  • Conclusion
  • Photos should not be faked in any way reflect
    the reality of local people from their
  • Never use a collage in a news article without
    really good reason.
  • Make clear links between pictures and articles.
  • Dont be so positive as to come across as
    propaganda or marketing

Other Pages
  • To put this in perspective, it should already be
    clear that in a real life situation, 90 of our
    respondents would have by now identified GO Local
    as Council Propaganda or a marketing message
    from GO Partnership this goes straight in the
  • As such, the responses to this and the following
    pages are influenced by the very strong opinions
    respondents have already formed
  • My Neighbourhood A lot of space for such a
    small article, Local people/ordinary people (but
    not particularly interesting Use local
    personalities) but no opposition.
  • My Pet OK for those with pets (many cant
    council restrictions) but not particularly
    interesting. Some engagement from dog-lovers and
  • GO Cook Too big, little interest (doesnt fit
    lifestyle) but no opposition.
  • Rethink Fence Mixed responses including Id
    rather have an ugly fence than a dead child.
  • Silla (doesnt mention) Karen Repetitive, So
    what!, Oh no. Not her again!. No interest-
  • GO Garden Should be re-named as most assume it
    is aimed at people with a garden, not people
    like us who live on council estates.
  • The Red Did You Know? circles drew the eye in
    all groups (NB colour issues).

Overall Format
  • The current format of the paper was heavily
  • The fact that GO Local is published quarterly was
    seen to be very limiting in terms of carrying
    relevant, time-sensitive information.
  • The colour, size and weight of the paper give GO
    Local the feel of a Newsletter.
  • Most groups describe the content as sparse, lots
    of empty space, cant have much to say etc.
  • Large colour images and wide line-spacing tend to
    reinforce the impression of emptiness.
  • Some (females esp.) liked the fact that the print
    didnt come off on the hand. However, this needs
    to be viewed in the context of actual Trusted
    media sources and how they work.
  • Suggested improvements included
  • More Dynamic masthead and title
  • Smaller format (half or quarter current size
    handy, pocket-size, more pages)
  • Black and white (cheaper and more serious some
    colour photos?)
  • Newspaper quality paper (cheaper and more serious)

  • The current image is very vague and invites
    guesswork and scepticism. The Masthead fails to
    communicate the area/community it is for in terms
    the readership understands. This has very serious
  • Local people do not identify with the area
    descriptors. They live in Camden, NW5, Kentish
    Town, Chalk Farm, Queens Crescent etc.
  • Gospel Oak (which most assume is the meaning of
    GO) is used to refer to Oak Village i.e. an
    up-market, rich, middle class area. This sets up
    a perceived class divide (us and them) in which
    GO Local is the voice of the middle class
    (talking down to the plebs).
  • The result is that many people assume the paper
  • The voice of the middle class outsiders who
    dont know or understand the community
  • Trying to paper over or ignore the divisions
    between rich and poor
  • Propaganda intended to brainwash the gullible
    They must think were stupid
  • This image needs a radical overhaul and possibly
    a complete re-launch in terms of branding and

  • Frequency of contact with a paper, like human
    contact, builds the relationship through
  • We learn to tolerate the negative elements and
    focus instead on the positive content that
    delivers what we need.
  • Publishing 4 times a year is felt to be very
    limiting in terms of content, especially
    time-sensitive material. It also generates
    assumptions that there is little to report a
    fact that most respondents would dispute.
  • If we use the analogy of a friendship close
    friends tend to have frequent contact it is
    important for both to keep in touch in order to
    preserve the status/importance of the
  • Infrequent contact in this context implies a
    weakening, more distant, less caring relationship
    which, if allowed to drift, will break down
    entirely and even turn to enmity.
  • There is a direct relationship between the
    frequency of communication and the closeness of
    relationship the same applies to the media
  • Delivery clearly affects the frequency of
    contact, however, it is not the main problem. CNJ
    is not delivered to every house yet 90 of the
    sample read it!

  • Strong relationships are built on Trust. Identity
    is a vital part of Trust but the tone and angle
    of journalism clearly play an important role.
  • Currently, GO Local is extremely low on Trust for
    the majority of the respondents.
  • The lack of Trust comes from a perception of GO
    Local being unknown or an outsider, the voice
    of the bureaucrat or the Council rather than the
  • Trust in a paper is based on perceived Honesty,
    Integrity and Independence.
  • GO Local is not perceived to be Independent (and
    therefore not honest). There is a sense that it
    is hiding its identity and this can lead to
    mistrust (why the disguise?). The choice of
    purple is understood by some to be a conscious
    effort to avoid a political colour (political
    correctness or cowardice?).
  • Associations with Camden Council and central
    government invariably trigger mistrust.
  • On a local level, Trust can only be built over
    time through a demonstration of belonging to the
    community (rather than the voice of authority).
  • A community paper should speak FOR the people,
    NOT ABOUT the people.

GO Local Key Barriers
  • GO Local also has a number of identity problems
  • The banner/masthead fails to communicate any
    clear values
  • The name is meaningless Who? What? Where? Why?
  • People do not relate to the area descriptors
  • The colours and design language are mistrusted
    and are thought to be evasive and non-committal
  • It looks and feels too much like a marketing
  • Positive tone smacks of propaganda (Camden
    Council assoc. self-aggrandisement)
  • The content does not fit a residents experiences
    or values (therefore it becomes an outsider)
  • As should be clear from the responses to the
    front cover and pages 1 2, the paper fails at
    the first hurdle, the readers fill the numerous
    information gaps with guesses and suspicions
    (they assume the worst).

Mapping Media
  • Earlier we mapped the media using a Price-based
    model (generated in the groups)

Camden New Journal
Camden Gazette
GO Local
Camden Living
The Sun
The Mirror
Entertainment (Emotional)
Information (Rational)
TV Guide
Take a Break
The Mail
GO Local would be placed outside the Mainstream
in the Free/Info quadrant. However, it is not
perceived to be really free it comes at a
cost Im paying for this out my Council Tax!
Active Vs Passive Media
Word of Mouth
Take a Break Tragic tales
The Sun
CNJ is perceived as a campaigning paper (Active).
It also stimulates activity in the local
community by publicising events.
Camden New Journal
The Mirror
News of the World
GO Local
TV Guide
NW5 Fridge
Camden Gazette
The Guardian
The Economist
Camden Life
International News
  • GO Locals current position is both Passive and
    Ambivalent (and Remote). Respondents have
    difficulty defining what it is and what it is
    trying to achieve.

Active Vs Passive Media
Word of Mouth
Take a Break Tragic tales
GO Local
The Sun
Camden New Journal
The Mirror
News of the World
GO Local
TV Guide
NW5 Fridge
Camden Gazette
The Guardian
The Economist
Camden Life
International News
  • GO Locals ideal position is between the CNJ and
    word of mouth. In this quadrant, the high levels
    of Trust and emotional Relevance are expressed
    through Actions (and Independence).

Ideal Community Paper
Group Ideas
  • Group 1
  • Name and shame
  • People are to scared to admit whats going on
  • Freebies Promotion
  • Colouring book
  • Help Phone days

Group 2 Cover and promote Breakfast Clubs Credit
Union help info Stop youth fighting among
themselves Make it monthly Need some radical
things (integration)
Group 3 More publicity Make it smaller (pocket
size?) More detail, more text More pictures of
youth More youth involvement
Group 4 Name the area (The Crescent?) Everyone
knows the Crescent Market regeneration Tell the
truth Gossip, kids section Attack politicians NOT
local people
Front Page
  • Group 1
  • Our Right To Know
  • (name and shame paedophiles)
  • Im so glad we know
  • Care In The Community?
  • Whats happening to our elderly? Who cares?

Group 2 Huge Lottery Grant For Us! Meeting to
decide how it should be spent. Residents Push For
Youth Club Empty premises to be used as Youth
Club in Queens Crescent. Get kids off the street.
Group 3 Club Activities Lots of facilities,
sport, studio, trips (Haven). Camden Youth What
young people do, what they want.
Group 4 Burst Again! Old peoples home was
flooded again due to burst pipes. Criminal
Pavements Old people in danger. Council policy of
compensation instead of repair.
  • Group 1
  • Kids get GO-Ahead
  • Finally there is funding for large play areas.
  • Now we dont have to hang around the streets
  • Drugs Drunks
  • Is there any safety for our kids with so many
    drunks and drug users in our parks and stairwells?

Group 2 Big Brother Is Watching Police outside
schools pounce on drop-off parents cars. Is this
the best use of resources? Medical Dilemmas Have
you been left wondering about what ails you
because medical staff wont tell you? Have your
Group 3 Local Sport Local leagues, pitches and
events Where to Jam Whats on in the GO area.
Pictures and comments
Group 4 Threat to Seniors Axe hovers over old
peoples home. Residents face eviction the
council responds Big Red Shed Haverstock School
No street cred, say students. Not useable, say
Youth Section
  • Group 1
  • Young talent, Education, Weekend ideas, Profile
    of a teenager
  • Problems page, Whats on, Jobs college courses,
    Gossip/star signs

Group 2 Technology Games, Open mic
sessions/DJs, Sport Dance, Fashion, Career
advice (real) Part-time jobs, Affordable
activities, Sport where to go, Career advice
Group 3 Sports info, Pictures of people we know,
Special offers for cinema Music where to
go/record/create, Puzzles crosswords, Advice
column teen issues, Crime local dangers
Group 4 Music/reviews (local), Competition,
Gossip column, Schools events Music/bands
(local), Discussion forum (mentors), Sport
support local teams/reviews, Drugs counselling
the harsh realities
Regular Features
  • Group 1
  • Film/cinema/book reviews, restaurants
    multi-cultural food/events, parking fines update
  • Schools info, Classified section, Entertainment
    whats on, Crime

Group 2 Horoscopes/advice/letters, Book club,
Swap Shop, Flat exchange Council on the spot
(QA), Letters page, Funding deadlines,
Competition (prizes)
Group 3 Sports, football, Films, Whats on,
Puzzles Puzzles/horoscopes, Whats on, Sports,
cinema TV,
Group 4 Council news/updates, Transport issues,
Letters, Crime Buy sell, Letters, Success
stories (real people not dignitaries), news (next
door, my street)
Conclusions Recommendations
Action Stations
  • A key element to the respondents ideas for an
    ideal community paper is ACTION.
  • Active elements make the paper come to life,
    stimulate the reader and give the impression
    something is happening.
  • This is where GO Local is currently very weak. It
    is seen to be utterly Passive.
  • Respondents have given us some very concrete
    suggestions for injecting life and activity into
    the paper. GO Local may not be capable of
    delivering everything people ask for but pushing
    Active content more heavily will certainly go
    some way to challenging the current perceptions.
  • Another important element is the Personal touch.
    Quizzes, crosswords, colouring book ideas,
    letters, advice, horoscopes etc. all help to
    personalise the paper and bring it closer to
    the readership (Emotional).

Media Motivations Reminder
  • Rational
  • News (Information Facts)
  • Sports News Results
  • TV Listings News
  • Freebies Promotions
  • Quizzes, Games, Competitions
  • Events (coverage and publicity)
  • Opinion (editorial/letters etc.)
  • Jobs, Flats Opportunities
  • Restaurant/Cinema/Music reviews
  • Special Interests (e.g. mopeds)
  • Trade (buying/selling/browsing)

Emotional Confidence - armed/prepared for chat
(News, Celebrity Gossip/Scandal etc.) Belonging
shared experiences, normal Affirmation (My
views/politics) Amusement Relax, distract,
etc. Security know the dangers, hide
etc. Advancement learning, expanding
possibilities, opportunities, intelligent Palliati
ve (Heart-rending stories make me realise how
lucky I am)
In order to appeal to a wide audience, GO Local
needs to cover as many of the Emotional needs as
possible. Look for creative ways to cover a wide
Front-end Failure
  • Once respondents were forced to go beyond the
    front page, the levels of engagement and interest
    in the content increased and the criticism became
    more muted.
  • The current content and journalism appear to be a
    relatively minor problem, especially if the
    visual triggers that lead to doubt, mistrust and
    confusion are modified or removed.
  • True, the stories are often seen as superficial
    because the tone is felt to be too positive but
    this appears to be triggered by the choice of
    images and headlines as much as the actual
    stories themselves.
  • Respondents get signals from the layout and
    design that tell them that this paper could never
    survive in a competitive environment.
  • The weak branding and lavish use of space put the
    paper far outside the Mainstream which raises
    questions about its revenue source and reason for
    existence (a waste of money).

Identity Crisis
  • Imagine theres a knock at your door and a
    stranger is standing there. The police will tell
    you that you shouldnt even open the door until
    you have established the identity of the caller.
    It could be dangerous.
  • It is normal to approach this situation with some
    fear. We need some signals that the caller has a
    genuine, non-threatening reason for calling on us
    personally otherwise we are inclined to reject
    them (Jehovah's Witnesses, salesmen etc.).
  • Without a clear identity, GO Local is like an
    uninvited caller. We have been conditioned to
    treat this kind of situation with caution and
    suspicion for our own safety and survival.
  • If the caller is in police uniform, we receive a
    different sensation the caller is still a
    stranger but their uniform gives us an immediate
    signal and we know that we are expected to
    respect their authority and cooperate with their
    requests or answer their questions. This signal
    (uniform/identity) changes our response.
  • If the caller is a close friend, we welcome them
    with open arms and throw the door wide open.
  • GO Local is desperately in need of an Identity.
    The identity it chooses will affect how it
    received and how readers relate to it stranger,
    salesman, authority figure or friend.
  • Currently it is seen as a somewhat shifty
    character that is probably connected with the
    council (or a salesman). This must change but

GO Local Needs
  • Identity
  • An important part of Identity is expressing who
    you are not.
  • Having established that the current image needs
    to change, the new identity must build empathy.
    One tactic is to tap into common enemies, common
    fears etc. thereby planting the idea that we are
    on the same side.
  • In essence, this builds trust through gradual
  • I am not an enemy
  • We have common values
  • We both want the same things
  • Lets work together
  • Making the final step to active collaboration is
    quite a big one but GO Local should worry about
    that when it gets past step 2. Currently it does
    not make step 1!

Front Page
The Masthead, Title and Lead article headline are
any newspapers ID
  • The Masthead and title need to be immediately
    clear, and understood to be connected with this

Use terms people in the community use e.g. NW5
(keep it simple) Identify yourself as a friend
Friends are familiar
The Front Page needs to look (and feel) like a
newspaper if it is to play that role.
Take cues from the tabloids, use more familiar
language, no jargon, use humour, be LOUD
Friends dont need to dress up
Use newsprint, stick to black and white print and
images. Be less formal in tone, more casual fun
The Front Page needs to look less expensive and
more approachable.
Finally, be honest. If you cant trust a friend,
who can you trust? People are prepared to make
new friends but Trust is built up over time.
Dos and Donts
  • Based on the responses, a list of Dos and Donts

Do Be Real reflect the reality of life in this
area (ground level) Be Relevant cover issues
that people are concerned about Be a Campaigner
tackle the difficult issues, question
authority Be a Resident use the terms local
people use (e.g. area names), One of Us not
One of them Be Known Brand Identity must mean
something to readers (otherwise there wont be
any!) Be Consistent
Dont Be Superior or condescending Be Junk Mail
by looking like a marketing message (glossy,
colourful, sparse, wasteful) Be Propaganda by
over-stressing the positives (but use real
success stories, create mentors, inspire) Be a
Stranger by being too formal Be a Bureaucrat by
talking shop or using jargon Be Vague or people
will assume you are hiding something
sinister Take yourself too seriously
No-one likes uncertainty. Readers need to feel
familiar with the paper before they open it.
Independence is a Perception
  • Independence is a perception. The CNJ journalists
    are neither truly independent nor a genuine
    peoples champion.
  • The CNJ cleverly leaves most of the dirty work
    to the community and the authorities but because
    of the way they report it, they give the
    impression that they are playing an active role
    in the events they are reporting even when it
    is not true.
  • This is something we need to understand.
  • People admire people who stand up to bullies or
    protect them from their enemies. These people are
    seen as heroic and, like all heroes, people
    become reluctant to criticise them and quick to
    defend them.
  • GO Local does not need to take an angry,
    negativist position. Sometimes speaking the
    language of the hero who fights injustice on
    behalf of the weak is convincing enough (NB NW5
    Fridge is perceived to be cool and fresh
    because NW5 Fridge says it is).
  • The secret is in the tone and the perceived
    position of the paper (or reporter) in relation
    to real issues.
  • What GO Local cant afford to do is come across
    as happy or comfortable i.e. Passive

Hierarchy of Media Needs
  • Using the Maslovian model (like the building
    blocks of society), we can see that media lower
    down the pyramid is perceived to be of vital
    importance to survival.
  • Media Needs
  • Enlightened
  • Armed, advanced, elevated
  • Status, knowledge is power
  • Not left behind/ignorant
  • Able to join discussion (social)
  • Part of the community
  • Survival tool

The Guardian
The Telegraph
The Independent
The Sun
Camden New Journal
GO Local is currently aiming too high and needs
to operate more effectively at the lowest, most
practical level. Contents should include Survival
Tools (help-lines, tricks and tips, how to ,
saving, Credit Union, breakfast clubs etc.)
Up Down
  • One result of aiming too high is that GO Local
    creates the impression that it is communicating
    from above.
  • These Top-down communications are like commands
    and are invariably one-way traffic (no
  • This reinforces the notion that it the voice of
    authority which leads to Government and Camden
  • The direction of communications needs to be
    clearly bottom-up.
  • In other words it should focus primarily on the
    most basic, fundamental issues and signpost
    potential solutions.
  • The solutions should always be offered as options
    and choices (just as with consumer goods).

Making it work
Without covering the basics, there is no hope of
achieving the higher aims. Currently, GO Local is
losing a large chunk of its readership before
they get a chance to engage with the content.
Leading Change, Mentoring
Inspiring Development
Outspoken, Independent
Campaigning Leading
Interesting, Engaging,
Readable Relevant
Connecting, Real
Independent Honest, Genuine
Name, Logo, Masthead
Delivery Availability
Print Run Hygiene Factors
Next Steps
  • GO Local faces some tough choices but equally
    exciting possibilities. Based on this research,
    we would suggest that there are two stages to
  • Now
  • Brand Strength
  • Specify Local
  • Look Mainstream
  • Impact/Punch/Hooks
  • Champion causes
  • Build in interaction (measure/record)
  • Increase frequency
  • Future
  • Expand
  • Enable
  • Involve
  • Solid/Robust
  • Network/Piggyback
  • Build alliances
  • Connect People
  • Next
  • Be consistent
  • Analyse feedback and respond
  • Shout success
  • Build Stickiness
  • Network/Piggyback
  • Build alliances
  • Connect People
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