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Editor's view : Can the Sundays stop the new Sun grabbing back those NotW sales?


By Noel Young, Correspondent

February 17, 2012 | 3 min read

Noel Young was editor of the Sunday Mail in Scotland when its sale peaked at over 900,000

It really was a gift from the Gods. The News of the World off the streets - and all those 2,500, 000 buyers rushing to buy the remaining titles. In truth many of the sales simply vanished.

The Sunday Mirror did well to pickup some 700,000 copies. Almost everybody else benefited to a lesser degree (other than the journalists who lost their jobs). But much of the sale went down the drain.

In Sunday paper newsrooms around the country today the questions will be: What can we expect from the new News of the Screws? And what can we do about it? Can the new paper get those readers back and will we feel the pain?

The first thing to say is that the new paper will have an enormous sale on Day One, despite all the adverse publicity that has been raining down on News International (or maybe because of it!).

It's called a "curiosity buy". The punters are extremely nosey. The best the other proprietors can hope for is that Sunday paper enthusiasts pick up the new paper as well as their regular buy.

If the new paper turns out to be more interesting, watch out the following week!

News International is known for its sharp pricing. Just ask the Daily Record in Glasgow. I would not be surprised if the Sun on Sunday sold for £1. Other papers will no doubt be planning a counter-attack on pricing . But it will be costly.

Particularly challenged will be the the Sunday Mail and Sunday Post in Scotland, with News International churning out the new paper on their doorstep.

The new Sunday Sun's exclusives will not have the benefit of information gleaned from phone tapping (that's long in the past). But it may well be able to lure back the crusading Fake Sheikh - and it will have pots of money to spend on BIG stories.

It is important for the rivals to have great features and great series lined up to hook the readers over the launch period of the new paper. I have had much success in the past with personality book serials in the Sunday Mail. Time to look at that again?

Also promotions that run on, linking from week to week , once again hooking the readers.

Above all, involve your existing loyal readers in your pages, starting right now. It's YOUR paper, remind them again and again.

Why on earth would you want to go anywhere else?

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