Last week, when news of our launch was leaked (this project has been dubbed the worst kept secret on Fleet Street), I read with great interest The Drum news editor Seb Joseph’s piece on what advertisers needed to know about our new brand, given that they hadn’t yet seen it. I was also surprised to see that he got a lot right.
It’s brilliant now that the cat is out of the bag officially that I can correct and confirm some of the points made.
So starting from the top, with my brand police hat on, our new paper is called The New Day, not New Day. Twitterati please note.
It won’t be cut-price. Yes there will be an introductory two week price of 25p, but this is a strongly curated product produced on better quality thicker whiter paper, and is designed to have a more aspirational and inspirational feel to it.
It is launching on 29 February, so only a week from the official announcement yesterday, and we are grateful in advance to those agencies and clients that will support us from our first issues (there will be huge, huge print runs, so in terms of bang for your buck a great time to be advertising).
We do believe that some of the decline in print is due to lack of choice, rather than readers simply having fallen out of love with print as a format. We have developed this product following our work on ‘Modal Britain’ last year – a new understanding of the modern mass market, which identified clear consumer needs that we believe we can serve with a new title.
Our main points of difference will be:
1. Keep it open
We won’t have our own agenda or political bias, but instead will represent lots of different views and opinions – a reflection of the type of discussions you are likely to have with a group of friends.
2. Be glass half full
Yes, of course bad news happens and we will cover that well, but we will capture the overall mood of our readers – life is pretty good and actually the country isn’t going down the pan, so we’ll package the day in a spirit of positivity.
3. Make it easy
We’re all feeling busier than ever, and so this title will make it easy to get to the heart of the important things you need to know – breakouts, bite-sized explainers, a bigger font, only 40 pages and different flatplan so you can get through the whole thing without having to clear your diary for the morning.
Unlike other newspapers, we have a fixed flatplan, with fixed ad slots. There are two full pages, two half pages and four 25x4s. This is because the paper is designed to meet consumer needs which don’t change based on ad demand for a particular day. It does have a fixed market rate at around £13.60 per single column centimeter.
The Price and distribution
The first issue on 29 February will have two million free copies available through all good retailers. We’re aiming for a settle-down circulation figure of around 200,000 copies.
There will be no website for this title. The product has been developed to fulfil unsatisfied consumer needs in print – and to be a companion to digital news consumption where consumers are superserved. We will use Facebook as a way to bring our readers into the newsroom and join the debate.
At Trinity Mirror we're absolutely focussed on digital transformation – but that doesn't mean we can't innovate in print too. We believe that as an industry we are suffering from 'printism' – prejudice against print as a format that is not justified, and hopefully we can reopen the great print debate with this launch.
So, turns out Seb has some good sources – I’m off to try and find them and wave their signed NDA under their noses!
Zoe Harris is publishing director of The New Day and marketing director at Trinity Mirror