Populus has helped numerous publishing titles get closer to their local audiences and successfully reposition several of their priority titles.

For example in Leeds, we discovered that locals felt great pride in their city and would respond well to a title that reflects this with positive news stories that celebrate all the city has to offer. This insight has helped with the new positioning of The Yorkshire Evening Post.

We delivered a significant project to reposition and relaunch Scottish national newspaper The Scotsman as a more accurate reflection of the new dynamism of Scotland’s current political and social scene, in the face of rising digital demand.

You can watch the advert for The Scotsman on YouTube to see how our research has helped to inform the title’s rebrand:

Johnston Press – one of the UK’s leading local and regional media organisations – wanted to identify ways to manage the decline in print readership and deliver a compelling digital approach.

Ultimately, the challenge was to understand how to best reach readers of local news on all platforms. To understand what people want from local news and to highlight the nuances that exist between readers of different publications, as well as differences in lifestyles and aspirations that exist in various areas of the country.

What we did

Our team used a bespoke mix of qualitative research techniques including online communities and depth interviews, to understand attitudes towards Johnston Press’ publications at various locations across the UK. We’ve immersed ourselves in the different locations, from Portsmouth to Dundee and Belfast to Leeds speaking to readers, lapsed readers and non-readers.

Online, we’ve engaged participants by encouraging them to perform interactive tasks such as creative concept design and testing new visual identities and layouts.

What happened next

Through our research, Johnston Press has been able to get closer to their local audiences and discover Critical Knowledge that has allowed their in-house marketing and brand teams to successfully reposition several of their priority titles.