The Changing Landscape of Local Council News

Local council communications is experiencing massive change

Local councils have experienced mass change with COVID-19 accelerating the trend of news moving from print to digital communications. A catalyst of this being News Corp’s review of its partnerships with many local governments, resulting in them terminating the majority of local community publications.

Since March “nearly 200 regional and local newspapers have reduced their services” with many now fearing a loss of community and accountability (source: ABC News). Print media is continuing to prove its existence in a digital world as communities call out the vital need for regional newspapers.

Print news STILL matters.

Local councils still have a need to communicate with their local communities. GDR is ready to bridge the gap and ensure communities are not left in the dark with vital information. We can ensure you can still directly connect with every resident within your LGA.

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much”
– Helen Keller (American author, political activist & lecturer)

 

GDR Group can help

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Many Councils Are Switching To E-Communications

As part of the digital transformation that’s already in motion because of the global pandemic, local councils are switching to digital communications to ensure their voices are still heard. However, what about the 10% of Australians without access to the internet? Or those with poor internet quality and people who don’t regularly visit their local council website? How are they keeping updated with what’s going on in their local area?

You may be looking at digital channels as a quick and easy way to send bulletins in one click but studies show that only 25% of emails are opened compared to 80% of direct mail (source: Forbes). This proves that news that comes straight to your door is engaged with more than the numerous emails you may receive throughout the day.

80% of printed material is opened vs. 25% of emails

Are residents missing out on vital information about where they live?

As well as the fact that letterbox drops are still an important piece in the marketing puzzle, research reveals that readers are 70% more likely to recall information presented on a printed document, rather than in the digital sphere (source: Forbes).

70% MORE LIKELY TO RECALL AN ADVERTISEMENT THEY SEE VIA DIRECT MAIL

The need for print communications is still vital to accompany digital messaging to ensure your message is seen by everyone.

Are you ready to utilise targeted letterbox distribution to reach your local community?

We’ve guided you through the facts and shown you the effectiveness of printed newsletters for councils alongside digital communications to capture and sustain the attention of residents.
Still uncertain? Give us a call today! 😉

At GDR Group we specialise in print and distribution with 40+ years of experience! We can create a cost-effective, targeted campaign which is printed and delivered directly to the doorsteps of your community. Here’s the pathway to make your next print campaign memorable.

 

Why Print Still Matters

Print should not be overlooked as an effective vessel to carry council communications.

82% of consumers trust newspapers and magazines as their advertising channel when making a purchasing decision (source: marketingsherpa). With regional newspapers often used as a tool to promote local businesses the impact of cutting local news may be greater than you think! Digital may dominate but print will still influence your audience the most.

82% of consumers trust print adverts over digital

Residents have also been coming forward to express their concerns.

“Locals are worried about the loss of local scrutiny and community” (source: ABC News)

 

Described as ‘watchdogs for their communities’ local newspapers are able to get the word out their quick. Denise and Bruce Morcombe, said in a recent ABC News article, that they feel forever indebted to their local paper, the Sunshine Coast Daily. Their son Daniel disappeared on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 2003 and their local paper played a vital part in keeping his disappearance in the public eye.

Trust is built between a community and its council through regular and accessible messaging. This creates a sense of transparency and credibility as to what is going on in their local area. Besides current headlines, local council news is a way to bring residents together. It’s probably now more important than ever as we try to feel more connected apart!

Here are some important things to consider when creating newsletters.

 

What Councils Should Strive For

Ensure your message is one that promotes community engagement and involvement. While the fundamental purpose is topical information, a council that creates showcases community activity in a positive, fun, and engaging way will effectively drive local cultural growth.

Important things to consider:

– Engaging images of people, buildings, parks (what makes your local area recognisable)

– Represent your community (your audience should see themselves in your content)

– Eye-catching material (guide your reader through your publication)

 

At GDR Group, we are experts in creating content that showcases your message and story in an engaging way. Email us today to find out more 😉

 

One Part Of A “Whole” Message

Remember, it is important to use a variety of methods to reach your community. Do NOT rely on one channel to engage with your residents. E-newsletters or digital articles may limit your audience to the tech-savvy. Demographics such as the elderly could be left in the dark. Sharing your message through a range of channels allows all demographics to receive their local council news.

Be SEEN and HEARD. Multi-channel communication is an essential strategy to ensure your story is read. Use e-news, social media, and print in combination with each other to ensure your whole community is in the know.

Do not be afraid to use many touchpoints to share your message.

72% of consumers say they would rather connect with brands and businesses through an integrated marketing approach (Source: Digital Marketing Institute)

72% of consumers want to connect with brands across channels

GDR Group is ready to eliminate the gap in your communications strategy and ensure your story is spread to ALL residents.

 

Why Choose GDR Group?

As a one-stop media house, GDR provides local councils with the necessary resources to service ALL of your media requirements. This will reduce the time, cost and uncertainty of using many different agencies.

✨ GDR is here to guide you with ✨

Ask us how we can help TODAY with your local council news.

Call us on 1800 657 797

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