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A Queenstown publication that has made “significant” inroads into the resort town’s media market has expanded its operation to Dunedin.
The Lakes Weekly Bulletin (LWB), owned and published by Global Publications, has launched ‘Onit’, a weekly magazine for Dunedin’s student and local community.
Long-running publication the LWB has just hit its 400th edition, during which time it has grown from the four-pager that rolled off the printer in 2005 to 44 pages today.
Onit was launched in Dunedin just three months ago and already has been well-received by the local community, due to its simplicity, the demand for straightforward and informative private ads, and the ‘entertainment element’ of funny listings, local profiles and photos, discounted hospitality listings and the ever popular ‘Whinge of the Week’.
Global Publications’ director Andy Brinsley said the new publication had stuck to the ‘tried and tested’ formula of the LWB with some new features that had emanated from feedback and buy-in from the Dunedin community.
“Just like the LWB, Onit’s unpretentious, entertaining and does what it sets out to do – advertises what or who’s hot, what’s for sale, and what’s bugging people. It’s compulsive ’coffee break’ reading,” he said.
“Essentially Onit is the same as the LWB with an online version and an A4, black and white print version with free private ads (classifieds) for the public and affordable pricing for local business advertising.
“The LWB has shown itself to be recession-proof simply because it is a straightforward and affordable product that can deal with change easily.”
Mr Brinsley said the LWB printed 4500 copies with multiple readership thanks to a unique business drop-off service and the availability of free copies at key distribution points, a process which is being mimicked for Onit.
A recent online survey highlighted the success of the formula.
“We put out a 25-question survey about the LWB and were absolutely astounded to have more than 800 registered readers respond. That’s a huge result that really demonstrates the level of community support and connectivity. It more than highlighted for us that not only visitors and short term working holiday makers read it, but local long-term residents as well.
Mr Brinsley said the survey results boded well for Onit.
“We can see that Onit will build a bridge between the student community and local residents. We want the community to feel they have ownership of it, such as we’ve seen in Queenstown with the LWB.”
Mr Brinsley said developing relationships with entrepreneurial students, including those who had developed successful companies such as Meatmail and Dreambands, had been fun as well.
“We’ve got great relationships already from these ‘mavens’ who are trendsetters and leaders of social communities, so the whole operation has been an ‘eye-opener’ for myself and co-directors Fergus Spary and Scott Stevens,” he said.
Mr Brinsley said Onit ‘filled the gap’ between regional newspapers and the Otago University Student Association campus publication Critic.
“We can only see a bright future for Onit as we continue to expand and clearly buck the global trend toward print media.”