Over the three days of Idea Shop we spoke to countless small businesses, charities and social enterprises with teeny marketing budgets and a need to reach more people. Where they had interesting stores or an area of expertise that could turn into an agony column in the local press we recommended they get in touch with Lambeth Life, and other local papers – The South London Press, The Wandesworth Guardian, The Mitcham, Morden, Wimbledon Post etc. As our PR guru Kevin say, journalists have space that needs filling with stories, to get in the paper you just need a good story.
Here’s an updated version of our original write up of our Idea Shop session with Lambeth Life. I’ve changed it a bit from the original post which said they had a ‘perception problem’. As Lambeth Life have pointed out, was a bit of an exaggeration.
Lambeth Life is a free paper, published by Lambeth Council. Their challenge is to get local people involved in producing the content of the paper, so they feel more like it’s their paper.
During our brainstorm we came up with the following editorial ideas.
Feature guest editors from the community.
A parenting column from Loughborough Children’s Centre.
Build on the successful letter page by giving the star letter a prize, donated by an advertiser.
Leave comment cards in the local cinema asking cinema goers to write mini reviews for the film they just saw. The reviews are then collected and published in the paper.
Make it easy for people to write to the paper: Get a mobile number for texting in views and photos: Use stickers in key public places to encourage people to text in views when they are out and about.
Offer key local bloggers columns.
Ask reader to pose the questions for the fortnightly councilor interview page.
Create a schools or young Lambeth page with content created by pupils from local schools.
The star letter tends to be something positive about Lambeth. Introduce a Big Moan letter to give the letters page more bite. Councilors can write in the next week to address the issue raised.