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Hyper-localised communications service


 Multi-media platform of aggregated technologies configured for use in hyper-local environment

Commercialising information through a number of communications channels in a hyper local environment

  This franchise may then be rolled out in other places depending on: environmental considerations, technologies available, existing media platforms in the locality etc.

  Each media platform will interact and work with each other, feeding into, and from each other, developing an overarching, pervasive, localised communication service.

1                    Market:

  •   The town has grown considerably in recent years with a number of residential housing developments having been completed recently greatly increasing the towns population in recent years.  There is no dedicated radio station or local newspaper for this population group.  Tramore has no communications/information centre or focal point.  Tramore as a town needs a communications platform (This was pointed out repeatedly at the recent meeting of Tramore Development Trust, which is winding up, with a successor body being developed and organised). 
  •   The wealth of interest, experience and enthusiasm in Tramore is waiting to be tapped.

Newspaper: Tramore and its environs for radio and newspaper is the immediate market.  These distinct markets can be explored to assess the likely revenue potential from a new newspaper and local radio station in Tramore.  The town has a population of about 9, 000 and up to perhaps 11, 000 if we include the surrounding townlands.  Having already ran a local news-sheet in Tramore the proposer has first-hand knowledge of the likelihood of print take-up.  With a concentrated population, it is relatively easy to reach all potential purchasers.  With a newspaper the positioning of the actual papers in a number of retail outlets in the town and some shops in the surrounding areas, every person in the town could get their hands on a copy juts about anytime.

Radio: There is then the possibility of spreading the revenue through radio advertising.  Commercial entities in Tramore at present have no outlet to advertise locally, so as such this project would be moving into an empty space so to speak.

Online: The proposer has been working on the MEOnline project for the past year and a half and has been working on developing innovative revenue models.  These are ongoing and offer the opportunity to evaluate revenue streams from subscription models, premium content fees, etc.  Also online advertising may be explored in furtherance of work already carried out by the proposer.  Podcasts of all radio broadcasts would be available as well as other dialogue that does not make it to the airwaves.  Follow-up, contextualising features, background information etc. may all be employed online to complement pre-broadcasted material, prime potential future subjects, allow for topics to come direct from the public etc.  

 

2                    Competitors:

Symbol”>·         Key direct and indirect competitors: There are two regional weekly newspapers, the Munster Express and the Waterford News and Star.  A MOU with ME may be established which would offer the news from the Munster Express for use by the proposer.  This would give traction in the news market, deal with a major potential competitor and offer avenues for the development of the overall project.  The proposer has worked on the Munster Express’ website development through the research and innovation centre in the local college WIT. 

Symbol”>·         Knowledge about competitors: The proposer has worked personally with the Munster Express owner on the development of the Munster Express website over the past year and a half.

WLR fm is the local radio station serving the South-East.  The radio component of this proposal envisages a Community Broadcasting licence being awarded to Tramore.  This would be for the town of Tramore and the hinterland only.  It has to have a not-for-profit status and broad community representation.  This is being put together as we speak, with experienced radio broadcasters and technicians being approached.   

Symbol”>·         Product differentiation: This service seeks to maximise the revenue from local communications channels by maximising the potential for many media platforms working together, generating economies of scale and increasing the overall communication revenue available in a local area.  So co-operation and co-ordination of media outlets, publication times and cycles, cross-media advertising and promotion etc. can all serve to increase revenues to each media outlet and generate enough to also fund the rolling out of the overall localised public good of communications. 

On a broader scale competitors may include the NYT and Google/Grameen.  Rather than view them as competitors, they may be viewed as corroboration of the viability of the overall idea, form the NYT with its ‘Local’ hyper-local news websites to multi-media platforms for the delivery of information and communications in low-resource environments such as remote areas in developing nations.

 

3                    Uniqueness:

  •  
  •   It is generically developable, globally replicable and scaleable (Also academically provable through GPG theory)
  •   The breadth, scale, timing and sequencing of publication across a broad range of media types is unique to Ireland and beyond, employing online, print and radio channels interactively and in a co-ordinated manner. 

The competitors outlined above each have their market segments.  They do not as a rule cross-over into other media types other than to slightly enhance their product, putting basic information online from radio for example, and developing website for the local press.  This is one project that the proposer has been working on which has shown great potential, and with a strategic partnership this part of this proposal alone could be developed to the commercial level.

  •   There is very little opportunities for businesspeople in Tramore to advertise to the people of Tramore directly , without it being lost in other advertisements regionally, or prohibitively expensive for smaller commercial operations.  This proposal tackles this problem head on, offering potential advertisers the opportunity to advertise to their target market and at a price and through a medium of their choosing.  This targeted market is at present not served by the media in any meaningful way and certainly the commercial viability on the local level has not been explored. 
  •   At € 300 per page of advertising, we will be aiming for half the paper to be ads, with 6v pages aimed for at the outset.  This would generate € 1, 800 per week in advertising, with no cover charge and result in an annual income from the newspaper of € 93, 600.

  

4                    Route to market:

Symbol”>·         Bringing the product/service to the marketplace: Primarily we must set about establishing a newspaper.  This will require some market research (Tramore Advertiser), assessing the level of advertising revenue available in Tramore and its environs.  Publication of a 12 page newspaper weekly, with half ads at € 300 per page.  This will be distributed in a number of retail outlets in the town, from newsagents and shops, to garages and supermarkets.  The proposer has engaged in this activity in Tramore before and found that retailers are happy to stock the publication for free, as long as there is no cover charge for the paper.

 

A dedicated website for this project will be developed in tandem with the newspaper and the radio licence application process

 

Then we must acquire a Community Broadcasting licence from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.  This can be done through the establishment of a not-for-profit entity to run the radio station.  A newspaper can then be published with advertising, coupled with a dedicated website and complementary online and offline income generating activities, services.  New multi-media revenue stream shall be explored, including but not limited to texting services, online/offline advertising and combinations of them, cover price of newspaper etc.

 

The newspaper and radio will provide the core revenue generating activities through local advertising.  Once the licence has been obtained then advertising can be done on the radio from the time of the first broadcast.

The newspaper can be sold through a number of local media outlets.  The proposer has experience of dealing with local shops etc. in this regard and found everyone willing to accept copies for distribution through their outlets.  It is seen as a complement to their activities and a means of attracting extra customers. 

Online revenue may then be developed through a number of channels, with overseas subscribers offering the best potential for revenue generation online, as well as very specifically targeted advertising packages, employing cross-media promotion techniques.

The initial promotion may involve a flier so that every household in Tramore is made aware of the radio station and newspaper.

  •   For the radio licence there must be a series of public meetings.  This process has already begun and will continue.  The newspaper can be published when enough advertising has been acquired by advertisers in the town and its environs
  •   Previously the proposer published a monthly local magazine which was also free and we distributed about 3, 000 copies a month.  We are being realistic and aiming for close to this for a break-even point, with the possibility of further increasing figures for distribution.  Ideally  these figures will be verified by ABC, facilitating structured  advertising rates based on these ABC figures.
  •   the proposer is in contact with the local LEADER programme and also is on the local town development committee, dealing with communications matters.  As the newspaper would be not-for-profit, it is hoped that a strong community ethos and buy-in can be established.

  AMARC has also been approached as suggest on the CRAOL site.

  It is hoped that a deal can be struck with the Munster Express for a partnership of some description, where information can come from the Munster in return for perhaps stake in the over entity to the Munster Express.

 

5                    Team: Garrett Wyse: Wrote for, edited and published a local monthly magazine in Tramore for a year, has a degree in politics and economics and national certificate in law with a national diploma in business.  Garrett has worked in the public and private sectors, and has worked abroad in developing counties on and off for a number of years.  For the past year and a half he has been working in TSSG on the MEOnline project, where much of what was learned can be directly applied for this project.  Funding restriction means that Garrett shall have the requisite time required to undertake such a project as that outlined here

Mark Graham was a DJ in WLR fm, and completed a masters degree in multi-media technologies in Trinity College Dublin

Brian Mc Cartan is a qualified graphic designed with experience working for regional newspapers across Ireland in the past few years.

The team may also include Munster Express as the media partners, who would provide the information they have about Tramore on a weekly basis.  This may involve ceding part ownership to the Munster Express in return for access to news items from the Munster Express.

TSSG/WIT/SEEPP may act as research and academic partners, as well as helping through mentoring etc. from SEEPP.  There is extensive technological work to be done converging the various technologies involved and indeed this is crucial to the overall project.  The scalability and replicability will depend to a large extent on this level of interactivity, convergence, synchronicity etc. across the entire media platform.

WLR-May be interested as potential partners, knowing that any radio station in Tramore with only a community Broadcasting licence will not be a threat to WLR, but rather may be viewed as an add-on to their service

Tramore Development Trust: Although this community based organisation is in the process of being wound down, they have initiated proceedings with a view to finding a successor movement to replace it.  They have held a public meeting with this in mind and Garrett Wyse is on the interim committee with a view to formulating a more permanent structure.  Garrett will hold the communication portfolio in this new entity and as such will have connections to all the others involved as the TDT successor takes shape.  It would be seen that a committee would be drawn up from local interested people who may then act as the board of the radio station.  This is required under the Community Broadcasting legislation.  

 

6          Financials: In-kind: Lima shop, Marks studio, advertising on the radio, advertising in the paper and cover price of the paper

 

The target is by the end of year one to be able to pay three people, one each for radio, newspaper and online.

Also to be able to pay for some of the following, with a view to paying for all work and retaining a surplus to ensure sustainability of the overall project and the ever better delivery of information and communication in Tramore and its environs.

  •  

    Radio station: A weekly broadcast for 8 hours to begin with, with 3 minutes of advertisements every fifteen minutes.  At € 50 a minute this would bring in € 600 an hour.  With 8 hours of broadcasting a week, this would bring in € 4, 800 a week

     

    Newspaper: Weekly publication, starting with 12 pages, aiming for half to be filled with advertisements.  At € 300 per page, then € 1, 800 per week.  This is to cover wages, costs, administration, promotion, production, expenses etc.

     

    Financial projections:

     

    Revenue Yr 1

    Costs Yr 1

    Balance Yr 1

    Revenue Yr 2

    Costs Yr 2

    Balance Yr 2

    Revenue Yr 3

    Costs Yr 3

    Balance Yr 3

    Radio

    €0

    € 100, 000

    (€ 100, 000)

    € 50, 000

    € 50, 000

    (€ 100, 000)

    € 249, 600

    € 75, 000

    € 74, 600

    Newspaper

    € 26, 000

    € 52, 000

    (€ 26, 000)

    € 60, 000

    € 60, 000

    (€ 26, 000)

     € 93, 600

    € 60, 000

    € 7, 600

    Website

    €0

    € 25, 000

    (€ 25, 000)

    € 10, 000

    € 5, 000

    (€ 20, 000)

    € 10, 000

    € 5, 000

    (€ 15, 000)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    € 67, 200

     

     

    These figures are projected and open to amendment and refinement.  It is not anticipated that these revenue levels will be reached in the short-term, but are rather projections of potential revenue levels if and when the two complementary entities are up and running on a regular basis.

     

    My position is one of co-ordinator of the LGP of communications in Tramore and developing this role, developing the model that surrounds it is the task at hand.  Rolling out this pilot in Tramore and assessing its viability in other environs is the next step.

    Clearly articulating, explaining and putting down in print the process involved, the stakeholders to be consulted, the prospective innovative partnerships which may be explored on the local (and above) level, and the potential for replication, in various environment types (Tramore to Timbuktoo literally, with EI funding application in mind) being the final step.

     

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