Imprimerie de l’Avesnois/Digitaprint printshop located in northern France, has inaugurated a digital workflow that is the forst of its kind to Europe. Multiple weekly newspapers have been in digital print production as of January 2016. manroland web systems’ FoldLine is responsible for inline finishing. The investment is pursuing a major goal: a gradual transition to personalized newspaper printing.
“What is so great and unique about it is that the newspaper now addresses readers individually in their everyday reality and covers their personal reading interests!” says Jean-Pierre de Kerraoul, President of the Sogemedia Group, in early December 2015, obviously impressed by the new digital printing line at the Sogemedia subsidiary Imprimerie de l’Avesnois in Avesnes-sur-Helpe, France. The workflow with the Kodak Prosper 6000C and the FoldLine from manroland web systems will produce 265,000 newspapers a week, divided into 18 weekly titles with print runs between 3,000 to 40,000 copies. Sogemedia is confident in its vision of offering hyper-local editorial contents and advertising tailored to its target groups. Managing director Gilles Mevel is no exception: “Sure, being a pioneer in digital newspaper printing that produces its entire print run digitally also involves a bit of adventure. But we will prove that digital print opens up promising publishing and commercial outlooks on the shrinking print media market.” In total, six million euros were invested for what could be called a minor publishing revolution. In addition to the Sogemedia publishing group, three project partners (La Semaine de L’Allier, Liberté Hebdo, and Le Journal de la Haute-Marne) are already using the new printing line to produce their editions.
The key to success: workflow integration
In the production process, the FoldLine from manroland web systems is re-sponsible for inline finishing, while the “WorkflowBridge” software with an inte-grated RIMA stacker undertakes workflow integration. Alwin Stadler, Vice Pres-ident Digital Printing at manroland web systems, knows just how significant the project is: “We have a courageous, future-oriented customer that has developed a creative business model for the digital printing line. Printshop L‘Avesnois selected us as their finishing and workflow partner which underscores our expertise in digital printing.” Stadler explains: “In the project, 90% of the weekly newspapers have print runs between 5,000 and 12,000 copies. These quantities and the high degree of job changeovers, together with the variable data used per newspaper, are ideal production requirements for the workflow applied here.”
Favorite newspaper, favorite advertisement
“From a technical perspective, it is possible to print a custom copy for every user.” states Oriane de Kerraoul, responsible for communications at Sogemedia, looking toward the future. Local and regional information form a common editorial basis for the different editions of the same newspaper. But with changeable content, this basis can be tailored to readers’ environments and their thematic preferences, such as sports, gastronomy, and leisure. This allows readers to play a part in personalizing their informational content, just like they do online. The advertising model for local weekly newspapers will also change with digital production, above all because the areas of distribution (desktop publishing) overlap much better with advertising customers’ trading areas. As a result, small businesses and dealers can advertise at a lower cost. At the same time, the newspaper can anticipate a significant increase in advertising customers. Digital printing enables larger advertisers to adapt the content of their message at no further cost. This opens up new options for addressing target groups individually and effectively.
Close to the reader
From an editorial and marketing point of view, Sogemedia is forging new paths and using digital media to incorporate customers into newspaper development based on variable data. The website “Mon Blog” (My Blog) went live for the digital start of production. The new online platform promotes exchange between editorial staff and readers and is built on three pillars.
- A blog where readers can track the creation and completion of the first person-alized newspapers.
- A forum of ideas where readers can share their thoughts, topic suggestions, and ideas.
- A space that invites readers to test “Mon journal” (“My Newspaper”).