The readers view

Date of publication: November 1, 1995


Optimizing the layout of front pages becomes more and more important for daily newsstand papers in order to catch the buyers attention. Therefore a technique had to be developed, whose intended aim was to work out indications of the readers acceptance of such a change, which later on could be used to stabilize resp. increase the papers newsstand sales, but also would take the subscribers needs - in the sense of likes and dislikes - into consideration. Using a mix of group discussions and quantitative C.A.P.I.-interviews, respondents of the three major target groups of buyers, subscribers and non-readers were asked to either actually create their own individual front page or, to choose and rate their favorites out of a wide selection of different dummy front pages. Parallel to this survey a recognition test - like a tachistoscope - with the different front pages was realized. Here the aim was to check whether or not each layout is still associated by the reader with the newspaper itself. With the help of a final multivariate analysis the importance of every single layout- and content-related element can be worked out and thus enable - in the sense of a conjoint- analysis - the optimization of front pages. One major difficulty for the following contribution is of course, to bring to life the vividness and fascination of the new technologies to be described. A real presentation that will get most of the audience impressed, probably seems somewhat dull written on paper, a medium some 500 years old. Therefore a CD-ROM multimedia presentation including all tested images can be obtained after the seminar in Vienna through the author.

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