If the launch edition sales are a predictor, Independent Newspapers in KwaZulu-Natal’s newest title is going places – fast. Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo, the Saturday version of the successful Zulu paper, sold 56 166 copies of its debut edition.
“Starting with a blank canvas has been exciting. We have received incredible feedback from our readers who have communicated with us through letters and Facebook. One of the letters came through before we even published! Readers love our advice columns on labour, personal finance, travel and sex, which are some of the distinguishing features when compared to our daily and Sunday sister papers,” says Isolezwe weekend editor, Slindile Khanyile,
“They also love the fact that we publish their functions on the social pages and they enjoy the light read which is big on entertainment, lifestyle features and sports. Readers have also commented on the bright layout. It seems we are on the right track and we now need to consistently deliver what they expect,” says Khanyile
Isolezwe editor, Mazwi Xaba, says a great editorial team helped boost the paper. “Our first edition also had a good ‘pinch-factor,’ with advertising pushing us up to a 40-pager,” he says.
“But we had to wait until Saturday [August 27] to find out how many people would actually reach into their pockets and buy the new title,” says Xaba. “When we heard that our first issue sold a staggering 56 166 copies, it was more gratifying than surprising. In its first weekend, Isolezwe ngeSonto sold 44 000 copies and three-and-a-half years later it’s into the 80 000s so we’re expecting great things from this title.”
With Isolezwe nearing its tenth year in the market, Independent Newspapers KZN has built up invaluable experience in publishing and distribution and knows how to engage with the modern Zulu consumer on a marketing platform.
“We will be expanding and refining our footprint over the next few weeks,” says Independent KZN’s circulation and marketing director, Lorne Maclaine. “We have started off in 2 000 outlets but will increase this as we adapt our publishing to sales.”