How tabloid power creates NIW noise

On June lst more than six million readers of the Daily Mirror and the Daily Record (Scotland) will see a feature containing money-off coupons on 12 of the biggest brands in the UK food and drinks marketplace.

The coupons, ranging from 10p off to pound;1 off, in total add up to a goodwill sum of pound;4.25 in savings off brands which are top sellers in impulse, grocery, frozen and take home.

There are 60,000 independent c-stores, newsagents, rural shops and similar outlets where these coupons can be redeemed – a massive audience for the suppliers supporting the feature and for the wholesalers supplying the stores.


This is the only generic money-off promotion supporting independent stores at a moment in time when these retailers need all the help they can get in a highly competitive marketplace.

In addition to the coupons, the feature will carry related editorial coverage of independent retailers who are supporting their local communities with a range of activities.

But the tabloid feature is not acting in isolation.

On Monday, June 4, three days after they are published, the first ever National Independents’ Week (NIW) opens – a week that is designed as a platform on which retailers can celebrate their involvement in their local communities.

The timing of the publication of the coupons is designed to alert the shopper to NIW and provide him or her with one or more reasons to visit the local independent store.

Thousands of newsagents will be ordering their copies of the Daily Mirror and Daily Record from their news wholesalers and will, at the same time, be alerted to the offers and reminded yet again that NIW is their opportunity to promote their store to the local community.

Providing that George W Bush does not invade Iran or a similar massive news story does not break on June 4, the regional and local press, TV and radio media campaign will begin to impact on shoppers to suggest, or motivate in one way or another, that a visit to her local independent store is helping the local economy.

In the shopping jungle ruled by some very big beasts, the voice of the smaller interests can still be heard through the accumulation of noise generated by the MSYS campaign.


While stocks last, those independent retailers who telephone the MSYS Helpline can order the special MSYS in-store theatre kits of T-shirts, caps, posters, shelf talkers, stickers and badges.

The bold yellow T-shirts have become iconic – the brands supporting the Mirror/Record promotion appear on the back of the garment.

By wearing the T-shirts, the independent retailer says to his local community “My shop is your shop. I’m local and proud of it”, which is a message that cannot be copied by any multiple convenience store.



Activity for NIW, which breaks on June 4, is in the final stages of planning by the FWD PR Action Group (PRAG) consisting of suppliers, wholesalers and retailers.

First a sustained public relations programme using local and regional press, radio and TV is being planned. This will alert the shopper to NIW. Millions of “consumer hits” have been achieved through the media by the campaign since launch in 2004.

Under this PR “umbrella” independent retailers can put on displays in their stores, create or join in local activities, offer price promotions, put on wine tastings and so on. In-store theatre kits of T-shirts, caps, balloons and stickers will be available to those retailers who apply for them – and to wholesalers who wish to purchase bulk orders.


=== street parties can celebrate community ===

Street parties are part of the heritage of community – they are a public demonstration of a neighbourhood at ease with itself.

Held in the open, the street party is a platform for celebrating community at a time when many people think that this aspect of everyday life is not part of 21st century human relationships.

The local independent c-store, newsagent and rural shop is – on the contrary – one of the cornerstones of community and many retailers know that most of their customers place a high value on the amenity.

The My Shop Is Your Shop campaign is suggesting that where a retailer has the right location a street party could be a useful activity during National Independents’ Week (week commencing June 4th) as part of the on-going promotion of their business.

It won’t work for everybody, but the level of interest we have already received from retailers is a good indication that the idea has support.

1. General Theme:

Announce the event in this way: We are a family business and we’re having a street party for families to celebrate National Independents’ Week.

Special Individual Themes

Where independents retailers have a special reason for a street party this should be used.

For instance, if you have been in business for 25 years, re-opening after a refit, saying thank you to customers after your first five years in business and so on.

2. Definition of “Family”:

Grandparents, parents and children. Do not invite children to the event without responsible adults accompanying and supervising them.

Do not invite old folk who need supervision without accompanying responsible adults.

3. Location:

Key to success is safety and organisation – off main road location, preferably traffic free.

4. Numbers:

l Thirty up to a maximum of fifty local people should be invited

l This would require a recommended ratio of say five people to one host

l Hosts would comprise:

? Shop owner/owner’s family

? Shop staff

? Wholesaler staff volunteers if so arranged

5. Duration:

l Three hours maximum

6. Hardware:

l Trestle tables, chairs (loan from community centre/village hall/school?)

l Barbeque

l Sound system/music and PA

l Bunting

7. Software:

l Announcement posters

l Invitations – numbered for prize draw on the day

l MSYS T-shirts for owner/staff

l Press release for local press, radio, TV

l Bunting

8. Party Support:

l Gift products from supportive wholesalers and suppliers

l Sponsored table magician/MC

l Music

l Prizes for draws, raffles

l Raffle/auction – money to local charity

l Goodie bags

l Local personality (local TV celebrity)

l Invite MP, local political leaders, councillors/mayor etc

l Photography/video

9. Actions:

l Staff meeting to plan event

l Decide on date during NIW w/c 4th June

l Notify police

l Check insurance cover

l Notify local council

l Weather forecasts – note

l Agree menu/food/beverage

l Inform wholesaler

l Inform suppliers’ representatives

l Notify/invite local media, press, TV, radio, well in advance with time and date of function.


=== The products featured in the Mirror/Record promotion are: ===

? 30p off Pedigree Denta Stix, Pedigree Rodeo or Pedigree Jumbone (any size)

? 30p off any 6 x 440ml or 4 x 440ml Guinness Draught consumer packs

? 30p off all varieties 500ml Ribena PETs

? 25p off Branston Original Pickle 360g

? 10p off Bulmers Original

? 10p off Foster’s Twist

? 30p off Persil 1kg

? 20p off Pot Noodle

? pound;1 off Birds Eye Quarter Pounders

? 20p off Nobby’s Nuts, Nobby’s Nuts Salty Nuts, Nobby’s Nuts Dry Roasted, Nobby’s Nuts Sweet Chilli, Nobby’s Nuts Tangy BBQ.

? 30p off Sensations 99p price-marked pack, Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli pmp 99p, Oven Roast Chicken Thyme pmp 99p, Cheddar Onion pmp 99p

? pound;1 off Rosemount Diamond Label Chardonnay/Shiraz Rosemount Diamond Cellars Semillon Chardonnay/Shiraz Cabernet

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