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 That didn't last very long!!!

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SamTyler

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PostSubject: That didn't last very long!!!   Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:11 pm

http://pen-y-cog.org.uk/2012/03/15/pen-y-cog-group-to-cease-17-march/

I had hoped they might keep going for a while longer!
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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:11 pm

They have actually reversed the decision as long as they get some support from the public. They are looking for authors for their newspaper and if that doesn't work then they will close but it is a shame that they can't seem to rally any volunteers to help. Let's hope this changes for them.
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pitsgate



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:33 pm

Forgive me for interfering but I do have a little experience ...
I'm sorry to see any attempt to provide Penicuik with local news, etc. fail to stay the course but unless there is a major improvement to the layout of the website customers are going to abandon it in droves (assuming you had droves to start with!).
Looking for volunteers is only part of the story. Trying to get a newspaper going from scratch, whether hard copy or on-line, is bloody hard work. Take my word for it.
It means leg work; it means telephone calls; it means digging email addresses out of club secretaries (and I never had that option it should make the job a helluva lot easier). It means having a live presence where people can get at you. To do that they have to know you exist and that means a mailshot. (6000 copies when I did it; probably about 7500 now).
It means the editor (because unless you've got money behind you you will be doing it all on your own) turning up at community council meetings, Midlothian Council meetings, public enquiries, and other public events in the town.
It used to be said of one former Councillor (no names ...) that he would turn up to the opening of an envelope. You need to be like that.
It also means being nice to the people that matter, without being obsequious. If you are honest in your reportage they will respect you (most of them, that is) and provide you with leads for more stories and/or photo opportunities.
Get the annual schedules for all the local societies at the very least you can then make sure their events are previewed and if that means they get a better turnout they will thank you for it (probably) and give you more information including, if you're lucky, regular reports.
All of these things, and others, are pretty obvious if you stop and think about it. Never assume that anyone actively wants to read your rag. If you can get 5% of Penicuik people with internet access to add you to their Bookmarks you're doing well. In fact, you might well find that you are more popular with people like me who still want to know what's going on but are 1,000 miles away. (But definitely not unless you do something about that website!)

Good luck!

Sorry, can I add a PS
You say "if they get support from the public". Do "the public" actually know "they" exist? Honestly? Truly? Who'll bet me that if you ask the question in the precinct tomorrow morning youll get blank stares from 90%+ of the people you speak to?
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SamTyler

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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:56 am

New video advert showing how bad things are in the town

http://vimeo.com/39079297
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pitsgate



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:15 pm

And?

Nice bit of video work. Where's the punch line?
Anybody thought of opening up the precinct again? Precincts are sooo 1980s! Towns that have got rid of them usually improve. Bring a few niche retailers in.
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rubbereye



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:50 pm

pitsgate wrote:
Bring a few niche retailers in.

I've been saying the same for years.

But when I think about it...... We've got two "niche retailers" at present as far as I can see. The Penicuik Wine Shop and Fishers.

I like a drink, but PWS is pricey - and to be honest there are only two things I look at on wine bottle labels - price and alcohol content.

I fish, but I don't need a new rod every week. (He told me most of his sales are via the internet.)

I don't think they can be here for the long haul.

Penicuik isn't the place we maybe want it to be. Penicuik is....... what it is.
The wine shop's predecessor's biggest seller was Buckfast.
The late Ben Ali told me that his biggest selling newspaper was the Sport.
The French bloke at le tout p'tit gets complaints about the price of his excellent, individually made cakes because Gregg's mass produced tasteless junk is cheaper. (And you can get a scone at the misnamed Peni Deli - which only came in to existence because the real deli closed through lack of interest.)

There are lots of niche retailers I'd like to see in Penicuik.
An old fashioned ironmonger like that one in Peebles.
A decent book shop.
A decent record shop.
A shoe shop.
A clothier.
A good butcher.
A fishmonger - ideally one who has heard of species other that haddock!
A shoe repairer.
A proper Peni Deli.
etc
etc
etc.

Oh, hud oan a wee meenit! We had some o' them before. I wonder what happened to them.

So how's it all going to happen again?

Anyone got any suggestions?
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musicman



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:21 pm

The bottom line is that through our love of the car, internet shopping and our desire to get everything 'under one roof' the days of town centres are gone, particularly for towns such as Penicuik. If there was enough trade in the past, why did the shops close and what would make anyone think it would be any different now. I agree that something needs done but look the length and breadth of the country, Penicuik is just one of hundreds of towns that are in the same vote!
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bumble



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:16 pm

i will hold my hand up and admit its the likes of me who has contributed to the shops closing in penicuik.

I prefer to do all my shopping in one store, if i can get every thing i need in one trolly, one card transaction im happy. nothing worse going from one shop to another carrying bags and queing and paying each time.

i also shop a lot on line.

in a supermarket i can look at the shelves without someone asking me what im looking for, if i go in to a small shop i feel guilty not buying anything. I once went in to the butcher in penicuik when it was there and asked for something or the dog and got a patronising lecture, . i didnt bother buying anything but went to tescos instead were i got what i wanted no problem.

i dont have a car and use public transport.

i dont think im alone in my views. i believe this is the way forward, sadly for the individual shops but i think the towns need to realise this and move on.
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musicman



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:02 pm

"i feel guilty not buying anything." - There is of course a shop in the High Street where the staff obviously just think you are guilty, the last time I was in 'Dim & Nikel' everywhere I went suddenly a staff member popped up and started looking at stock on the shelf next to me, looked at the DIY stuff and suddenly someone appears checking how many screws they have then I look at the kitchen stuff and suddenly they have to check the shelves there - so the next thing I looked for was the door and I've not been back in since and I know others who have had a similar experience...
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musicman



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:18 pm

We have the Town Crier and Monthly Edit, both free and have a wide spread distribution across the town. Is there really space for another 'free' title? Can't help but think that this is a project that is trying to run before it can walk, would have thought that getting the on-line version stable and used would have been a starting block with the paper coming later, on saying that I hope it all works out. Also is the lack of news on the website due to not being updated, or simply there is not enough going on.... http://www.penicuikcuckoo.co.uk/were-preparing-to-make-history-in-penicuik/
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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:11 pm

Thank You Musicman. We aim to tap into a slightly different market with producing a newspaper and this will focus mainly on local news and not community news. You will see there is a difference. I can assure you there is enough news but we have been busy producing the paper, however we are holding of on the headline until we get the results from the election.

It will be alright on the night (hopefully). Smile
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omala



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:24 am

Mr. Scott, please expand on two points;

1. What defines Community News and separates it from Local News.
2. What makes the election result the cursor for lifting the veil of secrecy.

We are pretty well served; Town Crier, Monthly Edit, Advertiser, Penicuik News and when it is relevant the Edinburgh Evening News cover sports and news items. The Advertiser carries all Council announcements including planning notices, the others service all community announcements.

The only gap in the market is rumour or gossip both of which abound in Penicuik.
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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:28 pm

omala wrote:
1. What defines Community News and separates it from Local News.
2. What makes the election result the cursor for lifting the veil of secrecy.

Good Afternoon Omala. The difference between local and community news is that local is more widespread news such as the Greenlaw Mill development or the effects of the First bus closure on Penicuik whereas community news is news from local groups such as the community development trust and Penicuik Hunter and Lass. With regards to the election, I meant that the headline for the paper itself cannot be decided upon until May the 3rd. So we are filling the paper as we speak but we are holding off to get some of the bigger stories.

However we will be the only online and in print newspaper which will focus mainly on local news not community news (the Town Crier and Monthly Edit focus on these) and other newspapers such as the Edinburgh Evening News come at a cost, however our paper will be free and delivered monthly.

I hope that has cleared up some confusion.
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LothianLass



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:17 pm

Quote :
our paper will be free and delivered monthly

So, what you're saying is that by the time I receive this publication the contents will be at least a month old.

Like your 'Community Hub' this just doesn't make sense.
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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:56 pm

The news included will be recent but will also roundup on news from earlier in the month. It is free and it is our gift to you, so we hope you enjoy it.
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LothianLass



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:01 pm

The clue is in the word 'news'. That's what I want to read, not 'olds'.

Never mind, like the rest of the bumf that drops on my doormat it'll go straight in the recycling box. Such a waste of trees.

Oh... my mammy told me never to accept gifts from strange men.
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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:06 pm

Oh well. You might not be in a selected "delivery area" anyway. We are only printing 1000 copies and we are aiming the paper more at those without the internet who don't know all the latest news. Those with the internet will hopefully give it a quick read and yes it will consequently end up in the recycling bin but that is where all paper goes. However in those few seconds someone has the paper in their hands we hope to give them a sense that there is hope for Penicuik yet. Very Happy
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musicman



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:25 pm

What you have remember is that it doesn't matter what anyone comes up with and tries, they are out numbered by the folk ready to critise (myself included at times), like everything it can be a success or a failure but if it's not tried then who knows? I think the printed edition is an odd idea but as is pointed out, not everyone does actually have access to the internet.
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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:35 pm

Exactly Musicman. Thank you for the support Very Happy. The online edition will be available on the 10 May and the printed version will be delivered on the 12 and 13 May if you live in one of the "delivery areas" which have still to be decided upon. I'll post more when I know more.
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bumble



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:48 pm

will there be advertising and if so have you worked out the cost?
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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:39 pm

Hi Bumble. Advertising is available. You can book online at www.pen-y-cog.org.uk/shop or otherwise visit our Advertising page at www.penicuikcuckoo.co.uk/advertise and then email us at campaigns@pen-y-cog.org.uk.

The online store reflects prices for one off only and every package excluding 1/4 page and 1/8 page include design. The stock levels displayed are current and the back page was just bought. (literally just).

We strive to have the best prices for our larger adverts in Midlothian. Smile
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pitsgate



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:14 pm

So, if I read your advertising rates accurately this will be a monthly publication, yes?
Magazine advertising only? (full// page) No run-of-paper small ads? Classifieds?
Proposed pagination? Editorial/advertising split?
What sort of local news coverage? That is, who's going to do all the boring leg work to get the news or is it all going to be regurgitated press releases?
How often will the on-line edition be updated?

I really love the idea of a Penicuik newspaper. I always have. But unless there's more to this than meets the eye so far I don't see where it's going. You've given out enough information for your competitors to run spoilers but not enough to make the readership interested enough to see what it looks like.
And unless you do something about the website you'll have a lot of frustrated non-viewers. 45 seconds+ to navigate between pages that aren't all that well laid out and prose that's anything but snappy ain't gonna hack it these days. And I get 15Mbps! What about those that only get 2?
It's going to look amateurish and while I could get away with that 25 years ago your readers are used to a lot better and are likely to be a lot less tolerant.
Good luck. You're going to need it.

(And if it comes off I'll be the first to cheer and admit I called it wrong. There's a challenge for you cheers )
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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:34 pm

Good Evening Pitsgate.

I will try to answer as much as I can. It is a monthly publication which will be delivered to around 1000 households in the Penicuik area. It is funded solely by advertisers and to maximise the amount of editorial content we can have we are only selling large ads for the time being. This issue (May) will be 12 or 16 pages long however if it is the latter there will be two full page ads. Future editions may be longer. Content ranges from local news both that we have come upon ourself and certain "news roundups" from past events that we have not reported on. There will be Sport however not in this issue. I have done most of the hard work for this paper however we are setting up a new department for the next issue to take some strain off myself.

The online paper will not be updated itself however articles on the website will be added when they occur. These will then form some of the material for the next paper.

I admit that the site is a nightmare and I do worry about it however at the moment it is not a priority. I have scheduled maintenance for mid-May and during that time I will make some needed changes. The speed unfortunately won't improve at the moment due to the host however when I have sufficient funds to upgrade this, I will.

So thank you for the questions and I hope what I have said will clarify. If you have any ideas for future features etc. Let me know and I'll try my best to include them.

Let's hope everything goes to plan! However if you really want a copy, I would order one on our site (if it choses to load) as I'm not sure where we will be delivering them.
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rubbereye



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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:42 pm

Totally pointless post deleted by poster.


Last edited by rubbereye on Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: That didn't last very long!!!   Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:46 pm

I'm sorry Rubbereye. I think you've got the wrong person. I'm definitely not as young as you think I am, those days have come and gone. However thank you for the advice.
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