Awards Case Study - Life on the Land

By : PPA Communications

The Life on the Land supplement won the Brand Extension Award at the Scottish Magazine Awards 2014 in December

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Published by CN Group Magazines, Life on the Land is Dumfries & Galloway Life’s specialist farming and rural life publication, launched in the autumn of 2013. This twice-a-year supplement won the award for Brand Extension in the 2014 Scottish Magazine Awards. It is edited by Carol Hogarth and designed by production editor Sara Valentin, both of whose families farm in Dumfries & Galloway. We talked to Carol, as she shares her thoughts on the magazine – the fourth issue of which (Spring 2015) was published in March.

An agricultural community

Since I joined the staff of Dumfries & Galloway Life in January 2012, I had been writing a monthly Farming Focus feature because we felt agriculture was such an important part of life in the region, with so many of our readers involved in the sector directly or indirectly. This monthly feature was largely aimed at the general public, to give them a behind-the-scenes look at different farms and agricultural topics in Dumfries & Galloway.

In 2013, Dumfries & Galloway Life’s advertising team came up with the idea of testing the water for an outdoor living/farming supplement to offer a different platform for advertisers and target agricultural businesses they felt were previously out of their reach. The consensus from advertisers was that any such publication should be more specialised than the farming features in the main magazine and focus specifically on farming; aimed at readers and advertisers from within the farming community.

Life on the Land appeals to our large number of farming families and people connected with agricultural businesses across the region, giving them more of a voice in, and connection with, the magazine. But because we try to make it readable and visually very attractive, it is still enjoyed by our wider readership too.

Working with the core title

Life on the Land is a free publication, and comes bagged with the main magazine. Because the supplement comes with the core title, they are beneficial to each other – if someone likes the farming supplement, they will read and enjoy Dumfries & Galloway Life too and vice versa.

Life on the Land is very clearly branded as a Dumfries & Galloway Life product, shares a similar design and carries a double page subscription advert for the main magazine. Similarly, Dumfries & Galloway Life carries house-ads to promote the forthcoming Life on the Land supplement, which is not only a rallying call to LotL advertises, but also to engage readers.

We know from extensive feedback that Life on the Land is our most highly-anticipated specialist publication. We thought that, as a specialist publication, Life on the Land would appeal to and reach niche agri-businesses, which would not otherwise think of advertising in Dumfries & Galloway Life – such as fencing contractors, plant hire firms, farm equipment suppliers – while also giving more general businesses – such as solicitors, accountants, estate agents, vets – the opportunity to promote their specific agricultural services.

Each issue of Life on the Land has had a major sponsor: James Smith Fencing for Autumn 2013; Harbro Quality Lifestock Nutrition for Spring 2014; Solway Vets for Autumn 2014, and GTR Contracts Ltd for Spring 2015. We have just secured the main sponsor for Autumn 2015. The sponsors receive additional ‘run-on’ copies of Life on the Land to distribute to their clients etc.

Life on the Land has given specialist businesses a quality showcase for their services, including the opportunity to sponsor the supplement, with a three-page advertorial feature and back cover advert. For readers, it offers an additional, free, attractive, colourful supplement with several in-depth feature spreads, a busy news section, a range of columns from experts within the industry in Dumfries & Galloway, vastly extended coverage of the region’s agricultural shows (in the autumn issue) and social events (spring issue).


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