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Justine202 Fri 15-Mar-13 20:03:08

I am considering publishing a local directory (with a print run of around 5,000) specifically for parents and carers of bump to 7. Will include ideas on things to do and places to visit as well as local services, light hearted editorial and useful listings of groups, classes and activities. I know these exist in other areas (I lived in Warwickshire for a while and they had one just launched there called Toddle About) so I know the format works, just wondered if anyone had any experience of doing this or if you're a parent/grandparent/carer of kids this kind of age I'd really appreciate any feedback! Thank you!

Just to add I'd be looking to produce either monthly or bi-monthly (every 2 months) - advertising rates would be in the region of 1/4 page £35, 1/2 page £55, Full page £80. That would hopefully give good value to advertisers and earn me enough to cover costs.

Again any feedback very welcome, thank you (again!)

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 15-Mar-13 21:58:10

I'm a writer Justine and work on trade publications as well as online. I have experience working for various companies but not in producing such things.

We have KidsGuide here...given out at school and I find it very useful for things like holiday clubs and party venues for children.

It's well put together but I always think that it needs more make it feel a little more like a mag and not so much like the Yellow Pages!

If your publication was for eg. 30 pages in total, then you'd maybe want 70% of it to be advertisements and 30% to be articles, recipes and puzzles.

I did once sell advertising space and it was HARD going! Very hard. I found people were unwilling to commit because of the financial thing we're all going through right can be a good idea to link articles to those who are having a full let's imagine "Little Miss Kid's Boutique" is thinking about having a full page in your first issue, you tell them they will also get a mention in the article you're commissioning about "Where the Stars Shop for their Children"

Or similar related piece. They like that.

nannynick Sat 16-Mar-13 09:35:28

Target market is what? All people with children bump-7?

When I worked in advertising I knew our products sold to AB1 (so A, B, C1) category, it rarely sold to those in C2 or below.

Sites like will show social categories for postcodes.

How will the copies be distributed? Why in print form, many things are now in print and digital.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 16-Mar-13 09:42:42

I like my copy of Kidsguide in's to hand when I want to look something up...

Justine202 Sat 16-Mar-13 11:45:56

Thanks to both of you for your input - I was thinking quite high editorial 60/40 ratio (ads/editorial) and the idea of related editorial I think works really well.

With regards to the target market (nannynick) it will be aimed at parents and carers of children 0-7 and mums to be - distributed via Nurseries (Day, Private, Community & School), Pre-School Playgroups, Clinics- Midwives & Health Visitors
Libraries, Children's Centres, NCT Groups, Antenatal Groups, Community Centres, City & County Councils, Leisure Centres, Tourist Information Centres, Classes & Toddler Groups, Soft Play Centres & Shops. Can't think of anywhere else at the moment!

The idea of the magazine is to inform parents of what's going on in the area, to enable local groups and activity providers to reach their target market effectively and possibly for less than they might be currently spending in leaflet distribution etc.

It's just something I could have done with when I was a new mum in a new area - thought it might be a good idea. I know I won't make a fortune doing it but it's just something I'd like to get my teeth into and if it pays something then it's a bonus!

Btw, NeoMaxiZoomDweebie, I'd be interested in talking to you about writing - ideally something like a regular column/blog type page. If you're interested let me know, thanks very much !

nannynick Sat 16-Mar-13 12:46:04

How will it be paid for? In my area we have several free magazines/directories that are paid for via advertising, Families, RarinfToGo, ABC, FamilyGrapevine.
We also have a book which is produced every few years by the NCT, for which a charge is made.
Two different revenue models, the one which is charged contains some ads but not many and thus is more a directory, it list playgrounds, activity groups, helpline numbers, doctors surgeries, all sorts of things.

When I worked in marketing, I was promoting a product to parents with an average cost of 7500. That sort of niche product requires targeting parents who have high disposable income, thus the demographic AB1. One thing that did well for us was advertising in a magazine that went to members of a nationwide young children activity group. As it went to members, as advertisers we were told what social categories the magazine went to and while it did go to some in C demographic, I do not think it often went to those in lower groups, due to the feeds the activity group charged.

Try to look at things from the advertisers point of view, what are they looking for? Are they wanting to have an ad seen by many people, a lot of whom would not use their service/product, or is the advertiser wanting to target more specifically parents who have disposable income to spend on high value products, to pay for swimming/gym/music classes.

Talk to potential advertisers, see what they want, as if you are not charging for the publication then your revenue will be from the ads and you will want lots of repeat advertisers taking out adverts of various sizes, which the advertisers feel give them a good return for their money.

Justine202 Sun 17-Mar-13 19:07:59

Hi Nanny Nick, thanks again for your message and info - I really do appreciate all the advice! I fully understand what you're saying about demographics, where I live is generally full of A's and B's by default so not really too worried about that part. I think additionally if I was trying to sell a product with a cost of £7500 to parents (presumably for their children?) you wouldn't just be talking demographics either, you'd have to really have a full insight into your target market.

As far as looking at things from the advertisers' viewpoint - my aim is to enable all sorts of advertisers, from mums running small businesses (classes like baby massage, music and dance), party planners, small hire companies (mascots, soft play), mobile hair and beauty mums to more established franchisees and shops, salons and home service providers.

I am aiming to be somewhere between a parish magazine and a small glossy (with both ads to generate revenue and editorial to give an interesting read) - to provide local advertisers with a local medium (we're talking around a 5 mile radius) for a low cost that will reach local parents and carers and be no more (and probably less) than they would pay in both print costs and distribution cost/time to have 5,000 leaflets across the same area.

I plan also to have a listings section - probably by day - which will promote all groups (community run toddler groups, activity classes and local events) free of charge so parents have a 'one stop shop' to find something to do each day if they wish.

I will have a website that will list all advertisers with a weblink (nothing special just an off the shelf one), not to compete with the big online sites but to be able to offer an online presence and help businesses which are predominantly online.

I hope with the competitive rates (far more competitive that raring2go and families comparing a £ per 1,000 rate) and the fact that local people (only) will receive local information that advertisers will see the benefit. (Although I need to work out a good tagline to that effect - any suggestions very welcome!)

So that's that plan really!

Any comments, advice or suggestions really welcome, thank you!

AlwaysOneMissing Mon 18-Mar-13 08:10:28

Justine I think this sounds like a great idea (and I say that as a mum of preschool age children, and as a local small business owner).

I think it would be important to keep your overheads as low as possible - you are obviously intelligent, could you write some/all of the editorial yourself? Or, offer a discounted advertising package where a company can write their own article about their business (eg a case study on a client or something related to their industry which is relevant at the moment eg in the news) and also get advertising space elsewhere in the magazine. Then you are receiving money from them and getting some editorial written too! And of course it is all good exposure for the company.

Please could you PM me with where abouts you are setting this up?! If its anywhere near me I would be interested in advertising with you.

WilsonFrickett Mon 18-Mar-13 11:50:14

at £80 a page, you have to sell 10 pages to make £800 income. You'd then have to write or find good quality content for a further 15 pages (on a 60/40 editorial/advertising split) - this will take time or if you ask other people to write for you, it will cost money. Then you'll have your design costs, print costs, distribution costs...

I don't think you're going to have a lot of profit left out of your £800...

Talkinpeace Mon 18-Mar-13 15:40:39

AS soon as kids hit age 4 you will be going head to head with SchoolsOut and the like - who already have national infrastructure....

Justine202 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:47:42

The reason I plan to offer low advertising is to base my profits on volume rather than margin (so I wouldn't go to print with just 8 advertisers taking a page each) because as you point out £800 wouldn't even cover costs! The model is basically a resource guide/directory for parents with young families with a bit of light hearted editorial to make it something people actually want to read rather than just a book of ads. I've never heard of Schools Out but having just checked out their website, I'm pretty sure they won't be a competitor - at their prices I'm sure they are more likely to compete with the really established magazines like raring2go, families and primary times. Thanks to everyone - I really value all feedback! And in case anyone is interested I am Hertfordshire based, pm me if you'd like more details thank you smile

AlwaysOneMissing Wed 20-Mar-13 22:21:38

Oh, not near me unfortunately Justine, but good luck with your venture.

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