Strengthening Street Papers Through Advertising

By Sarah Hayhurst

PHASE two of INSP’s Global Advertising Project was introduced and pitched yesterday by Richard Turgeon, Marketing and Communications Director of L’Itinéraire, Canada. This phase is set to build upon the previous success of the project in Quebec, Canada which raised over $30,000 CAD.

25 papers carried out phase one before the previous INSP conference in Australia.

Richard Turgeon said: “This latest phase aims to create a unique social publication in the form of supplements, with the participation of at least 30 INSP street papers that would generate a global circulation of at least 500,000 copies sold in major cities around the world.”

By the 30th of September it is aimed for all 30 participants to be signed in, there will then be 2 months to make the supplement, sending it to the complying Street Papers by July. The supplement should be launched formally at the next INSP conference. Plans are underway to host this event in London.

The INSP proposes for the first 8 page supplement to cover the 10th annual Homeless World Cup, to be held in Mexico of October 2012. The content will be mainly focused on sustainability, eco- citizenship and raising general awareness.

Production of the supplement will be by the INSP, in collaboration with HWC editorial team. It will be delivered in the participating street paper’s own language and format in a high quality PDF form and will be designed to slip transparently into their typical content.

When asked if the supplement will benefit the street papers Kayoko Yakuwa, Editor-in-Chief of The Big Issue Japan said: “I think so, because Japanese people really love football and that’s going to be a good eye catcher, maybe somebody who was never interested in our magazine will be interested because of that. The advertisement is not commercial, more social, related to homelessness so I think they will accept it.”

A general positive feedback was given on the proposed phase with Melany Bendix, Editor of the South African Big Issue relating it to their special edition collector papers, which at one point sold out in 2 weeks, out of the 6 week selling period.

As she pointed out football is a global sport, with the South African World Cup allowing vendors to “capitalise on the FIFA campaign”, in turn greatly benefiting them. They also included pieces on sports for social change, as she pointed out they are similar and beneficial to both the publications and also the readership.

Nothing is without some speculation though as Kevin Roberts, Editor of One Step Away USA pointed out when they increased their magazine from 12 to 24 pages the magazine was “too heavy” for the vendors to carry.

This is obviously a point to look at, but as Richard Turgeon pointed out, “people are becoming more concerned with the products they buy being more economically, socially and ecologically sustainable”, adding companies have to show “business social responsibility”.

With this supplement INSP will appeal to many more global enterprises which will be invaluable for INSP to further spread their credible and unique journalistic voice across the world.