NewsLocal, formerly known as Cumberland Courier Newspapers owns over 20 free newspaper titles in Sydney as well as metropolitan and regional newspapers.
NewsLocal recently launched a new initiative, called Project Local, to engage communities by getting their readers more involved in their local area activities. NewsLocal offers financial grants to support ideas that will help improve local communities.
- To connect and engage with the local community at grass roots level
- Drive greater participation by their readers in local community initiatives
Loaded Technologies delivered a website that provided one central engagement platform.
- Strategy, design, development and deployment of Project Local
- User registration, upload local community initiative ideas to win funding
- Voting, social media sharing and commenting functionality
- User authentication, profile, status, activity tracking in SugarCRM back end database
- Website users can search for and view ideas that other users have uploaded, register, submit their own ideas, vote for their own and others’ ideas and share their idea amongst their social networks.
Business Applications developed and integrated:
- Drupal Content Management System (CMS): used for user registration, user upload ideas, readers view and vote for ideas.
- SugarCRM: used to marketing to contacts, monitor votes and entries, store user information, store ideas against the contact.
- The initiative received huge local newspaper coverage and very encouraging results with around 5,000 registrations, 165 ideas submitted, over 19,000 votes cast and 20 initiatives funded in late 2011.
- Hard copy and online editions of all mastheads carried front page media coverage of community groups and individuals who were funded in late 2011.
- NewsLocal reader community has fully embraced this initiative and indications are that this will continue to grow as a further 4 cycles are rolled out in 2012.