230,000 copies weekly in +/- 500 different versions. The 'Kerk & Leven' case perfectly illustrates how to create togetherness and solidarity in a large community. Every week, in each of their 250,000 newspapers, they achieve this by reporting both the shared news stories, which affect the community as a whole, as well as the local news which only interests the local community.
Combining a smart content management system with digital printing allows hundreds of local editors (volunteers) and information providers to seamlessly integrate their texts, messages, photos, illustrations - and even local advertisements – in their regional issues.
The seamless combination of national and local news (in nearly 500 different versions) into one newspaper is innovative, to say the least. Local editorial teams acquaint their readers with community life in their own neighbourhood: associations, social initiatives, facts, activity reports, event calendars, useful contacts... National editors handle the coverage for the community as a whole. The parishes provide the local news. Genscom allows local contributors to design the contents and layout of their own pages via an online communication tool. We call this a “multi-editorial” approach because anyone with access to the online system can contribute to that part of the print-run which is destined for his or her specific target group. When the individual who is responsible for the parish validates the publication as “ready for press”, the printing process is started automatically.
Each paper’s front page has the name and address of the addressee/subscriber printed onto it, effectively turning each of the 250,000 copies into a unique newspaper. This eliminates the need for the newspaper to be blistered or put into an envelope. What's more, the newspapers emerge from the printing press sorted by the route of every single postman in Flanders. Software synchronizes the postal routes with bpost on a weekly basis. By eliminating the need for any further sorting, the postal services are able to offer the most competitive distribution rates.
Research and comparative studies have shown that it is essentially local content which ensures that Kerk & Leven is still the most widely read magazine in the country, boasting exceptional readership loyalty. That is why Halewijn, the publishers of Kerk & Leven, have opted for a system which combines a multi-editorial approach (national and multi-local content) with digital rotation.