Sakal Khara Punekar

Connecting readers with the city and giving the brand the pole position

A set of reader connect initiatives that made a leading media group the true representative of the city and revived newspaper among youngsters

Pune as a city has a rich cultural legacy. The people of the city have always been proud of this. In fact, there is a tendency among Punekars to talk about their connections with the city and flaunt their knowledge about the city’s history.

Pune’s Sakal Media Group has evolved a lot in newspaper, television and other media across Maharashtra, but its Pune-based origins remain intact. In 2012, it wanted to project its pride in being Puneri at heart and connect this common thread, it shared with the people of Pune.

Setu faced two challenges: To identify a name that would capture the essence of this initiative and then design an activity where readers would participate actively. Understanding the deep sense of pride attached with being a citizen of Pune, the name of the initiative was decided as Khara Punekar (Real Punekar). To ensure maximum reader participation, especially from the young generation, a special 16-page supplement was published on January 1, 2013 that had 150-odd questions, which captured everything about Pune. An engaging design made the supplement look appealing. In fact more than 11,000 entries were received from Sakal readers across Pune. The city knew who the Khara Punekar was.

The Khara Punekar identity and reader connect property was executed twice in 2014 as well. Once it was executed as Khara Punekar Junior, to involve young readers while in August 2014 it has a mammoth 4-page crossword based around Pune and its history.

While Khara Punekar made Sakal a bigger hit with Pune’s newspaper readers, both young and old, the platform was also promoted by Setu in getting on board multiple advertisers due to greater time spent on each paper of the newspaper.

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