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Regional Digital Publisher to Shake up Bristol Media Scene

Independent digital media company SoPublishing has announced the soft launch of two new regional titles, SoBristol and SoBristolWeddings, filling a gap in the city’s media landscape and proving the scalability of its tried and tested ‘So’ model.

Following the eight-year success of award-winning flagship SoGlos, and newer wedding title SoGlosWeddings, the two new Bristol titles have been in development for more than a year, with their soft launch described as a ‘real no-brainer’ by SoPublishing group editor Michelle Fyrne.

A unique online magazine aiming to inspire the most engaged audience in Bristol, SoBristol celebrates the vibrant arts and entertainment scene in and around the city, with targeted sections including Food, Culture, Theatre, Music, Children & Family and Shopping; with editorial spanning event previews, reviews, news, guides and hot lists – all written by a team of experienced journalists.

SoBristolWeddings is Bristol’s first online wedding magazine, combining all the inspiration of a glossy bridal magazine with an indispensable wedding website – and helping couples make informed decisions about every aspect of their dream wedding in and around the city. Sections include Venues, Bridalwear & Jewellery, Photography, Hair & Beauty and Honeymoons; and professional editorial spans real weddings, news, features and hot lists.

Today’s soft launch gives SoPublishing a strategic springboard from which to start building a loyal readership and social media following, introducing the titles to key potential advertisers, as well as recruiting Bristol-based editorial and sales team members – before SoBristol and SoBristolWeddings are both officially launched later this year.

‘As digital media has grown at an exponential rate over the last decade, SoPublishing has set the agenda in the regions, providing its readers and advertisers with innovative platforms which are unrivalled – even by established print and radio competitors run by the UK’s largest publishing houses,’ group publisher James Fyrne said.

SoPublishing’s owners, media entrepreneurs James Fyrne and Michelle Fyrne, are confident in establishing the Bristol titles as market leaders, thanks to a unique combination of 10 key factors which power the ‘So’ model:

1. An expert Editorial Hub provides readers with original, high quality editorial written by trained journalists, reiterating the 'content is king' adage is integral to the success of regional online media.

2. The dedicated Advertising Hub sees sales team members taking a consultative approach to helping advertisers reach new audiences – offering expert advice, slick media packs, iPad presentations, digital proposals and measurable results.

3. Fully responsive designs adapt to showcase each title’s editorial content and targeted display adverts on smart phones and tablets – for the best possible experience, no matter where, when and how the online magazines are being enjoyed.

4. A bespoke content management system enables journalists to quickly publish content and images within seconds, all easily managed, with automatic search engine optimisation to maximise organic positioning in Google SERPs.

5. Innovative design elements reflect the titles’ online magazine ethos, including strong use of imagery, stylish fonts and refined wireframes.

6. Targeted display advertising, powered by Google DFP, allows advertisers to reach readers by interest area – for example Food, Music, Photography or Honeymoons – on a tenancy basis, offering extensive reach while driving significant advertising revenue.

7. Diversified commercial revenue streams include content-led advertising opportunities such as sponsored listicles, seasonal guides, reader competitions and enhanced event listings.

8. Social media integration is strategically built into site templates, allowing real-time updates and enhanced reader interaction, with social media sharing on all content encouraging an exponential reach.

9. A bespoke user experience – including content cleanly organised by type, as well as intelligent related content suggestions to keep readers engaged – which is continually improved and refined.

10. A strong and scalable ‘So’ brand, with significant investment now allowing the model to be easily 'spawned' in new geographical areas – Bristol being first on the ambitious company’s expansion plans.