The good news keeps coming for Ashburton Guardian readers and advertisers, with popular community champion Phill Hooper becoming its first online broadcaster.
Hooper, universally admired in Mid Canterbury after a successful radio broadcasting career, will produce engaging online content in a coup for the Ashburton Guardian.
Managing editor Daryl Holden said securing Hoops at the G, as he would be known, was a perfect follow-up to being named New Zealand’s best community newspaper in two separate national awards in the past week.
Hoops at the G would tell the district’s stories online and, more importantly, help local businesses lift their profile and make more money via his well-honed digital promotion skills. Paid Facebook posts and videos, plus sponsored podcasts and naming rights opportunities would all be offered.
“This really is exciting news and another example of our commitment to entertain and engage with our community, and assist local businesses,’’ Holden said.
“We know many Mid Canterbury businesses use Facebook, for example, but have limited followers and little or no video promotional activity on their sites,’’ Holden said.
“Hoops at the G will change that. He could come to a business, do a short video, and utilise our Facebook page, which is easily the biggest in Ashburton and is an untapped promotional vehicle for local companies.’’
Holden said businesses uncertain about using paid online advertising only needed to ask Ashburton’s new Coffee Culture business owners on the benefits of using the Guardian’s Facebook page. A paid Coffee Culture giveaway voucher competition last week was a massive success, reaching 12,500 viewers and with 2100-plus comments.
“In other words, that one post connected instantly with thousands of customers, who are probably now more inclined to spend money at Coffee Culture.
“If you want to promote yourself and your goods and services online, and attract new customers in challenging times, then use Hoops at the G to help make that happen.’’
Holden said Hoops at the G would address a gap in the market that no-one else provided, while an excited Hooper said he couldn’t wait to get right into his new Guardian gig.
“I see the platform as an awesome option for businesses to hop on to and advertise their goods and services,’’ he said.
“I want to be the online voice of Mid Canterbury, which also means everything from helping local groups fundraising, right through to celebrating local heroes and telling their stories.
“The Guardian’s platforms, especially the 16,500 followers they have on Facebook, means I can spread those stories far and wide.’’
Hooper said his Guardian role would not see him step back from his real estate career or his work as a first term Ashburton District councillor.
“Absolutely not,’’ he said.
“In fact, quite the opposite. All three roles are built on connections and will feed nicely into each other.’’
That natural role connection also included a reader assurance from the Guardian that it would still report on any news events involving Hooper, especially in his capacity as a councillor.
“He’s still a newsmaker and will be treated like any other,’’ Holden said.
“But now Hoops is also the district’s online broadcasting community champion for your national award-winning media organisation.
“We know he’ll make a difference.’’
Hoops at the G:
What: Former radio announcer and top community supporter Phill Hooper joins the Ashburton Guardian.
Doing what: Hoops at the G, as he would be known, is the Guardian’s first online broadcaster.
What does that mean: He’ll tell the district’s stories online and help make businesses more money and reach more customers through paid online advertising.
What services: Paid Facebook posts, business videos and podcasts, among a number of innovations.
Email Hoops at the G: [email protected] OR [email protected]