Further strengthening its base in the Bihar-Jharkhand belt, Prabhat Khabar launched its Bhagalpur edition on January 10, 2011. The daily is the first all-colour newspaper from this silk city. The newspaper is aggressively priced and has higher pagination than several of its competitors.
The launch had preceded an extensive carpet field survey of over 45,000 households in the city of Bhagalpur, where the reading households were offered lucrative subscription offer. Bhagalpur is the first city where Prabhat Khabar seems to have taken an early lead and hopes to build a comprehensive lead further.
With this, Prabhat Khabar now has nine editions in its stable. KK Goneka, MD, Prabhat Khabar, said that they were providing Prabhat Khabar to the readers at a cover price of Rs 2, as against Rs 4 of their competitor. On its launch day Prabhat Khabar reportedly circulated 30,000 copies in city.
With this, Bihar now gets comprehensive coverage through Prabhat Khabar’s three editions from Patna, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur, and also gets focused through the two other neighbourhood editions of Siliguri (which covers the north eastern regions of Bihar) and one more from Deoghar, which focuses on the bordering regions of Bihar-Jharkhand.
Commenting on the paper’s serial successes in Bihar, Goenka said, “The resurgent Bihar needed an impacting daily, which could cut out from the clutter in Bihar and be in sync with the aspirations of the state. Bihar had leading dailies with editorial controls resting elsewhere in their head offices and weren’t clued in to the reader ambitions. We saw huge opportunities that lie ahead.”
He further said, “While planning for Bihar editions, we realised that the younger generation in Bihar, grown and bred in an era of uncertainty and fear, formed larger bulk of population. This was a generation that faced hardships and humiliation in pursuing their higher education or employment in other states. This GenNext wanted a change, was ready to shed the ‘BIMARU’ tag of its home state and was eager to be acknowledged as a youth of a state which could compete with the best in India.”
Thereafter, the daily re-planned and re-launched its Patna edition with a content mix that identified with Bihar’s emerging opportunities. The daily then launched its Muzaffarpur edition and gained huge ground there.
Harivansh, Chief Editor, Prabhat Khabar, added here, “Readers liked the attitude of the brand, which was setting the agenda of governance for the political class. Thankfully, there was a forward looking Government in the state, which not only felt encouraged, but was also picking up the issues that the daily raised and were taking it to the national forum.”