A Mandarin-language newspaper in South Australia is using a tailored combination of traditional and social media to attract readers in both Australia and China.
Adelaide Chinese News – a production of the Australian Chinese Newspaper Group – prints and distributes 6000 hardcopy newspapers throughout the South Australian capital of Adelaide every week. It also sends daily social media content to more than 20,000 followers through social media platforms.
“In our newspaper we pay attention to providing top quality reading material for our audience, including in-depth stories and interviews,” said Business Development Manager Kelly Tian.
Readers of the printed newspaper are mostly Chinese business migrants to Adelaide, or parents of more recently-arrived students and professionals, looking for news about the state.
A key regular feature of the newspaper is an interview with high profile individual.
“Our readers want to know other business operators,” explained Kelly. “They want to hear about Australian success stories, or from people who can offer insights into new ways of doing things, how to make things work and how to be respected in Australia.”
“Last week I did an interview with James Young, South Australia’s State Chief Executive of Colliers International. Last month we featured Ron Cross, CEO at ParkTrent Properties Group,” she said.
In a coming edition the paper will feature Mr Sean Keenihan, President of the South Australia Branch of the Australia China Business Council.
Adelaide Chinese News does not publish an online version of the paper, but instead runs an entirely different agenda through digital channels.
“Most of our social media audience is younger, so they’re not looking for long stories. They just want something entertaining and useful,” explained Kelly.
“We use our accounts to post interesting local information, and fun things like coupons for restaurant discounts.”
“Also, I believe we are the only Chinese outlet that sources news from police stations in Adelaide. So if there’s breaking news, we will send out a journalist to the site to cover the situation in Mandarin,” she said.
Adelaide Chinese News runs the top Sina Weibo account in Adelaide, with the user ID translating to ‘Adelaide Micro Radio Station’.
Sina Weibo is a microblogging platform that – unlike twitter – is permitted by government authorities in China.
“For Sina Weibo, many of our followers are in China as well as Australia,” said Kelly. “Even myself, I was following this very account to provide me with useful local information before I moved to Adelaide last year,” she said.
“The other platform we operate – Wechat – works like a combination of Facebook, and Twitter and WhatsApp,” added Kelly. “Most of our followers on this account are in Adelaide.”
You can find the Adelaide Chinese News Wechat account by searching for ‘acnweekly’.
The reach of social media allows them to help further ties between China and South Australia, reporting on things like the OzAsia Festival and successful businesses.
Although she hasn’t seen a need so far, Kelly is considering expanding her reach by opening a Facebook page as well.
“Perhaps we will launch Facebook soon in order to attract more local people. After all, if we only do things in Chinese media the local people will never know us,” she said.
“But we need time and staff to build it, and we plan to make it work well.”
The Australian Chinese Newspaper Group is owned by Liu Yu and Colin Wong.