Highland League Weekly - The Press and Journal
Highland League Weekly
The P&J, with a patch which covers the Highland League’s heartlands, has always been the best place in print, and online, to find news, views and more on this fanatically-followed competition. However, the sports desk and audio-visual teams decided to do more – and do it differently - launching their new Highland League product for the start of the 2021/22 season. Now into its second season, HLW goes live on the P&J website every Monday at 7pm. This subscribers-only show offers highlights from two of Saturday’s matches, as well as a light-hearted panel discussion on all of the weekend results and a broad range of features on the people who make the part-time league so distinctive. Since the first season, the main Monday show has been supported by standalone midweek highlights of key Wednesday night matches, and – this term – the sports/AV teams are also producing a Friday lunchtime preview programme. Last summer, the staff who have become the HLW team were largely newspaper journalists and photographers. However, 18 months later, they are also (often self-taught) presenters, pundits, cameramen, commentators, directors and editors. Their passion and knowledge has made HLW a success. From season one to season two, the average Monday show audience has doubled. At time of writing, 3.56% of unsubscribed visitors to HLW go on to take out a subscription – easily the highest conversion rate of any DC Thomson premium content project. Both the dedicated HLW Twitter and TikTok pages have more than 1,000 followers, and individual video posts which have been viewed 100,000 times. Direct quotes from viewers who took part in off-season research praised the unique service HLW provides - “It’s the only place you can see this - the highlights and the discussion”- and its “professional” quality. On the analysis element of the show, this came back: “They know the Highland League inside and out and work hard to make it good… It feels genuine… That’s what you want. You want Scottish people, using Scottish slang, talking about Scottish football!” You could still be thinking: “But it’s only football”. However, HLW is an example of a legacy print brand creating digital content which matters to people and which they will pay to see. It is continuously-evolving content using all manner of modern means to put the spotlight on clubs which are vital, much-loved institutions in small communities across the north of Scotland.