Social: Behind every national story lies a strong local one

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It was the moment which captured the nation’s imagination during the London Marathon – when one man gave up a potential personal best to help another runner over the line. It turned out to be the most talked-about story of the week on social media from the regional Press too – with WalesOnline the title which had the strongest local line to follow. They captured the mood brilliantly:

At the other end of the emotional spectrum this week was the drama of the death of Rhys Jones, the Liverpool schoolboy shot dead by a stray bullet a decade ago. There has been much debate on whether the drama should have been made anyway, but it’s worth remembering it had the full blessing of Rhys’s family. For the Liverpool Echo, covering the drama was the story which interested readers the most this week – and getting the tone of coverage just right was essential.

In Newcastle, you’d have thought it was news of Newcastle United’s promotion which would have been the story which set social media alight this week. Based on CrowdTangle’s data, however, ChronicleLive delivered one of the most popular stories of the week from the regional press with its coverage of the St George’s Day celebrations in the city last weekend:

Week in week out, the importance of an engaged community for regional publishers is demonstrated by how willing readers are to share appeals for people who have gone missing from home. It also sums up the way regional titles can make an immediate difference. This week, the Yorkshire Post summed that up very well:

Celebrity sells, so the saying goes. It certainly attracts attention online. For the Belfast Telegraph, that celebrity happens to be Jamie Dornan.

In Edinburgh, news that McDonald’s was supporting a planned hotel for relatives of hospital patients became one of the most-shared stories of the week on Facebook

Job at a cat cafe anyone? Of the thousands of stories posted on social media this week, this one from the Sheffield Star was among the top 10 when looking for the most engaging

And as we’ve seen before, a good busker will always find an audience way beyond the local high street when he’s covered by the local media

Looking at stories which overperformed when compared to posts made previously by those titles, this one from the Birmingham Mail was one of several to suggest that David Lloyd’s new ‘sleeping exercise classes’ had the desired effect amongst real people:

In Buckinghamshire, the story of a well-known landmark being put back in place made a big impact with local readers:

And finishing the round-up the way we began, DevonLive reached far more people than normal with coverage of the release of ‘Marine A’ from prison. Proof that in many cases, national headlines engage far more when there’s a strong local connection – same as it ever was

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