Each month, Newspapers Canada spotlights newspaper innovation by inviting representatives from across the country to contribute to our Innovative Advertising Blog. In this edition, Charlene Rooke, group editor, custom content for The Globe and Mail, tells the story behind the daily newspaper’s custom content partnership with Telus.
The Globe and Mail’s Custom Group works with advertisers and agencies to create unique editorial content that makes a great environment for their brand messages. In particular, custom content works really well when advertisers need to go beyond a simple ad buy, to build a deeper, more sophisticated relationship with their customers.
Last year, one of the Globe’s clients, Telus, wanted to reach out to the small business community in Canada. It was perfect timing, as the Report on Business editorial staff also wanted to develop a regular feature for small business. We created a new column called The Challenge, which now appears every second Wednesday in print (and every week online). Small businesses present a problem or challenge and three experts weigh in with advice. Telus places a half-page ad adjacent to the print story, creating a small business expert “halo effect” for the brand. Though our clients don’t see, approve, dictate or influence the content, they know their brand message will be in a complementary editorial environment seen by exactly the right audience.
To add to this, Telus and The Globe and Mail partnered to create a contest element last year. They offered a $100,000 cash prize to the best small business case in Canada, for stating how they’d use the prize money to grow. We received over 800 entries and profiled the top firm when they won, and again a year later.
This year, we repeated the program and added social media element, using a Twitter stream to engage small businesses in conversation around The Challenge. When the contest was offered this year, the Twitter stream helped entries grow to 1,200.
Telus is thrilled with the program: the contest and its positioning with the editorial allow them to effectively achieve their goals while also supporting the small business in Canada.
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