Cracking the Code series is a partnership between The Australian and GE. Partnerships strengthen our bonds to corporate Australia and allow us to demonstrate our commitment to working strategically with advertisers to develop rich content that complements their brands and our own.
GE approached The Australian with the challenge to explore issues of technology and innovation vital to Australia’s future. They wanted to examine policy reform, start-up innovators and investors, and the changing needs of our education and research systems.
We proposed to create an innovative editorial venture called Cracking the Code, spanning The Australian and Sky News Business. Relevant subjects, based on GE’s objectives, were covered in news, analysis, original research and on panel debates as part of a 14-week content series.
The partnership was informed by an exclusive series of surveys of CEOs and senior managers, as well as Newspoll surveys of community attitudes, all backed by reporting and analysis by The Australian’s team of expert editors and reporters. Panel discussions, featuring leading business and political identities, were broadcast on Sky News Business.
The partnership was multidimensional, combining content and advertising across print, online, mobile, tablet, social media and television. All content was published as a full page in the business section of The Australian and housed on a digital hub, and was amplified using The Australian’s social media channels through social-first content such as graphics, quizzes and videos.
For The Australian Inquirer section we produced a stunning feature story in print and digital called “Kids who code ” that included video, text and infographics. The story explored how coding is creeping into the classroom as industry teams up with schools to teach children the language of the future. The content also was published within the Inquirer section in print.
The campaign was a huge success both editorially and for GE.
More than 31 stories were published across 14 weeks reaching a total of 1,337,000 people in print and a monthly average online audience of 1,235,000.
The Australian created 24 video edits reaching an audience of 64,098 driven by The Australian networks, with 4,522 of those views on Sky Business. We had over 87,227 visitors and over 102,000 page views which was a 457% increase on our KPI target.
The response on social media was very positive - and the overall Facebook reach was 240,916 people, with Twitter generating 100,190 impressions and LinkedIn 4,524. During phase 2 major news events amplified content created for the series. Cracking the Code featured an in-depth interview with then communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who presaged his innovation vision for Australia, something which became the focus of his first speech as Prime Minister. Our interview with Melanie Perkins of Canva came just weeks before a funding round that valued the company at $230m. When these stories broke, additional 4,196 people engaged with the content.
The interactive article "Kids who code" received over 4,000 page views online. In print in The Australian's Inquirer section the article reached 293,000 people.
The content was supported by an advertising campaign that drove awareness of the series and the GE brand. As part of this campaign, GE partnered with The Australian to create our first interactive tablet ad, reaching 10,594 daily domestic unique users.
The total overall value delivered to GE was 3 times the investment.
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