2014 Finalist

The Transformation of a Lifetime

The Windsor Star

Windsor, Canada

Category Events to Build a News Brand

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Like its lone daily newspaper, Windsor is in a period of jarring transition. Reliance on the automotive industry placed the community in harm’s way years before the global economic crisis. What emerged from the Detroit 3 restructuring was a dramatically smaller local footprint – roughly half the workforce of 10 years prior – and a community scrambling to diversify its economy. The community has since embraced the themes of innovation and renewal. With the sale of our office buildings and relocation to a state-of-the art facility in the heart of downtown, The Windsor Star took its place among the leaders in community renewal in 2013. In so doing we delivered stunningly against corporate strategic directives of audience engagement, innovation and cost control. We reinvented our business culture by uniting 125 employees, formerly split among three floors, in one modern, edgy, open-concept office space. We breathed new life into a property which was slated for closure, saving the downtown from yet another blighted intersection.

In doing so we took our place at Windsor’s most prominent intersection, stamping our presence in the geographical – and psychological -- heart of the community. We launched two new business initiatives – LED outdoor digital signage and Postmedia’s first ever News Cafe – to further leverage our unique position in the downtown. The twin screens introduced outdoor to our stable of digital platforms while creating yet another portal for our digital content. In doing so we tapped into a promising new revenue stream. The News Café positions us well for the arrival of the satellite university campuses in 2014. Adding a broadcast suite, the café will become a hub for the creation and capture of unique content for our digital portals. It’s the site of a daily newscast and can boast of hosting everything from a professional wrestler meet-and-greet to North America’s hottest techno disc jockey, weekly open mic night and a chamber of commerce after-work mixer.

 


Results for this campaign

We have not been shy about sharing our story. Special sections which we produced to mark our departure from Ferry Street and arrival on Ouellette Avenue not only celebrated this transformation, they generated in excess of $80,000 in incremental revenue through vendor sponsorship.

A selection of stories can be found at the following links: http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/10/bringing-times-square-to-windsor/ http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/10/reconstructing-a-downtown-icon/ http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/10/the-art-of-the-deal/ http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/10/deal-chronology/ http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/10/star-cafefor-transformation-section/ http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/10/in-progress-led-signs-on-star-building-version-2-for-commemorative-edition/ http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/11/a-little-bit-of-the-stars-history-moves-to-ouellette/

The Star’s transformation also captured the attention of media-watchers across North America. Recently profiled in a four-page Editor&Publisher spread (http://www.editorandpublisher.com/Features/Article/From-Old-School-to-New-School), we’ve also been written up in the authoritative J-Source (http://j-source.ca/article/windsor-star-moves-new-building-invites-readers-newsroom), News And Technology magazine and the construction trade publication the Commercial News. http://www.dcnonl.com/article/id50336?search_term=windsor%20star A Deeper Connection The occasion of our grand opening in May was the coup de grace, allowing us to connect on a deeper level not only with key advertisers and community leaders, but with our readers at large. A formal, “blue-carpet” celebration gathered hundreds of clients and dignitaries, and saw our News Café converted to a dance club. http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/12/photos-and-video-windsor-star-grand-opening/ http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/10/news-cafe-gala/

A full compliment of marketing assets supported this initiative including print, web and mobile ads, e-blasts, social media and digital billboards.

 


Contact

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