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After Newsday campaign, 43% of those surveyed were more likely to subscribe

By Paula Felps

INMA

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

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Newsday has an impressive history of conducting special investigations and creating exclusive reports for its readers, but readers can sometimes overlook that rich history of in-depth journalism. The news media company wanted to remind readers of the many ways its journalists are on the front lines to deliver the stories that matter most to its Long Island, New York, community.

To draw attention to the many ways it serves the community through journalism, Newsday created the “If We Didn’t Cover This, Who Would?” campaign. The underlying strategy of the campaign was to drive awareness of Newsday’s exclusive investigations and show the community of Long Island the value of such reporting.

Ultimately, it would underscore the company’s value proposition, reminding readers of how Newsday was working to create a safer environment for its community while holding companies responsible for shoddy or harmful practices.

Reinforcing a sense of community

As part of the campaign, Newsday focused on four recent compelling investigative efforts:

  • Its massive three-year investigation into the unequal treatment of minorities by real estate agents.
  • A shocking report on Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, which pulled back the curtain on the manufacturer’s deceitful practices and showed that it could have stopped an environmental crisis more than 40 years earlier.
  • An investigation into deaths and questionable practices at Long Island’s second-largest nursing home during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Its exclusive coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic from inside the front lines of a hospital.

The campaign was deployed across all formats, including online promotions such as digital ads featuring Newsday’s homepage, sponsored ads on Facebook and Instagram, and homepage takeovers that included a custom video billboard. That was supported by four custom e-mail blasts to promote each story that included a click-through to the newsday.com/journalism landing page.  

Newsday embedded journalists inside a hospital to provide coverage from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newsday embedded journalists inside a hospital to provide coverage from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then, Newsday produced four 15-second TV commercials as well as a pair of Spanish-language versions that aired on CNN, News 12, CNBC, MSNBC, Headline News, Fox Business News, and on YouTube and Newsday.com.

Getting attention — and loyalty

The campaign was a success in terms of both participation and in sending a message about the value of Newsday’s investigative journalism:

  • The sponsored ads on social media received a combined 1.5 million impressions and reached 226,817 people.
  • The e-mail blasts, which were sent to more than 460,000 people, averaged a 14% open rate.
  • The TV commercials that were featured in Newsday’s sponsored posts on social media garnered nearly 1.1 million thru plays.

But it was the results of a reader survey from the Newsday Audience Department that showed how the campaign resonated with the audience: About 43% of survey respondents said they would be more likely to subscribe (or continue subscribing) after viewing the videos, and 69% said that viewing the videos made them believe that Newsday was part of the fabric of the Long Island community.

About Paula Felps

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