TN Media positions itself as media, marketing solutions company — not just a newspaper

By Kristy Hemp

The Tennessean has gone through many changes over the years, but none so much as within the last digital decade.

Despite a complete and diversified print and digital portfolio, sophisticated sales and marketing personnel, and a huge 24/7 audience, business perception continued to focus on our flagship printed newspaper product as the image of our company.

We chose to refresh our business-side brand to help business decision makers understand who we really are today: a diverse regional media and marketing solutions company, including our flagship Tennessean, which serves the news and information needs of regional consumers.      

Our solutions to achieve this rebrand included the following actions:

Showcase how unique we are: TN Media products and services are in front of consumers 24/7 in many different forms and formats. Not only do we deliver more local news and information than any other source, we offer that information through more channels and in more ways than any other source.

We are in the places that business owners want to be. We’re blending with consumers’ lifestyles, not intruding. We’re serving consumers how they want to be served, and where and when they want to be served. 

Update our logo: In the past, logos were designed for use in print. Today, a logo needs to fit a digital format as well. We created a new mark that is clean, crisp, fresh and works well with motion.

We felt that having The Tennessean name in the logo was misleading. We chose to use ‘TN’ because it pays homage to the heritage and legacy of The Tennessean and keeps a local feel, but also communicates that we are more than just a newspaper — we’re a media and marketing company. 

The exclamation point in the word “media” is a playful way of emphasising this point and drawing attention to the multiple channels of solutions we offer. The multiple uses of colour in the logo depending on the audience are a nice connection to our parent company’s flagship newspaper, USA Today. 

The creative: The imagery used in the TN Media creative showcases the innate need people have to socialise, communicate, and engage with others. With so many companies throwing themselves at consumers on a daily basis, messages get lost in the hustle and bustle very quickly.

We suggest engaging and interacting with customers in ways that blend with their lifestyle, like their cup of coffee. TN Media has the products that are already in front of potential customers. Clients just need to put their business there. 

Launch and results: The TN Media rebrand was unveiled at a private event in August, 2013, to a select group of business leaders in Middle Tennessee. A full house listened to our executive leadership team present a new image and vision, while emphasising the heritage that TN Media has held in the community.

The next phase blanketed Middle Tennessee with TN Media billboard, broadcast, print, digital and social creative. A portion of the creative leveraged successful client testimonials. This strategy resulted in a client approaching us to be featured in these campaigns.

In addition, TN Media launched a weekly blog in October, 2013 to drive traffic to our new Web site, while establishing TN Media as experts in our field.

In the first month, the blog resulted in 16% of total Web site page views. That number increased to 54% in the second month and our unique blog views increased by 270%. 

One post ranked TN Media on the first page of Google. Another post ranked us in the top five on the first page locally. And in just seven weeks, we grew our Facebook fan base from 782 to 1,919. 

As of June 2014, our likes have surpassed 5,300. Our Web site also grew monthly unique visitors by 230% and page views by 155% from November of 2013 to May of 2014. Calls to TN Media increased by 330% from November, 2013, to May, 2014. 

About Kristy Hemp

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