Overview of this campaign
Blankspot is a crowdfunded digital only platform for longform journalism, reported from around the world. Well known in Sweden as an innovative media company from the business model (crowdfunding), to the close reader relation where the journalist is more of a conversation leader in secret member-only Facebook-groups and where the creation of a story can be followed from the beginning to the end. The content has a multi faceted creative packaging from VR to longreads and is free for everyone to read. We also focus on how to gain trust for journalism again. We are therefore extremely transparent with everything from methods to costs. We believe that the fight for journalism and free press should be carried out by the citizens.
A key component for any bid to succeed beyond the re-recruitment phase is transparency and a clear account of what you have provided in exchange for the money raised—what your backers ended up creating and getting.
After a year the largest challenge with rerecruiting was ahead. Blankspot therefore needed something that would make a bold statement and capture the attention of the members. We chose to surprise them by going very old school and print a special edition in broad sheet format with the very best of the year behind us
It was posted to every single backer as a direct marketing campaign. With a thank you note that asked them to join us yet another year.
Results for this campaign
The special edition in broad sheet, Blankspot #0, with it´s strong cover photo with a mask found at an IS-military base along with other piece of clothing rendered a lot of attention. Blankspot aim at growing a peoples movement for journalism. The mask on the cover is the same kind that was used during the brutal execution of the American journalist James Foley. The beheadings immediately caught global attention, just as IS wanted, and the masked murderers became a symbol of IS´s brutality. So in a way this was one of the most famous faces of 2015/16. The face of terror.
It was also a cover that reminded the backers of the risks journalists take in their strive to give people voices from blank spots of the world.
This special edition has created a high brand awareness amongst new and coming customers. 70% renewed their subscription. It was printed in 10 000 extra copies for distribution beyond the existing members. At the end of the first phase of the campaign Blankspot had more than 4 000 members and a daily reach that jumped to 16 000 unique visitors from 10 000 on the site. The company also attracted new investors through this brand building.
It is still small scale but big enough as a case on how to engage and build relations with old and new customers by using the power of cross media communication.
Blankspot #0 has been rewarded with several awards i.e. "The cover of the year" by The Swedish Publishing Association and "The Grand Publishing Prize" in Sweden. This is crucial in order to reach new customers and was the main marketing activity during 2016.