Worth Knowing
2018 Finalist

Worth Knowing

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta, United States

Category Best Brand Awareness Campaign

Overview of this campaign

Isn’t it worth knowing what’s really going on?  That single question provides the foundation and value proposition for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s 2017 brand marketing strategy and campaign. As a news media organization, marketing the value and credibility of our journalism has never been more important. The AJC committed to this strategy in 2017 and focused awareness campaigns to consistently reinforce what readers most value from us in order to drive performance on three levels: preference (choose our brand), loyalty (deepen an emotional tie to our brand) and margin (be willing to pay more).

We began with extensive consumer research based on answering one question: what do readers believe is worth reading and worth paying for? Four distinct themes answered that research question: real journalism, civic responsibility, community pride and personal ritual.  What readers wanted most, the research revealed, is for the AJC to be the most credible and complete source to know what’s really going on with their tax dollars, local government, roads, schools, and communities.

Based on these research insights, we developed a brand marketing campaign called “Worth Knowing.” The campaign was launched in three phases to consistently enhance and shape brand perceptions throughout 2017.

Phase 1: “Worth Knowing” promoted our core message – it’s worth knowing what’s really going on in your community. Campaign elements included TV, radio, digital pre-roll and print. Learn more about this campaign in our entry attachments.

Phase 2: “Worth Reading” focused on promoting key local journalists and columnists.  Campaign elements included digital display, Facebook ads and print.

Phase 3: The “Year in Real Journalism” took a creative approach to the idea of a year-end annual report. We wrapped our Sunday newspaper with a highly visible “community impact report” and published six op-ed columns. We also launched a significant native advertising buy. Branded content elements included videos, listicles, an interactive quiz and feature story. Learn more about this campaign in our entry attachments.


Results for this campaign

We are extremely pleased that the “Worth Knowing” campaign is positively impacting brand perceptions – even in its first few months. We fielded two rounds of research to measure the effectiveness of the “Worth Knowing” campaign before and after a 30-day broadcast period. Highlights include:   

*perceptions: The ad raised perceptions of all 15 key attributes measured – respondents who saw the ad rated the newspaper higher on every single market position than respondents who didn’t see the ad.

*recall: 30% of respondents in this panel study recalled seeing the ad – and when asked on an unaided basis what they remembered, 27% specifically mentioned one or more features of the “Worth Knowing” campaign.

*reason to read: The ad drove “reason to read” and “reason to subscribe” numbers. More than 1/3 rated the ad an 8 or higher (out of 10) as a reason to read. Nearly 2/3 of subscribers rated the ad an 8 or higher as a reason to continue subscribing. More than 1/3 of non-subscribers rated the ad an 8 or higher as a reason to subscribe.

We also had excellent audience engagement with our “Year in Real Journalism” native advertising campaign, delivering more than 59.5 million impressions; 205,479 article page views; and 5,600+ social interactions, surpassing projections by 119%. “The Making of Real Journalism” videos received more than 1.4 million views – well above projections. 

Social comments came from across the political spectrum, but we also saw a significant showing of support from commenters on the importance of journalism in society. The overall feedback rating from Facebook is “high,” which is an exceptionally important result since it can be challenging when social comments are focused on the subjects of news/journalism.

Additionally – and importantly – the campaign made a positive impact on employee morale within the AJC, reaffirming the value of doing real journalism day to day.


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