How a newspaper can help boost your business after lockdown

rescue freedom newspaper cover

As lockdown eases in many parts of the world, brands are finding ways to reposition themselves for the future. According to Hubspot, marketing spend is expected to grow by 14% in 2021.

At the same time, customers have shown “an increased demand for transparency and authenticity,” writes Deborah Schroeder-Saulnier at Fast Company. “Walking the thin line between ‘fresh start’ and ‘steadfast reliability’ is a business imperative.”

Creative brands are turning to newspapers to strike the tricky balance between the fresh and the familiar. Printed material is a welcome change to the screens we’ve grown all too accustomed to. Newsprint in particular is an accessible and agile format that’s well suited to this moment of transition.

Below, see how 5 businesses are using newspapers to connect with their customers, support their staff and boost their brand as we begin to imagine life beyond the pandemic.

HCMA rebrand broadsheet printed by Newspaper Club

Tangible transformation from hcma

Design and architecture firm hcma says the pandemic "shifted the focus onto our people and put our values into sharp focus.” To reflect how they've changed over the past year, the Canadian firm just launched a fresh brand identity.

"A client reached out to thank us for giving them the opportunity to sit down and read ‘the paper.' It was the highlight of their day."

“Sharing our rebrand with clients was an opportunity to reintroduce our vision and be deliberate about who we are and how we can help," says Bonnie Retief, Creative Lead at hcma. "So much of what we consume nowadays is through a computer screen, so we wanted all the pieces of the new brand to be tactile and tangible."

The newspaper — "a really important component of our rebrand" — was included in packages sent to hcma's clients and staff. “It seems like we hit the mark,” says Bonnie. “The next day a client reached out to thank us for giving them the opportunity to sit down with a cup of coffee and read ‘the paper’ – something physical after more than a year of being online. It was the highlight of their day.” Printed on our digital broadsheets.

Dishoom newspaper

Staff support from Dishoom

Even with restaurants closed, the team at Indian restaurant group Dishoom has been busy — from packaging up cook-at-home kits to volunteering at vaccination clinics to clocking up miles for their 10 Thousand Miles for 10 Million Meals fundraiser.

The Dishoom Samachar, named after Bombay’s oldest newspaper, celebrates these achievements and boosts team morale as business picks up again.

“Everyone has had a tough year, but some incredible work has been achieved despite all the challenges,” says Dishoom, which was recently ranked the 4th best place to work in the UK by the Sunday Times. “Our newspaper is a way to give thanks to everyone who contributes to making Dishoom a great place to work.” Printed on our digital tabloids.

Heartening headlines from Rescue: Freedom

Good news could be hard to come by in 2020. In this annual report, non-profit Rescue:Freedom reminds their supporters of the positive headlines they made possible despite the pandemic. “The newspaper format gave us opportunities to be creative that we wouldn’t have had otherwise,” says designer Mollie Thompson. “It just made the whole report more inviting.”

"The newspaper made the whole report more inviting. Supporters said that it's our best yet!"

Their supporters have been delighted by the approach: “People are posting about them on social media, calling and emailing to tell us how much they enjoyed reading them,” Mollie says. “Some even said that it’s our best report yet — and we’ve received several unexpected large donations!” Printed on our traditional broadsheets.

Creative studio BEST's spring promo, printed by Newspaper Club.

Fresh perspectives from BEST Studio

“The newspaper was a great way to tell our story,” says Alison Matheny, founder of design agency BEST. "We're so used to digesting everything in bite-sized chunks on social media, it's nice to get something in the mail and spend time discovering it.”

Alison used a newspaper to make “a comprehensive piece that reintroduced the studio” to clients. It reflects the studio’s values down to the packaging it arrives in: “Sustainable marketing can still be cute!” Alison wrote on an Instagram post showing the compostable stickers and recycled envelopes she used for mailing.

“With so much unknown, now is a great time to reevaluate how you're showing up to your community and get a new perspective,” Alison advises. “Think about what you love about your brand and experiment with ways of communicating that.” Printed on our digital tabloids.

The Upside broadsheet newspaper

Community connections from LeftCoast

For some, adjusting to life after the pandemic may not be straightforward. Arts organisation LeftCoast used a newspaper, The Upside, to “provide gentle support to Blackpool’s most socially isolated as we transition out of lockdown."

"The newspaper has given the local community a chance to celebrate the small things."

“The feedback has been tremendous,” says LeftCoast designer Nick Steel. “The newspaper has given the local community the chance to celebrate the small things that had a big impact on the people of Blackpool this year.” Printed on our digital broadsheets.

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