Following our success winning ‘Publication of the Year 2021’ at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ PRide Awards, along with our client Campbell Tickell, (link opens in a new tab) for the work we did together on its new CT Brief newsletter, many of our other clients have been in touch to ask this question: ‘Is a digital publication right for my organisation?’.
The answer to this query – as with so many in comms – is, it depends on your aims and your audiences.
Campbell Tickell CT Brief
Before deciding whether it would be worthwhile publishing a digital report or newsletter, it would first be useful to consider See Media’s experience working with Campbell Tickell.
We had been supporting the management consultancy for several years, producing a very nice-looking, but limited, PDF newsletter.
The bi-monthly newsletter (link opens in a new tab) was valued by CT’s clients and contacts, but it was not fully accessible across all devices, and it was difficult to track engagement (see box: PDF v digital publication).
CT was also conscious that, with the switch by many people to more remote working, they were increasingly accessing information on a smaller mobile or laptop devices, as opposed to an office desktop or printed material. The team wanted to improve its user experience and to project a more modern image.
PDF v digital publication
|Rigid layout||Responsive layout|
|Difficult to read on mobile devices||Can be read easily on any device|
|Hard to track engagement and tailor SEO||Complete SEO tagging and Google tracking ID|
|Fully interactive links||Fully interactive links|
|Can link to video and audio||Fully embed video and audio|
|Hosted on client website||Hosted on client website|
|Digital and print||Digital-only – saves on paper and print costs; also, more eco-friendly|
As set out in our CT Brief case study, we reviewed the options for CT and recommended the digital publishing platform Foleon as the best option for meeting CT’s objectives.
CT agreed, and See Media went ahead and invested in Foleon, along with the training our team needed to design attractive, effective Foleon publications.
Since then, we have produced nine CT Briefs as digital publications. The results have been impressive:
- On average, there have been 3,330 unique page views per issue – a six-fold increase on the previous PDF version
- Unique page views across the first six Foleon CT Brief issues totalled more than 21,000, contributing to about 10% of all CT website traffic during those 12 months
settle annual accounts
We took the same approach with Letchworth-based housing association settle when it asked us to help it produce a modern, accessible annual accounts publication.
Again, our client considered the pros and cons versus a PDF and decided the more user-friendly approach of a digital publication worked best to help deliver their aims – especially with a customer audience. See our settle annual accounts case study (link opens in a new tab) for more information.
Planning a digital publication
Planning a digital publication is the same as planning any other piece of collateral. It tends to include the following key steps:
- A kick-off meeting to discuss:
- The objectives for the publication: what will success look like?
- The target audience for the publication and their accessibility needs
- Maximising the use of interactive and other video content
- The See Media team creates templates in Foleon using the client’s existing brand guidelines and oversees feedback and amendments
- Publish the publication, and produce a social media campaign to share it with target audiences
- Engage with target audiences on social media
- Measure engagement and reach, evaluating the publication’s performance against objectives
As a team, we really enjoy transforming existing publications and bringing new ones to life. We would be delighted to discuss your needs and help you to decide whether a digital publication is right for your organisation.
Please get in touch for a chat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org