Congratulations to Chemist & Druggist, UBM who are winners of Digital Editorial Team of the Year: B2B
Your ’Elevator Pitch’
We turned a 157-year-old weekly print publication for community pharmacists into a digital success story. With a reduced team, and limited resource, we pushed ourselves to experiment with Facebook Live, rolling Twitter coverage, bespoke apps, SEO, and an analytics-focused news agenda.
Not stopping at online, we oversaw the launch of the brand’s first-ever live careers event, successfully targeting and engaging a new generation of our audience.
The result? Unique visitors to our website leapt 30%. Advertisers also flocked to the site, with digital revenue exceeding our owner’s realistic projections by 41%.
Set The Scene
Given just four months to close the print magazine, the team of six faced an uncertain 2017. How could we prove to our readership we were still an essential part of their lives?
One of our competitors had already written to our audience, hinting we were dead in the water and emphasising to clients that print was still the best way to target our shared readership of busy pharmacy professionals. They had a point - our key advertisers saw print as fundamental to their marketing strategies. It meant we had mere months to prove the brand would swim - rather than sink.
Tell Us The Story
Our digital strategy drew on the skills of every team member to engage our audience with a series of interactive initiatives, designed to showcase the potential of our online platform. First, we commissioned an app for readers to pick the most influential individuals across healthcare. This feature - labelled "addictive" by users - receiving a phenomenal 117,000 votes. We packaged these results into an interactive ’Forbes Rich List’-style article, viewed more than 5,000 times.
A legal battle over massive cuts to our readers’ government funding offered the perfect opportunity to showcase our digital reporting skills. Deputy news editor Annabelle and newly-recruited digital reporter Tom live tweeted the entire three-day hearing – the only journalists to do so. Their #CutsInCourt hashtag was used 2,270 times – reaching 7.5 million users – while their website coverage was viewed almost 20,000 times. They also experimented with Facebook Live, streaming videos live from the court entrance, which were viewed more than 3,000 times.
News editor Grace followed this with an in-depth data investigation, requesting crime statistics from every UK police force. The resulting interactive map revealed how dangerous our readers’ workplaces really are, and was even brought up in meetings between the pharmacy minister and the Home Office.
Worried losing our print presence would make it hard to reach new readers, clinical editor Kris took it upon himself to organise a careers evening. The evening, streamed live on Facebook, was praised by sponsors and delegates alike, and has fundamentally changed our strategy – we are planning two events for 2018.
The results speak for themselves: average monthly unique visitors to the website rose from 54,000 to 70,000 in a single year, while engagement on Twitter and Facebook rose by 101% and 250% respectively. Online advertising revenue for 2017 was 41% above target, and only looks set to grow.
Rather than losing our voice with the end of print, we increased our national presence. We were name-checked from Buzzfeed to The Express in 2017, and this ultimately led to clinical editor appearing live on BBC News to represent our readers this winter.
The team’s status as champions for our readers was even recognised in the upper echelons of government, when the recently-appointed minister for pharmacy wrote to thank us for “all you do to maintain the strength of purpose we all benefit from in the sector”.