Over the 8 months, I've been managing the external communications and public relations at the Are We Europe Foundation, primarily working on the flagship border-breaking magazine, Are We Europe.
Is the future of media digital?
One of the big discussions at Are We Europe has been the future of media and journalism. With decreasing trust in our media institutions, an increasing amount of trust placed in short-form content online, it's understandable to be concerned about the future.
So the challenging question for Are We Europe has been: how do we continue to make printed journalistic magazines with long-form pieces from young and emerging pan-European voices, while staying up-to-date on digital industry developments and growing our impact (and revenue)?
One of the strategies that I enacted in the role of Head of Communications and Public Relations has been to adopt a digital-first mentality on our social media platforms. Rather than seeing our social media platforms as a notice board about the magazines, we began to structure our strategy around the way that audiences want to engage with content.
Creating digital-first content for digital audiences
How does our audience want to engage with content? Well, by actually having content to engage with! That means rather than posting a quote from a piece in the latest magazine and saying "here's an interesting article, buy our magazine to read it", we began to create more in-depth posts that actually share the content of the piece. Using reels to build narratives, and using carousels to deep-dive into stories that one-image posts couldn't do, we stopped hiding the most interesting pieces of our content behind the "link in bio".
And what happened? People responded to it. People watched the reels, scrolled through the carousels, left comments and questions, replied to each other, and shared the posts on their own stories too.
A strategy like this is great for building brand visibility and community. Because digital audiences now want digital-first content. They want to be educated and entertained, rather than sent to external links blocked by paywalls and advertisements.
In the last 8 months, we've seen the following successes:
51% increase in Instagram reels views
2x more short-form videos created
11 stories picked up and reposted by influencers and larger channels on Instagram
360+ attendees to our in-person magazine events in Brussels
216% increase in LinkedIn followers since June 2022, after initiative platform-specific strategy