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Buggy brilliant

James Evelegh's editorial from today's edition of InPubWeekly.

By James Evelegh

Buggy brilliant

For specialist media, in particular, so much depends on finding the key that unlocks the door to audience engagement – establishing a connection that singlehandedly lifts your brand, blows away the clouds and which makes everything thereafter make so much more sense.

Last year at a PPA event, we heard the uplifting story of Country Walking magazine and the transformative effect that their ‘Walk 1000 miles’ challenge had on their fortunes.

At the AOP Crunch event last week, I heard another: Immediate Media’s Susie Boone talked us through the amazing year Made for Mums had just had, on the back of a great new idea.

As with the walking challenge, it was beautifully simple, but really connected with their audience.

Their idea was to create a ‘Buggy testing track’ at one of the big parenting shows and it struck an instant chord with their audience of parents and soon-to-be-parents, who flocked to their stand.

Made for Mums went from being a passive media partner at the show, to being one of the destination stands, at that and, subsequently, other baby shows.

The results were spectacular: a huge uplift in reader engagement, greatly improved editorial output as the editorial team embedded on the stand had priceless access to their readers, new commercial opportunities as buggy manufacturers queued up to be included, PR moments galore (celeb mums need buggies too), revenue growth through increased sales of their show goody bags and more.

As an idea, it ticked all the boxes. It provided a fabulous touch point, and it’s thoroughly sustainable – people will keep having babies.

The lesson for other publishers is simple: find the connection, then milk it for all it’s worth. All the mission statements in the world are no substitute for deep and meaningful engagement with your audience.