By: Nu Yang
As this past September marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, every newspaper in the country highlighted the event in its own way. For some publications, using a special package provided by Content That Works was their way to honor the historic date.
Chicago-based Content That Works started in 2001 with just one client (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) and one product (“Bride’s Guide”). Today it creates editorial products for about 1,300 clients in newspapers, television, and radio.
Chief evangelistic officer Paul Camp said that around July, the company was approached by clients requesting content to commemorate 9/11. “We had some mixed feelings about it,” he said. “We didn’t want to make it feel exploitative; we wanted it to feel balanced and positive.”
More clients signed on, and within three weeks the insert “September 11: Why We Remember” was ready to be delivered.
Camp said content was produced by freelancers from across the country. Stories featured celebrities, New York residents, and first-responders. The insert also featured a space for papers to localize the package by including stories from local residents and businesses about their experiences on Sept. 11.
“Due to the sensitive subject matter, we were very careful to let our advertisers know that we were not out to make a profit on the tragedy and were simply trying to recoup our expenses,” said Angie Callahan, advertising director of the Victorville (Calif.) Daily Press. “We actually offered the ads at a lower rate than normal and broke even on the project. We also took advantage of the extra space and included local people/comments, which rounded it out nicely.”
According to Camp, 170 clients downloaded the package, from the 175,000-circulation New Mexico MarketPlace in Albuquerque to the 1,236-circulation Sheridan (Ore.) Sun. In all, the package reached more than 2 million households.
Given the short turnaround for the product and the fact that it was better suited for smaller papers without the resources to put together their own custom 9/11 content, Camp said he considered the project a success — especially when compared to CTW’s popular “Holiday Gift Guide,” which was used by nearly 300 newspapers last year and reached 14 million households.
For more information, visit ContentThatWorks.com.