By: Mark Fitzgerald
RedEye, the free commuter tabloid published by the Chicago Tribune, on Thursday launched new versions of its loyalty program and Web site intended to reinforce a reader sense of community.
RedEye Rewards was renamed iSociety and refocused on community events, the tabloid’s general manager, Brad Moore, said in an interview.
“We’re trying to bring RedEye loyalists together,” he said. “There will be more opportunities for hanging out, and it will be more exclusive than (events) have been. There will be exclusive VIP access to clubs and bars, and to tickets we get hold of. A lot of reward programs typically include stuff you can find in other places. This will be more exclusive.”
RedEye’s Web site remains at its same address www.redeyechicago.com, but contains much more content.
“The site was a brochure site, a glorified ‘about us’ site,” Moore said. Now it includes community-focused forums, viral video, polls, plus some content from the paper such as the popular “Five On Five” daily feature, a humorous look at sports topics by a mix of staffers, guests and fictional characters such as Evil Super Computer.
“This is another destination” that is not intended to replicate RedEye on the Web, Moore said: “You won’t be able to all the printed content. Our hope is if this works, traffic will spike at 10 in the morning, after people have read the paper and come online for story polls or more information.”
The loyalty program, iSociety, is free, and can be joined through the Web site.
“RedEye has always been more than just an irreverent take on Chicago news,” Kristina Niemi, manager/RedEye advertising partnership, said in a statement. “It’s also a way to reach out to the city’s most active adults through special offers and exclusive events. This is something we’ve always done, but now our readers will notice how we’re stepping up these efforts.”