In April, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution launched its largest marketing campaign in years. Called Press On, the campaign focuses on the paper’s journalists and the importance of their work. The yearlong multimedia campaign will appear on digital and social media channels, as well as broadcast, print, and outdoors. The campaign can also be found at ajc.com/presson.
According to publisher Donna B. Hall, the paper began to consider a rebranding campaign after its parent company, Cox Enterprises, announced in late 2019, the sale of its radio, TV and newspaper properties in Ohio, making the Atlanta Journal-Constitution its sole news product. (Cox Enterprises has since brought back the Ohio newspapers.) At the time, the print and digital products also operated under different names. To avoid market confusion, the leadership team decided to conduct a relaunch under the same masthead.
It is now featured on the printed product and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s various digital products including the digital edition, ajc.com, podcasts, smartphone apps, email newsletters, and social media channels. The new design is based on the 1939 masthead used when Cox Enterprises purchased the newspaper. Hall said the new logo expresses the serious nature of real journalism and draws inspiration from the newspaper’s deep roots in Atlanta and the public service mission.
“As digital and social media become the primary way people consume news and there is so much disinformation out there, it is critical for people to identify trusted, credible media sources like us,” she said. “That’s why readers will see this new logo extended across all digital products and social media accounts.”
When visitors come to the Press On website, they will find a publisher’s note from Hall explaining the change in the masthead and a note from editor Kevin Riley explaining the important role their journalists play. The site currently features stories written by 11 Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalists discussing how they “press on” as they cover topics like civil rights, business, sports, and food and dining. According to Hall, these journalists were selected for the initial launch because they produce the type of content that drives subscriptions and engagement. In the future, more journalists will be featured. In addition, the campaign will encourage people to subscribe, download images to share on social media, and donate to the newspaper’s COVID-19 journalism.
Launching the brand campaign was urgent due to the world of newspapering today, said Hall.
“We need the public to understand why they need their newspapers…they need us, and we need them,” she said. “We must have their support if we’re going to continue this great work. It should be a symbiotic relationship.”