The Coca-Cola Company has revived an internal print magazine in digital form in a relaunch of its website. Coca-Cola describes the new site, Coca-Cola Journey, as a rich, socially enabled digital platform that seeks to tell Coke's story rather than serve as a purely corporate site.
According to Coca-Cola, the digital magazine focuses on so-called universally important topics, social causes, and company news. It will feature original and curated content and is designed to encourage dialogue. Coca-Cola Journey launched November 12.
Site content is divided by type - Stories, Opinions, Brands, Videos, and Blogs - and topic - Brands, Business, Community, Entertainment, Environment, Health, History, Innovation, and Sports. In addition to feature stories and hi-res photography, video, and audio, Coca-Cola Journey also includes infographics and a Debate Board, which polls readers on a range of Coke-related topics.
Coca-Cola Journey's launch issue featured a cover story on supporting schools in India, Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent's "Five Keys to Innovation," an interview with NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, and more than 70 other pieces of original content.
The Brands tab allows users to choose one of 26 Coca-Cola brands and filter chatter on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In other words, selecting "Fanta" and "Twitter" will display all the tweets from Fanta's handle, @FantaFun.
The site also features a Coca-Cola Company By the Numbers section with icons that display the number of worldwide products, tweets per quarter, years of happiness, and countries where Coca-Cola products are available, as well as its stock price.
Additional highlighted content includes Our Contributors, Our Readers, Most Read, Most Shared, Most Watched, and Most Debated.
The site will also continue to house corporate content such as press releases, investor information, SEC filings, company reports, executive bios, and job postings. But the layout, design, and editorial focus more closely resemble a digital magazine.
Ashley Brown, director of digital communications and social media at the Coca-Cola Company, says Journey was originally published as an internal print magazine from 1987 to 1997. CEO Kent wanted to bring back the magazine in a digital format, which was the genesis of the new site.
"The more we thought about that challenge, we realized that we shouldn't keep these great stories behind the four walls of Coke," Brown says. "We believe we're the first brand to really question what the role of a company site should be and replace it with an interactive magazine focused on real content. It's a risk, but I'm excited to see what the future holds and how our readers respond."
One advantage, Brown says, is that instead of simply issuing a press release about an initiative, such as Coca-Cola's support of the Support My School Project in India, the company can now provide a story with photos and context.
"So, with Coca-Cola Journey we have a rich storytelling platform, not just a static information point," Brown adds.
In September, the company launched Coca-Cola Unbottled, a corporate communications blog.
"We think of Coca-Cola Unbottled as a 'lean forward' experience that's updated daily," Brown says. "Coca-Cola Journey publishes more in-depth and long form pieces that provide a 'sit back' experience. The content will be refreshed regularly, but we're currently working on what the right cadence is."
Coca-Cola collaborated with the Wonderfactory and Perfect Sense Digital on the new site.
Coke has an earned, owned, internal, and paid media campaign to promote Coca-Cola Journey. According to a rep, Coca-Cola has also created a Spotify playlist of songs that mention Coke to coincide with the launch of Coca-Cola Journey.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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