It’s part of a site-wide holiday sale
over the summer, with some reaching 1.8 million views within 24 hours. While King said the latest TikTok post, in particular, isn’t expected to “get large numbers of direct response subscribers,” it’s a way to build the brand for potentially younger readers.
Publishers have created brand marketing campaigns as more turn to their readers to pay for their journalism, introducing membership models or paywalls as they continue to compete for ad dollars. This includes The Wall Street Journal, which released a widespread TV and OOH campaign to “read yourself better”; The New York Times, which showed how its reporting is done with its “The Truth Is Worth It” campaign; and The Atlantic, which created a mural to tout its new magazine design and focus. The Washington Post also put an ad in the Super Bowl last year to honor journalists who had died in their line of work.
While some Washington Post journalists appeared in the Super Bowl ad, King said that there might be additional future opportunities for the publisher to use journalists, particularly from lifestyle and commentary sections of the newspaper to tout subscription drives as they also build their brands and become their own forward-facing entities.
King’s team will keep track of the number of people and where they come from that sign up for subscriptions from the URL Jorgenson promoted in addition to other staffers who also shared URLs for the subscriptions. But that “is not something we’re communicating to the newsroom,” she said, later adding, “or in any way creates a metric for their performance.”