It is important to highlight that the objective of this campaign was not focused on sales or business effects, but on increasing AD’s brand engagement and brand reputation among the Dutch population.
The effect of image campaigns such as this is gauged over time, and since the project is still running, it is too soon to build a case isolating the results.
But the main objective has been accomplished for the brand, since kids from 585 schools have learned what it takes to publish their own school newspaper and teachers are enthusiastic: they notice their pupils discovering their talents and the role of being a journalist makes them more aware of their environment and provides them with a stronger foundation for critical thinking.
To revive the tradition of school papers, we set up an educational platform for Dutch primary schools: Project School Paper. It offers schools interactive lessons from the best AD journalists, teaching kids the main tenets of journalism: finding news, interviewing, photography, writing and design. Teachers were able to use the tools and content and integrate it into their daily lessons.
We used the online and print editions of AD to announce the project. We used social media to reach and engage with opinion leaders from the education, philosophy, culture, politics, journalism and blogging communities. Besides online media, we used other media such as the newspapers and TV stations of the media communications group that owns AD. Every touch point we used was focused on drawing attention to the main medium: the AD school newspaper interactive platform.
AD and Wegener are newspapers that not only bring people the big, international news. Instead, they seek to be open and accessible and to remain in touch with their readers’ lives. That’s why they don’t only publish international or national news, but also include regional news items. They also set up consumer tests, to inform their readers about the best hospital or coffee shop in town. By doing so, they make sure to provide their readers with a strong foundation for making decisions in their lives, because they know what’s going on in their immediate environment.
If you’re a newspaper that cares about your readers, you’re concerned that school papers are becoming a relic of the past in primary schools. That’s because you know that school might be the best place for children to learn how to consume news. That it will teach them to become critical thinkers, think independently and develop their own opinions, thereby providing them with a strong foundation. A school paper is not just some pet project for primary school pupils. A school paper – and its role as an important learning source – needs to have a prominent place in every primary school in the Netherlands.
That’s why AD and Wegener decided to set up an ambitious project to revive the school paper: Project School Paper.