Inside HP’s Colourful & Inventive Innovation Journal

In March 2020, Sunshine Flint, government editor of HP’s model publications Innovation magazine and The Garage, employed somebody to assist her crew produce extra content material. The brand new 23-year-old worker was contemporary to the trade and effervescent with enthusiasm. However earlier than she ever had the chance to come back into the workplace, she needed to change to a totally distant work mannequin because of COVID-19 workplace closures.

“That sparked an thought,” Flint mentioned. “How is Gen Z faring as the primary cohort to begin their profession in a hybrid or distant workforce?”

That story and others impressed by Gen Z quickly ballooned right into a 70-page issue of Innovation devoted to “Era Rising.” HP’s journal, launched for summer time 2021 in each digital and print format, additionally coincided with the launch of a brand new movie sequence on Gen Z—”Generation Impact“—the model produced.

We sat down with Flint to speak about Innovation, the impetus behind HP’s Gen Z-focused advertising and marketing efforts, and the inventive course of that goes into bringing these formidable content material initiatives to life.

Why Gen Z?

As the primary actually digitally native era, Gen Z is enticing to technology companies—each as workers and clients. Consultants predict that by 2023, Gen Z would be the biggest generational cohort within the financial system. Listening to this group’s preferences and media patterns, together with how they eat content, is not optionally available.

In response, manufacturers like HP are getting inventive with the methods through which they discuss to this up-and-coming demographic. Publications like Innovation and The Storage fulfill twin functions: They inform inside workers about firm updates, and so they entertain clients loyal to the model.

Situation releases additionally are likely to coincide with the HP’s bigger aims and tentpole calendar occasions. Final fall, for instance, the corporate created a problem of Innovation centered on environmental initiatives in an effort to align with its annual sustainability report.

With “Era Rising,” HP needed to showcase how younger persons are utilizing know-how for social good whereas teasing their “Era Affect” movie sequence. The primary installment of that sequence, a brief movie known as The Coder, which incorporates a younger girl’s efforts to begin a coding college for Black college students, debuted in June 2021. The digital journal got here out the identical month, and the print model was launched in July.

The omnichannel tactic is wise, contemplating Gen Z’s tendency to prioritize video and other visual content over extra conventional types of advertising and marketing. The Innovation difficulty takes these preferences under consideration too. Past longform articles, the journal options vigorous, colourful illustrations; infographics; and the digital model even has an animated cowl.

Bringing Innovation to life

Bringing this newest difficulty of Innovation to life took about 4 months. The journal comes out thrice a 12 months, so there’s a great deal of lead time earlier than every launch. It’s hosted on the interactive publishing platform Joomag, and readers can join a digital subscription on-line.

When engaged on a brand new difficulty, Flint’s crew brainstorms story concepts, writes the items, and designs copy, illustrations, animations, and extra. For the reason that overwhelming majority of the Innovation crew comes from a background in publishing—largely magazines—they’re well-versed within the mechanics of such a multifaceted challenge.

When obligatory, HP additionally faucets freelance expertise. “We’re a small and mighty crew in-house, however you want a lot of expertise to make {a magazine},” Flint mentioned. “We use freelance writers, photographers, illustrators, editors, copy editors, artwork administrators, and producers.”

In fact, the pandemic threw a brand new wrench within the course of—Flint and the remainder of HP’s model journalism crew needed to adapt to working 100% remotely. Although it was an adjustment, Flint mentioned that it hasn’t hindered their creativity. The crew makes use of platforms like Slack, Zoom, Google Docs, Dropbox, Adobe InDesign, and InCopy to toss round concepts, learn proofs, and extra.

“I believe there’s all the time going to be a spot for magazines… it simply may not be on the newsstand.”

“Concerning distant collaboration… It’s taking place. It’s working. We’re doing it,” Flint mentioned. “Are there days when it could be simpler if we had been all collectively below one roof? Certain. However general, I believe we’re doing nice work.”

Gen Z was a “wealthy subject” when HP sat right down to brainstorm story ideas. The difficulty contains tales starting from Gen Z within the office—a chunk on internships and one other on the “new commute” for distant staff—to brief profiles of 15 younger individuals making a social influence by way of numerous tech platforms. Every topic has a connection to the model: some by direct partnerships, and others by non-governmental organizations that work with HP.

Gen Z profiles

“Lots of them are primarily based on client insights which were floating round,” Flint mentioned. “For the Gen Z difficulty, no one offered us with hard-and-fast info or information factors. We simply perceive that that is an upcoming precedence.”

However, Flint famous, HP’s ongoing funding into digital content material, distribution, and social promotion will quickly give them extra data to work with. “We’re hoping to begin getting a few of that information to have the ability to see what performs properly, the place persons are coming from, the place tales land, and so forth.,” she mentioned.

Reaching Gen Z and the way forward for magazines

HP isn’t the one know-how firm focusing its content material advertising and marketing on Gen Z.

Since information means that this era is especially invested in sustainability and social influence, manufacturers like Samsung and Dell are more and more experimenting with inspirational storytelling, charitable initiatives, and inclusive messaging. To align with Gen Z’s content material preferences, many legacy manufacturers are turning to widespread codecs like shortform movies on TikTok and Instagram Reels, in addition to smaller and extra intimate “digital campfires” on rising platforms like Fortnite, Discord, and Twitch.

Flint believes old-school magazines nonetheless have important worth—even for this digitally native era. (Innovation is launched each on-line and by way of a small print run of about 700 copies. Flint hopes to broaden that quantity as extra individuals return to the workplace, the place Innovation is often distributed.)

“I believe magazines nonetheless resonate with youthful generations as a result of there’s simply extra richness and depth to one of these content material,” she mentioned. “It’s packaged in a manner that’s very completely different from the [newsfeed].”

There’s one thing everlasting and reliable a couple of tangible journal—the physicality of it makes it much less ephemeral than the snippets youthful generations have grown accustomed to scrolling by on social media. Some reports have even discovered that buyers belief magazines greater than different sources of stories, together with tv and radio.

Within the context of content material advertising and marketing, HP hopes that the acquainted format—together with the authoritative government letter within the entrance, the in-depth reporting and fact-checking, and the participating combine of images and replica—is an efficient technique to attain each inside workers and potential clients affiliated with Gen Z.

“There’s energy to the printed kind. There’s energy to a entrance of the ebook that has your executives’ voices in it,” she mentioned. “I believe there’s all the time going to be a spot for magazines… it simply may not be on the newsstand.”

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