Flipping the funding model from organisations to readers
Project Syndicate began in the early 1990s as an initiative to assist newly independent media in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe, before quickly expanding to Western Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
They produce and deliver original, high-quality commentaries to a global audience. Featuring exclusive contributions by prominent political leaders, policymakers, scholars, business leaders, and civic activists from around the world, they provide news media and their readers cutting-edge analysis and insight, regardless of ability to pay. Their membership now includes nearly 500 media outlets – more than half of which receive commentaries for free or at subsidised rates – in more than 150 countries.
Revenue from syndication was in decline due to the changing media landscape. Content was ‘white labelled’ for the publications who paid for it, forcing Project Syndicate's brand to take a back seat. Their content was also available in multiple online locations, creating competition, drawing traffic away and diminishing their value.
Reader-supported digital revenue streams hadn’t been considered in the past, but appeared to be their biggest revenue opportunity to fill the gap left by syndication. However having never charged readers for access to articles or for products, significant changes to the external appreciation of Project Syndicate was required to achieve this. Project Syndicate have a fantastic product, incredible content, amazing story, differentiating purpose and enviable impact. The problem… they weren’t communicating it, exploiting it, or connecting the product to the people who’ll love it.
Purpose has worked closely with Project Syndicate over several months to develop a deep understanding of their audiences and the market in which they operate. Following internal and external interviews, workshops and audits, a new positioning was developed that capitalised on Project Syndicate’s depth of analysis and positioned them ‘beyond the news’.
A new brand hierarchy allowed Project Syndicate to continue its existing operations with media outlets and for a new consumer facing brand ‘PS’ to be developed, which would become the reader destination and support a new revenue strategy including a donation campaign, premium content and experiences.
A striking and distinctive new visual identity has been created for Project Syndicate to reinforce their positioning and differentiate them in the marketplace. The identity, which will be launched in September with the development of a new website, has already begun to appear on their social media channels to support the first Beta issues of their premium content, PS On Point.
- Research and report.
- Brand review.
- Brand strategy.
- Visual identity.
- Tone of voice.
- Brand & VI guidelines.
- Sales tools.
- Implementation and roll-out.