Founded in 2013, the University Paper is the UK’s largest student paper, targeting 2.5 million students across 16 cities each week with news direct from their campus and beyond. Bucking the trend for declining print circulation that’s dogged most of their peers in the newspaper industry, the Uni Paper’s print edition has been going from strength to strength, but getting the right digital presence in place is also crucial to engage with the target reach of young Millennials.
As well as ensuring the news reaches their readers online, on mobile and on social - all the places their 17-24-year-old readers consume it - the Uni Paper needed a digital solution that supported their business model of crowd-sourced content. Their freelance writers are paid in proportion to article views - a progressive partnership model which demanded both transparency and constant motivation to their crucial team of contributors.
PEOPLE CENTRIC STRATEGY
The website is aimed at 17 - 24 year olds who are used to getting their content from websites like BuzzFeed and Refinery 29 as well as serious news websites. We did a visual audit that encompassed all the types of content that they consume, which drove a direction for a website that feels youthful but that also has the ability to provide informative and serious content.
Engaging with writers beyond just submitting articles is key to the success of Uni Paper. We wanted writers to promote their articles on social media, encouraging their own followers to view and share their work - thereby creating a joint success model where everybody wins.
To incentivise this behaviour we need to create a fun and engaging way of tracking the success of each article, and show how far away you are from the next pay scale to get writers tweeting and posting their work.