Brand content, Alive Magazine, December 2, 2016
Photo by Emily Iovaldi for Alive Magazine
Based in St. Louis, Alive Magazine focuses on makers and artisans in almost 10 cities in the Midwest. The magazine, which publishes full-sized traditional magazines as well as smaller wedding- and city-specific guides six to ten times a year, covers art, fashion, food, social justice, beauty, wellness and more. While most print and digital features are traditional journalism or journalism-lite, Alive also partners with brands for curated sponsored content.
As the editor in charge of digital content, I worked with Alive's account managers and a local hospitality client to pitch and develop sponsored items that would gently enhance the client's reputation both as a wedding destination and as an LGBTQ+-friendly vendor. The month-long strategic content included custom promotional photos, a story that positioned the client as a wedding expert, a Facebook photo album, targeted Facebook ad buys, repeated shares from all Alive social media channels, print magazine content, e-newsletter spotlights and a giveaway that included a stay on the client's property, a dining experience and a walkthrough of the client's catering menu.
I pitched the client on a number of narrative concepts, and they were excited about being positioned as an industry expert. Reader response to the social media posts and to the giveaway were well over what the client had anticipated, and the number of fans for their own channels grew as readers clicked through from Alive's properties to theirs. Alive and the client have since reused ideas from the content strategy, and the photos came in handy for later projects.
Below, I've included a few of the items that were part of the content strategy.
The Cheshire in St. Louis Shares Three Secrets For Planning the Perfect Wedding
By Allison Babka
A wedding is a beautiful celebration of love – something that the couple and their guests will remember forever. But every memorable wedding takes planning and coordination, which may feel overwhelming at times. We teamed up with the wedding experts at The Cheshire, a charming luxury hotel in St. Louis, to learn how brides and grooms can plan a perfect event while maintaining their cool.
1/ Remove obstacles.
There are many components to a wedding, so the happy couple should do everything they can to make things easier on themselves. Having a wedding planner on site can help tremendously, as they will coordinate timing, menu item releases, announcements and other details, freeing up the couple’s time. They also may help book the bridal suite or other rooms for pre-ceremony preparations, setting up a joyful day that accommodates all scenarios.
2/ Share your city.
The couple and their guests might stay at the same hotel before, during and after the wedding, but they understandably may need a little space. Providing guests with city guides, transit options and a list of can’t-miss attractions will help keep guests happily occupied. At The Cheshire, guests can lounge poolside, borrow a bike, feast in a variety of hotel restaurants or experience the wellness center. Nearby, guests can easily walk to two movie theaters, boutiques and popular attractions in Forest Park – all while being just a car or transit ride away from downtown and other popular neighborhoods.
3/ Remember to breathe.
It’s ok for a couple to take some time to themselves during or after a wedding. A few hours alone together can do wonders for energy levels and serve as a reminder about why this event is so meaningful. Before returning to daily lives or going on a honeymoon, couples may want to spend a few extra days at the hotel to decompress. In the Cheshire’s themed bridal rooms, the happy couple can savor in-room couples’ massages, rest in a Euro-style pillow-top bed and unwind in en-suite Jacuzzi tubs. After a few days of relaxation, brides and grooms will feel refreshed and ready for the next round of celebrations and congratulations.
6300 Clayton Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63117