The Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) is a regional economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida tasked with growing high tech industry in a 23-county service area. For 10 years, FHTCC partnered with a publisher to produce an annual editorial-style magazine with full-length features on FHTCC’s initiatives in research.
In 2012, Curley & Pynn took on the role of publisher and, based on partner requests, set out to provide a digital version of the magazine allowing partners to easily share with different audiences. The re-launch of the magazine with this digital component would serve to increase awareness of the region’s growing high tech industry.
Based on its research, the team developed a two-tiered editorial strategy for both the simultaneous release of the print magazine and digital edition early in 2012, and more features that would be added for a mid-year update of the digital version in the fall, keeping all stories from the print magazine, and expanding the digital content with additional features and a new cover story.
In-house writers produced “evergreen” articles to allow journalists or readers to report or share the stories year-round or do in-depth articles on featured companies. Curley & Pynn’s new digital partner provided layout, graphic design, printing and digital production services for the magazine both in January and August for the print and digital releases. For the first time, the digital edition allowed viewers to play embedded videos within the magazine. This function enhanced the interaction of the magazine for partners using it as a digital promotion at tradeshows and other conferences.
After the production was finalized, Curley & Pynn posted the digital version and PDF version of the magazine on the FHTCC website and managed mailings to partners, advertisers and other regional contacts. Local and national media were also sent personalized pitch letters with a magazine for coverage.
Economic Development Organizations and other partners requested 8,600 copies of the 2012 magazine to use for marketing outreach at four international trade shows, 10 state conferences and for direct marketing to corporate prospects. Requests from partners effectively depleted the remaining supply of magazines, even while the digital copy saw additional web traffic.
From February through December, the online magazine recorded 2,254 views from 1,503 unique visitors, exceeding the objective of 1,500 online views. The mid-year update of the digital version, containing added content, garnered a 33 percent increase in web visits within one month.
As a result of the targeted pitching, numerous news outlets covered the Corridor and high tech companies, including the Orlando Sentinel, Gainesville Sun, Bradenton Herald and Global Corporate Xpansion magazine, a top site-selection publication.