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There are about 26 million monthly visits to Bloomberg news sites, and 7.6 million government contracts have been tracked through Bloomberg Government, the company’s two-year-old subscription-based news and information site. For the first time, Bloomberg will produce daily publications for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, called Bloomberg Insider.
“In terms of the specifics of this edition, we started talking about this in the spring,” says Norm Pearlstine, chief content officer for Bloomberg LP and chairman of Bloomberg Businessweek. “I began by doing a few things—relying on colleagues at Bloomberg Businessweek who have contacts with printers and know about buying paper. We started to try and figure out what kinds of things we could produce that might be different and interesting compared to what everyone else has done.”
Bloomberg is making a more concentrated effort to increase its coverage of governmental relations, politics, business and their interaction. When producing any special interest publication, several factors must be considered—especially when designing a daily magazine during a specific time period for a select audience.
“Through the spring we were questioning things like what kind of deadline do you need to try and do a daily magazine? Does it matter if you can’t get the late night speeches into something?” says Pearlstine. “We had to learn a lot of things that other people who have done these things in the past have done, (like) how you distribute at conventions.”
In addition to planning how the editorial content would be produced and distributed, Bloomberg also looked to advertising partners looking to capture some of these key demographics for support.
“We tell them that we’re doing a few things,” says Pearlstine. “We’re printing 15,000 copies for each issue and 10,000 of those will be distributed by the convention and will be in kiosks. We’ll distribute 5,000 copies in the Washington area.”
In addition to distribution at the convention, Bloomberg will have a PDF version on Bloomberg.com and BusinessWeek.com, and it will be available to the subscribers of Bloomberg Government, and the Bloomberg Terminal, which has over 300,000 subscribers.
“Bloomberg will be highly visible at each convention,” says Pearlstine. “We’re going to have event space at both conventions where we’ll be doing panel discussions, explaining Bloomberg Government, social events and viewings of the proceedings. Advertisers in Bloomberg Insider will have access to events and that space.”
Bloomberg has hired a special ad sales consultant to produce the dailies, and the Tampa Bay and Charlotte Business Journals will be contributing editorial content and selling advertising locally as well.
"With a few weeks left in our ad sales process, and with limited inventory available, we are pleased by the response from advertisers,” a spokesperson for Bloomberg LP tells AD. “In fact, the Thursday editions of the Bloomberg Insider for each convention (August 30th and September 6th) are sold out."
Bloomberg considers an important part of the Bloomberg Insider’s ROI to be raising awareness about its other products, which is why the edition will be peppered with house-ads in addition to paid. Alerting people to Bloomberg’s growing coverage of politics, and not just financial news, has been a broad effort of the company—it hopes the Insider will help to raise that awareness.
“We’re excited about the ability to sell advertising and get recognition for it, but the real ROI for us is (awareness). In the last two years we’ve gone from about 150 editorial employees in Washington to 1,600 to 1,800 total employees in Washington,” says Pearlstine. “We very much wanted to make sure that the audience that attends conventions, like members of Congress, members of the administration, lobbyists, lawyers, publicists and political leaders, understand the extraordinary expansion of Bloomberg’s presence in Washington, and our commitment to the coverage of politics, government and the interaction with business.”
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