EMO is one of the world's largest ore and coal transshipment companies, located in the Netherlands. In 2014, they approached TextArt asking, "How can we be sure our employees continue to read our staff magazine if we digitize it?" That was the start of a great partnership that took ‘de Grijper’ to the next level. In our interview with Arthur Snaauw, you’ll learn about the challenge EMO faced, the solution TextArt came up with, and the results they achieved together.
"The editions were read by an astounding 90% of our employees within 3 days. The average person spent 10 minutes engaging with the content."
TextArt has been around since 1994. We specialized in print magazines for insurance companies and, later, staff magazines and company magazines as well. A few years back, we saw opportunities for getting into digital magazines and we now create about 50 of these every year. As magazine designers, we think it’s the content that matters most regardless of what format it’s in. That’s one thing that distinguishes us from others.
I’ve worked at a publisher and have been making magazines for more than 20 years. As a result, I can think alongside customers in regards to both the commercial elements that go into publishing a magazine and the content itself.
EMO is an ore and coal transshipment company. It's a lot of tough men working in overalls; not exactly the tech-savvy type. "How can we be sure our employees continue to read our staff magazine if we digitize it?" was the question that EMO approached us with.
I gave them a workshop about everything online magazines had to offer. Afterwards, they replied, "We're just not ready for digitization." So, we gave the printed magazine a make-over with some new headings and much shorter articles. Finally, in 2015, EMO was ready for a digital version and, since then, we've produced 'de Grijper' online together.
The way to engage people with your magazine is with strong, relevant content. It's great if your publication looks good, but that doesn't necessarily translate into commitment and long reading times. Content is something TextArt is strong with. We approach digital publications with a content-first mentality.
'De Grijper' has a number of very strong periodicals and the editors don't shy away from challenges. The world of EMO is in full swing and employees have lots of questions. The management answers them in 'de Grijper'. Sensitive subjects are not avoided.
We were looking for an affordable platform that would allow us to produce magazines that were easy to read on the mobile, tablet, and desktop.
The main goal of 'de Grijper' was and still is to maintain its readership. Creating involvement is an important aspect. In addition, going digital also significantly reduced the costs, and that was certainly an important value proposition for EMO.
I have been working with digital magazines for years and I know all the vendors. Foleon has the best price/quality ratio. But the most important thing is that it's being constantly developed and improved. With other platforms, I sometimes get the feeling that they're standing still or are at least just chasing trends. Foleon keeps moving, and that's nice.
The first edition was read by 90% of employees after 3 days and had an average reading time of 10 minutes. We thought it was just beginners luck. But after 2 years, the results are still good. In fact, the average reading time has even increased somewhat.
The bridges and machines at EMO are very photogenic. The large images and background videos that we use certainly contribute to setting the right atmosphere.
EMO is very satisfied with 'de Grijper' and the contract was recently renewed. Of course, we're also looking at whether other forms of corporate communications can be digitized. Not only at EMO, but with all our clients.
A very general tip: try to distinguish yourself. We do this by not focusing only on design but also on content. And we're successful in that.