Best corporate publication - private sector 2014 Article icon



First Great Western

Agency: Think

More than 1.5 million passengers use Great Western trains, which travel across South Wales, the West Country, London and parts of Southern England, every week, making it important to connect with them on a regular basis to share information about services and offers, plus build customer affinity with the brand.

Great Western sees the solution as a print magazine that can be read on the journeys – patchy network coverage made an online offering unworkable – and promote new destinations. But its existing publication, Go do… was not hitting the mark.

Escape took that magazine, built on its contents and relaunched it to a wider audience. For example, recognising that magazine display units sit at each end of a carriage, it created covers that would capture passengers’ imagination and made them want to pick Escape up and read it.

The editorial strategy focused on providing value to the customer first, ahead of sales messages. Competitions, celebrity interviews and quiz pages were introduced to encourage readers to engage for longer, while – following the January storms that damaged the Dawlish line – human interest stories that tie in with the I’m a Great Westerner advertising campaign were introduced.

Customer research has found that 51 per cent of passengers who have read Escape have made a journey as a result, equating to travel spend of £1.4 million per issue, while 79 per cent take it with them when they leave the train.

‘This is a very good publication that I would pick up and read,’ said the judges.