[Agency: Havas PR Global Collective]

Challenge: For the first time in the 171-year history of The Economist, the publication would be changing its timing and format. The new daily (weekday) edition for smartphones—called The Economist Espresso—would launch Nov. 7, 2014, and Havas PR North America (with assistance from our Havas PR Global Collective teammates in APAC, France, Germany and the U.K.) was assigned to create headlines about the media outlet in other media outlets. The placements we secured would not only get the news out and tell stories about the brand, but they would also help increase downloads of the app (

Actions: Each aspect of our strategy was designed to increase shareability of the news about Espresso’s launch and to engage fans and prospective readers alike in order to boost downloads of the app—and create an even larger advocate base. Havas PR helped to identify 500 influencers and 200 of The Economist’s top advocates, then distributed to-the-point releases. Likewise, we sent concise pitches to targeted top-tier media outlets.

Results: Havas PR brokered exclusives with Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal that published the second the app was available for download, boosting visibility of The Economist’s brand in conjunction with the launch of Espresso. Media coverage in the first five weeks reached nearly 600 media outlets, with a combined audience of 200 million readers. Global, national, advertising and marketing outlets jumped on the story, from Le Monde, O Globo and PBS to Fast Company, Campaign Asia-Pacific, Mumbrella and more. Espresso downloads total more than 650,000 to date. Today Havas PR North America’s Havas Peaks C-suite consultancy is establishing The Economist’s top executives and editors as innovators who have successfully navigated today’s changing media landscape.