How Hearst UK is using emotional intelligence to deliver success for its branded partnerships

What's New in Publishing 21 Jun 2021 06:55

Hearst UK, the leading premium content and experience business, has recently announced a record-breaking growth in branded content partnerships. A key part of its success has been its exploration and use of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ to further empower its commercial brand partnerships.

Emotional intelligence (or EQ) is defined as ‘the ability to understand, use, and manage own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict’.

Hearst UK’s thinking behind the increased use of EQ was to use both artificial and human data, including research panels and social listening, to gain an even deeper emotional understanding of consumers who were living through a global pandemic – part of a successful strategy from the publishing company whose 23 brands sell 3.8M magazines and generate 18.6M unique users per month.

With an audience otherwise inundated with bad news, the publisher felt that its partnerships approach complimented perfectly its overarching message of ‘positivity’.

The impact of the Project Body Love campaign amongst Hearst UK’s readership has been significant. The publisher’s own research has shown that it has helped bolster high female body confidence by 43%. It has proven so successful that Hearst UK extended it to include a Project Body Love Weekender virtual event, and later this year the publisher is planning an augmented reality project similarly geared to boosting female body confidence.

Our purpose at Hearst UK – to help our consumers get more out of life – is not forced, it’s authentic. It informs everything we do. And that enshrines the opportunity.

James Wildman, CEO, Hearst UK

Learnings for other publishers

  • “Publishers can never underestimate the power of authenticity. Real people, real opinions and real content resonate more during challenging times. Empower your creator network to let consumers into their hearts, minds and homes to create partnerships with real substance.”
  • “A big challenge for our clients was getting the tone right – how to drive purchase in a sensitive and appropriate way. We found our partnerships that first and foremost, addressed a real and relevant consumer need, worked hardest in converting to purchase.”

Hearst UK is hosting a free webinar based on its Bournemouth University research on Tuesday 22nd of June at 11am, for which attendees can register here.

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HearstHearst UKUKHearst PurposeBournemouth University
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