Contently Case Story: How Eni Launched a Stunning, Futuristic Mag in Just 1 MonthBy Amanda Walgrove August 10th, 2015
Contently case stories is a series highlighting some of Contently’s most successful clients, and telling the stories of how we worked together to produce great content and great business results.
“Energy is a good story.”
Launched this month in partnership with Contently, Eniday aims to peel back the curtain on advancements in technology, exploration, sustainability, and energy efficiency.
“Like most energy companies… we are thinking about the future,” said Marco Bardazzi, the company’s executive VP for communications. “We are developing new ideas about what we will do in 50 years and how energy will be handled in the long term.”
Eni wants to be known for protecting and preserving the environment through the development of advanced technology and programs that minimize greenhouse gas emissions. In order to communicate these ideas to new audiences, Bardazzi pulled from his background as a journalist and worked with his team to devise a content-based solution.
“We think that the storytelling approach works very well for an energy company like Eni because we have 84,000 people in 83 countries across the world, and they are doing amazing things,” he explained.
But launching an operation with such widespread coverage presented a few major challenges for Eni’s communications team:
1. How would they scale a project that taps into these various international markets?
2. How could they appeal to all their consumers by publishing in both Italian and English?
When brainstorming how to answer these questions, a lightbulb went off. Eni decided to combine its strong in-house resources with help from the outside to maximize the impact of its publishing efforts.
“We didn’t want to actually create a newsroom inside the company, because it wasn’t feasible, and it wasn’t the right approach,” Bardazzi said. “We wanted to have people around the world working with us and to have a pool of talent that was much bigger than what we could build in-house.”
That’s when the company found Contently.
“We had looked at a few different options and decided that Contently was the right partner for us,” Bardazzi added, “particularly because of the storytelling approach and connection to the network of journalist talent.”
Through Contently, Eni was able to supplement its team of Italian writers with a new international team that could bring a wide range of stories to life.
Just one month after starting its editorial operation, Eniday launched, focusing on five verticals —Sparks, Human, Technology, Education, and Talks—with compelling content that looks at the future of energy development.
For example, “The World’s Biggest Wind Turbine” dives into the creation of the mammoth Vestas V164-8.0 MW, which stands at 721 feet and weighs more than 6,500 tons. The piece documents the impact of such technology—built by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind—which can create enough energy to power 7,500 homes.
Another popular story, “Drilling on Mars,” explores how Eni is aiding the ExoMars space mission to develop a drilling system that can explore Martian soil.
According to Bardazzi, one of the most buzzed about pieces among Italian readers is “A Martian Chronicle,” in which managing editor Marco Alfieri tells the story of all he has discovered while working at Eni. Delivering an in-depth and sometimes humorous perspective on how the company operates, Alfieri ends his piece with a list of “other things” that have struck him during his first few days at Eni. These include “The kebabs and vegetarian dishes in the cafeteria,” “The endless meetings,” “The compulsive use of Outlook Calendar,” and “the phrase: ‘let me ask and I’ll get back to you…'” Like most stories on Eniday, Alfieri’s article runs in both Italian and English.
Along with harnessing internal talent like Alfieri and using experienced contributors from Contently’s pool of journalists, Eni is also sourcing writers and content from its other impressive initiatives, such as About Oil, its digital think tank and print magazine; the Eni Foundation, the company’s charitable outreach organization; and Eni University, a corporate masters program.
With all of these contributors on board, Eniday hopes to publish at least one piece of content per day by the fall—be it a story, video, or infographic. In fact, the company hustled to launch the publication this summer in only one month so it could perfect its workflow and cadence in time for its official launch event in October.
“[Eniday] is really something new for the Italian market, so we would like to stop for a second and really think about where communications is going in this moment,” Bardazzi said of the event, which will include a workshop on digital communication. “We are a company that is 60 years old, but we would like to have a startup approach to content.”
To distribute Eniday’s content, Eni is working closely with representatives from Twitter, Facebook, and Google to optimize social outreach and SEO for promoting their stories to English-speaking audiences.
“The idea is to create our own community and build on it,” Bardazzi said. “That will be very useful in terms of making the company better known, developing ideas about energy and technology, and also providing crisis management tools.”
As Eni builds its audience, it plans to tap into Contently’s Insights program in order to analyze how readers are responding to every piece of content so the editorial team can adapt the strategy accordingly.
“It’s very exciting to tell stories about this kind of exploration in energy. I don’t think there are many other companies like ours that are doing this type of content outreach,” Bardazzi said. “There is still a huge possibility for technology companies to take the storytelling approach and talk about the excellent advancements in their industries.”