American City Business Journals


American City Business Journals (ACBJ), the parent company of 43 business journals with a hyperlocal presence, niche market, and mature readership had been largely protected from digital disruption. In the face of new media and expanding digital platforms, however, it needed new strategies to increase awareness and engagement amongst the next generation of business decision-makers, while fostering loyalty among its current subscribers.


Our strategy consisted of three separate yet synergistic initiatives:

Facebook Message Bot

To create an easy and engaging brand touchpoint on a channel that hadn’t become overly saturated, we created a Facebook Messenger bot that delivered customized content to increase familiarity with the brand and drive subscribership.

40 Under 40 Audit & Playbook

ACBJ’s most popular and highest revenue-generating offering was 40 Under 40, a program designed to identify, select, and celebrate the next generation of young, up-and-coming, and influential business professionals and emerging community leaders.

Multiple untapped opportunities existed to shift the social “ownership” of this program from brand-driven to fan-driven.

To effect this shift, we activated a robust “40-centric” social media strategy that successfully leveraged fan-generated and co-branded content to fortify the franchise and fuel the ACBJ brand.

LinkedIn Playbook

As the only top social media platform geared especially for professionals, LinkedIn presented an opportunity for ACBJ to compellingly showcase its threefold value proposition (helping subscribers: grow their business, advance their careers, and simplify their professional life) to a demographic that includes its core and growth audience alike.

We developed a LinkedIn playbook to help to nurture, engage, and retain leads during the subscription process with highly clickable and shareable content that highlighted subscriber benefits, humanized the brand, and built an online sense of community in a way that was not possible with the website alone.


Clarity on where and how to invest time, energy and resources. And renewed relevance. Essentially, a multifaceted playbook to thrive in the digital age.

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