Nothing Lasts Forever: USA Today Boldly Overhauls Brand

Sean Silva  Follow

Change is inevitable, we’re told. Gone are the days of shouldering boomboxes while grooving down the street. That boombox fits in your pocket now and plays straight into only your ears, so no one has to know that you’re rocking out to Call Me Maybe on your way to meeting that big client. While it’s easier to adapt to the times as an individual, many big companies are starting to catch on. Add Gannett, via the USA Today, to that list.

To celebrate its 30th birthday, America’s second-most circulated newspaper has fully revamped its hard-copy and digital layout. The first new edition was published today.

It starts with the new logo. Gone is the globe with wind trails behind it from back when illustrating motion was cutting edge technology. This old globe is now a solid blue dot. It shows that today you can get your news from any city, at any time.

A new beta website, which will stream live coverage at times, is launching this weekend. The full website will launch later this fall, and a new mobile and tablet app is also on the way. You, the reader, will now have your own page called “Your Say”, where your Facebook and Twitter commentary will contribute to the editorial and opinion sections.

Synergy seems to be the goal here. There will be an emphasis on making the newspaper’s print layout read like it were a website. Parent company Gannet’s local publications will also have a stronger presence in the national spotlight when big stories break in their regions. Print reporters are also being given videographer duties, and live news reports will at times broadcast through the USA Today site.

There’s been a lot of concern about the end of the newspaper industry thanks to technology. But I’ve long believed that the industry wasn’t so much dying, it just needed to process how to adjust to the times. Once it figured out how to use technology to its advantage, it would again prosper. While this remodeling is certainly not the final solution, USA Today’s push towards multi-platform integration is certainly a step in the right direction.

So what do you think of the bold move? Will it keep the paper in print for another 30 years or is it staving off the inevitable? Share in the comments and be sure to check out what people are saying on Twitter at #newusatoday, and be sure to tweet us your thoughts at @ProsekPR! End of Story

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