Killer app: LinkedIn UK marks 15m users with print freebies

What boasts 66 rocket scientists, 12,530 journalists, 59 body builders and five mermaids? Not a joke, but a few interesting facts on professional networking site LinkedIn’s UK membership.

The site in fact now has 15m UK users, which it celebrated recently with a personalised mock newspaper campaign sent to 50 “key media targets”.

What did the job entail?

The company sent 50 people (alas PrintWeek’s package has yet to arrive…) a package containing a press release, balloon, newspaper personalised with their photo and name, and University of LinkedIn hoodie to celebrate the launch of 

How was it produced?

The balloons were printed by packaging, POP and branded merchandise printers and print manager InnerWorkings, the hoodies by InnerWorkings subsidiary Merchandise Mania, and the newspapers by Shoreditch-based LovePrint. They were then collated by LinkedIn’s UK PR agency Splendid. 

The 50 newspapers were printed on LovePrint’s Xerox DocuTech. Cyclus 100gsm paper was chosen to recreate the look and feel of a newspaper. “When you get down to that weight it’s off-white so it has the look and texture of newspaper,” said account manager at LovePrint Steve Eggeman. “It was getting the balance between that and the print not showing through.”

What challenges were overcome?

A quick turnaround variable data project might challenge others, but LovePrint was more than up to the job, reported Eggeman: “The main challenge was making sure all the artwork was correct in the timeframe. Basically we open each file to check it’s set up properly and the colours are saved correctly.”

What was the feedback?

True to form, the lucky journo recipients couldn’t resist Tweeting their excitement as their balloons, and more importantly their own faces, emerged from their boxes. “The thinking was to stimulate social media; we’ve seen a huge amount of banter online,” said Darain Faraz, communciatons manager at LinkedIn. “And we were very impressed with the quality of the printed results. We personalised the copy late on Friday and had the print back by the Monday – that was really nicely done.”


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