Leveraging social media to drive readers to a print magazine

Launching a national print magazine is almost unheard of in today’s media. Following the success of the French print edition of his cooking magazine, Ricardo Larivée once again ventured into magazines with a national English version in print. The dream was to have a food magazine coast to coast across Canada.

ricardo launch

The official launch of the English version of the popular cooking magazine ‘Ricardo’ made effective use of Twitter , Facebook, newsletters and Instagram. As in any good story, there was a beginning, middle and an ending. Beginning in August there were teaser alerts on the Facebook page. In the days leading up to the magazine launch date of September 15th, 2014 there was increased content and reminders of the launch date via newsletters and on Facebook. On the official date there were images and video links of the TV talk show tour on the official launch date on the website, Facebook and twitter platforms

Once the event /launch was over there was follow up and summary stories of the actual launch day event online and in print. To view the summary of the launch: http://www.ricardocuisine.com/about-ricardo/news/533-a-national-launch

On the launch date, a well-orchestrated live event in a major public place, Dundas Square in Toronto, drew over 3000 people and invited them to participate in a contest via a hashtag #RicardoinTO. The large jumbotron screens surrounding the square advertised the launch, the contest and more importantly the hashtag . The social media contest leveraged the popularity of ‘selfies’ , by asking people to snap a selfie with a life size cardboard cut-out of the actual Ricardo. The contest entry selfies trended on twitter via the hashtag. The hashtag was used consistently across the various social media platforms.

ricardo launch_3

ricardo launch_2

The use of different social media platforms allowed for readers to view the event as it happened. There was no need to wait to see images and commentary in the next print edition. I think it was a great way to engage print magazine readers to view online content, and drive readers from print to the digital platforms. I think it was a successful campaign strategy to expand readership in both print and online.


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