PR Daily today presented Coca-Cola Journey with its 2013 Best Website Launch award, applauding our storytelling hub’s “innovative take on corporate communications and branded content.”

Inspired by best-in-class digital publishers and fueled by social media, Coca-Cola Journey re-imagines the role of the corporate website by bringing the compelling content behind our company and brands to life through a dynamic, visually rich publishing experience. The Wonderfactory and Perfect Sense Digital supported the ambitious digital project, which launched in November 2012.

PR Daily Best Website Launch

“For our part, we commit to be an open, transparent and honest host and thoughtful curator,” said Ashley Brown, Coca-Cola’s group director of digital and social media. “We’re doing this because we’re optimistic about our world, and we think we have something to contribute to the global dialogue.”

Coca-Cola Journey has attracted an average of 1.2 million unique visitors each month, to date, and readers around the world have shared site content more than 40,000 times. Journey publishes in-depth, magazine-style feature stories with high-res photography and video, plus eye-catching infographics and several utilities to spark dialogue and debate.

“The real success of Journey comes from its content,” PR Daily writes. “Original content featured throughout the site follows general thematic areas, each of which the company is heavily invested in. These include sustainability, innovation, history, careers, food, health, jobs and entertainment. It also offers the brand a place to house opinions, both from company executives as well as outside industry leaders.” 

Social media is at the heart of the Coca-Cola Journey experience. Readers can post and respond to comments in real time, or click icons on each content page to share via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. The homepage highlights trending topics and current conversations.

“In addition to publishing great content, we’re making it easy for readers to launch this content into the social graph,” Brown explains.

As its name implies, Coca-Cola Journey will be anything but static. The platform will constantly evolve its functionality and content based on readership, feedback, “likes,” shares and other quantitative and quantitative metrics. A dedicated team pays close attention to the stories people are reading and talking about, and pivots Journey’s editorial focus accordingly.

What’s in a Name?

Journey was originally a quarterly internal magazine Coca-Cola published from 1987 until 1997. Its name was inspired by the proverb: “Success is not a destination, but a journey.”

As then-chairman and CEO Roberto Goizueta wrote in the debut issue, “The magazine's purpose is to chronicle the journey on which we, and the great company for which we work, have embarked.” Journey’s people-driven feature stories, professional photography and glossy, high-end production made it a hit with employees worldwide in the pre-Internet era.

When it came time to re-launch its corporate website, Coke decided to bring back the name.

“We thought it was very apropos for what we’re trying to do as both a team and a company,” Brown said. “Journey magazine revolutionized internal communications, and we’re trying to bring the same evolution to how we communicate with consumers in the digital space. We’re a 127-year young company whose best days are ahead.”