• Upstream_Innovation_Workshop
  • UpstreamThinking_NewsJourneyFIeldKit
  • UpstreamThinking_NewsPersonas

Create New Market Value.


Tribune embraces innovation, prepares for next generation digital news readers.

Launched more than 160 years ago, the venerable Chicago Tribune is an institution for the city of Chicago and known internationally for its Pulitzer Prize winning editorial. What was once just one newspaper, Tribune grew to include some of the most respected media properties in the United States including; The Los Angeles Times, The Orlando Sentinel, The Baltimore Sun, San Diego Union Tribune and Citypaper.

The next major evolution of this globally recognized brand came in 2014, as Tribune’s expansive media portfolio was split into separate publishing and broadcast entities. Realizing the great opportunities for publishing innovation and the disruptive challenges of the print-digital news worlds, Tribune Publishing’s leadership sought a partner to help them reconnect with daily lives of news readers.

Impressed with Upstream’s in-depth customerupstream thinking, publishing innovation, design thinking, toolkit
journey mapping toolkit for innovation, Tribune Publishing selected Upstream to identify new value propositions that drive readers into a digital news routine.

Upstream began the process by working closely with research, editorial, publishing, marketing and digital product development teams  to analyze and visualize subscriber UpstreamThinking, publishing nnovation, news media, Personas, Customer Journey, design thinkingdata, understand business issues and begin to explore new value propositions.  Our field research study with news consumers helped to illustrate digital behaviors using custom mapping techniques.  In-depth digital news journey maps and reader personas were shared and distributed to Tribune leaders and staff for product, editorial and marketing innovation initiatives, ultimately defining new opportunity
spaces for increasing subscriber conversion rates.

Armed with this knowledge, Tribune was able to begin its own co-creation process of serving new readers with more value than ever, and venture into the future of publishing.

“Upstream was able to help us understand the way our audience sees our online offering in a way that our data, analytics and existing research wasn’t quite able to capture. By understanding how our users come to visit us and what they really want from us, Upstream was able to help us develop a systematic approach to subscriber acquisition that was used to collaborate across departments and markets. Their work was the baseline for subsequent projects and initiatives that continue to build off of the foundation they helped us build.”

– Director, Chicago Tribune Media Group


Upstream Thinking inspired publishing innovation for Tribune by:

Developing tools for understanding multigenerational news consumer behaviors to identify new business opportunities using design research, customer journey and user experience methods.

Upstream_Innovation_WorkshopDefining pain points and opportunity gaps where Tribune should create more value for readers.

Consulting with management on product development, marketing and editorial teams to realize innovation opportunities.

Arming teams with defined target groups and value propositions that inform design and development of new communication strategies, digital tools, products and infrastructure.

Overcoming traditional barriers across business silos to ensure success.

For more information on how we can make Upstream Thinking work for your business, contact: Melissa Young, Partner at Upstream 512-550-22000 – melissa@upstreamthinking.com