The Possible: a thought-leadership magazine for WSP

Our longstanding client WSP wanted to raise its profile as a thought leader in its chosen fields, so the global marketing team asked us to produce a new client publication.

The result was The Possible, a 68-page print magazine about the future of buildings and cities and the ideas and innovations that can help them function better. The first issue was published in November 2016, and the 72-page second issue in July 2017.

The Possible has a global circulation of 10,000, targeted at a senior audience of architects, developers, contractors, city planners, government agencies and institutes, and building users worldwide.

We began by conducting 30+ in-depth interviews with WSP’s clients and partners around the world, as well as speaking to specialists among its 36,000 employees, to inform the magazine’s style and content and the company’s thought leadership strategy more broadly. We then planned, commissioned, wrote and edited the articles, and managed the project through to completion, working with creative agency Supermassive. The cover artist for both issues was Noma Bar.

The Possible issue 01, Ageing demographics The Possible issue 01, Smartest Place I Know

Our scoping research uncovered a gap in the market for an engaging, beautifully designed magazine that presented ground-breaking concepts in a way that readers could actually apply. Even though our target audience often complained that they were inundated with content, there was still a strong appetite for information on new technologies, emerging trends in the built environment and innovative approaches to design. People consistently told us that they wanted to read about big ideas and innovations in a more real-world way than anything currently on offer, so that they could use them to make a difference. This is what The Possible aims to do.

The Possible issue 01, Prof Heinz Wolff interview The Possible 01, Ageing demographics

What they didn’t want was heavily branded marketing material that only told half the story. So the magazine is brand-light, with as much of the content sourced from external experts, thought leaders and academics as from within the company.

The Possible 01, Creativity in the workplace The Possible 01, Connected Thinking section

The first issue included articles by a diverse mix of global contributors, as well as in-depth features on adapting healthcare and the built environment for an ageing demographic; modular construction; encouraging creativity in the workplace; and the future of real-world shopping districts in an online world.

The Possible 01, The Future of Shopping Districts The Possible issue 01, modular construction

The infographic-style shopping districts article went down so well that it became the basis for a series of client events hosted by WSP’s specialist retail team in the UK, who requested a standalone PDF version that they could distribute more widely.

The magazine has received very positive feedback from target readers, and generated a great deal of enthusiasm among the company’s own employees too.

“Congratulations on Issue 01 of The Possible. Such a great approach to thought leadership!” 

“Many compliments, very refreshing and well curated”

Read a testimonial from Julie Guppy, Global Head of Marketing, Property & Buildings, WSP here.