SAN FRANCISCO: Accommodation-sharing business Airbnb is launching its quarterly magazine Pineapple this week in hard copy format to build physical connections with people beyond digital media storytelling.
Printed matter gives a "real sense of permanence and credibility" to the stories the company is telling, said Andrew Schapiro, Airbnb’s head of brand creative, via email.
"This is about taking the brand out of the Internet and into the home," he added. "The magazine can be shared by hosts with their guests; it is a tangible item that we want to last weeks, months, and years in homes."
Although the premier 128-page winter issue of Pineapple carries no form of advertising, Schapiro said that might change going forward.
"The first issue was underwritten by Airbnb, but we're exploring alternative plans of funding the magazine in the future, including advertising," he explained.
While the magazine’s content is largely curated by Airbnb editors and contributors within the company’s community, Schapiro added that the publication is not opposed to interesting story suggestions, feedback, and questions from outside sources.
"Similar to other publications, PR professionals should understand the content featured within Pineapple before reaching out," he said.
The magazine encompasses a combination of the "practical and emotional" sides of traveling with "deeply local and personal" content. It will cover topics such as culture, art, food, and style – from a local’s perspective with neighborhood guides, insider tips, and personal stories. In addition, each issue will showcase three different cities through the lens of local community members and global travelers.
"Pineapple’s audience, largely being the Airbnb community, focuses on travelers that are interested in more than sightseeing and consuming, but finding fulfillment in connection and community around the world," Schapiro said.
The magazine will be available on the Airbnb website. The company plans to produce more online content in the future, relating to Pineapple, to extend storytelling within Airbnb on various levels and involve its video and product teams.
Branding for the magazine and its title choice of Pineapple – named after the fruit that was a symbol of hospitality in colonial New England – appear to be receiving less flack than Airbnb’s controversial Bélo logo reveal in July.
DKC Public Relations, which has been working with Airbnb since 2012, is helping to promote the magazine.
Pineapple debuts amid Airbnb’s plan to bring on a consumer PR agency in the UK.