This time one year ago, at lunch time on a rainy weekday, the Coca-Cola South Pacific board room was full of questions.

Most of those questions were about scones.

Editors from head office in Atlanta, USA, were visiting Sydney to show staff how the new Journey platform would work. Among those debating the best recipe for scones was the Coke staffer who would become Journey’s editor.

Here, Susie Crumpton describes how Journey came to be – and where it’s heading.

There was such an element of excitement about doing something new. Once we decided to create Journey here in Australia, it happened quite fast – global team training then setting up the content management system. A few weeks later we were live and publishing – a fast process and all of us learning on the fly! 

It was considered a cutting-edge project, and from the beginning we could see it was much more powerful than the corporate site we had produced previously.

The easiest way to describe Journey is to show people the site! Essentially, it’s storytelling from a company perspective. We want to bring stories to life.

I showed it to my dad the other day. He read about the history of Santa Claus, and was really interested. It’s been a really popular story! When people see it, when they see the types of stories, the depth and richness of the content, they get it.

We want people to enjoy our brands and understand some of the issues around them. We want people to be interested in receiving that information, and to reflect back elements of the way they see the world. It’s not just about the way the Company sees the world.

So we don’t only publish stories that are directly linked to our products – we’re responding to our reader’s interests.

Journey has been a big change in our way of thinking. As a big company anything we put into the market is a balance between content that’s interesting to people, and what’s interesting to us.

The old way of communicating online was a corporate website putting out information just from the Company perspective. But the future of communications isn’t going to be in paper press releases or corporate announcements.

We wanted to find new ways to communicate to our audiences. Whether it’s people from the news media, job seekers, uni students interested in marketing, or fans fascinated by our heritage, this is a way people can get that information hopefully in a way that makes sense to them.

We want to step up and be part of a conversation. We want to engage with our consumers, whether it’s positive or negative. We’re part of a community – we’re made up of members of that community – and we have a stake in the future of the world in which we live.

Journey has an exciting future. It will become a central part of how the business is digitally able to participate. We’re working on creating a rich, interesting, two-way conversations with our readers.

Using analytics, and learning as we go, we’re seeing ways we can continue to support the site and grow it, and opportunities to have the storytelling get better, deeper, and involve more points of view.

Standout Stories from Journey’s First Year

The first ever Journey story was published by Aussie staff in a room with Atlantan editors, talking about a family recipe for 'scownes' and how Sprite really does make them deliciously fluffy.

Alby Semmens’ passion for Coca-Cola has been a part of his life since be began working for Coca-Cola's Thebarton factory in 1967. His tale has been one of Journey’s most popular stories. 

The video blog is the internet’s fastest growing method of communicating, and this story shows a glimpse of how it's happening. It’s a great example of how Journey is linking into the community at large by writing content relevant to our readers.    

We love to have fun with Journey, and this story was definitely fun! Stories like this one enable us to offer our readers tips about about being balanced and active with something fresh and interesting.

This story has been read every day of the year by thousands of curious Australians. It just goes to show that a good story is timeless.