Here’s something different.
Uber, the $US41 billion ride hailing company, is launching a quarterly print magazine for its 150,000 drivers, Momentum. The publication, which Uber employees devised and put together over the past five months, is launching in six markets: Boston, New York City, Chicago, Ohio, Oklahoma and San Francisco.
The reason: Uber says it wants to better connect with its drivers. Momentum’s launch issue includes stories about how to get exercise when you’re behind the wheel, the best places to eat on the go, and where to find restrooms when you’re on the clock.
“2014 was a monumental year: We expanded to 210 new cities, averaging a new launch every two days. We entered many new international markets and now serve 64 per cent of the U.S. population. None of it would have been possible without your partnership,” Ryan Graves, Uber’s founding member and Head of Global Operations writes in the magazine.
Momentum also conveniently pushes pro-Uber information on drivers, from quotes about people who love Uber to a section on Uber’s new driver loyalty program. There’s also a long Q&A with one of Uber’s first drivers, Sofiane, who has done more than 20,000 trips in the San Francisco area.
Lately, Uber has been on a PR push to show both users and drivers that it’s the good guy. It’s had a few messes to clean up, like when CEO Travis Kalanick let slip that driverless cars were in Uber’s future, or SVP Emil Michael “jokingly” suggested spying on a journalist.
Other companies use print magazines to connect with users. Airbnb, for example, publishes Pineapple which is full of stories for its hosts and the home-rental community. Skymall was the magazine for airlines, but it recently filed for bankruptcy.
The issue is being shipped to drivers over the next few days. Here’s the cover.