The rebranding exercise was undertaken by Underscore, whose portfolio includes RTL International, The Ritz-Carlton and The Body Shop. The rebrand reflects Hybrid’s performance in a rapidly-changing media landscape. Rachael Bradley of Underscore said, “Hybrid’s audience has grown rapidly, making them a global influencer. We wanted to capture that sense of action and ambition in the rebrand. The colours are bold and progressive, the font is moving forward, and the parallelogram is upwardly mobile. We wanted to create a brand with a strong voice, and a collective identity.”
Hybrid has evolved from a network of freelancers and journalists to a news bureau and multimedia company where traditional and contemporary communications merge: independent journalism combining with progressive digital content. Hybrid is committed to creating influential media, or what the rebrand terms “more compelling media”.
The phrase is explained by Craven, “Our sites are on target to receive 20 million visitors a month by the end of next year. We care about growth, but only in the context of building premium, credible and authoritative brands for our clients: this is achieved by creating more compelling media.”
Hybrid’s editorial ethos is evidenced by a recruitment policy that employs pro-active, influential journalists. One such is Azim Idris, recently awarded a prestigious Jefferson Fellowship by the East West Center.
Clara Chooi, Editor-in-Chief said, “The new space in KL has capacity to employ 30 new journalists. Everyone here is a dedicated consumer of new media, so we understand our audience: we are the audience.”
Chooi refers both to staff and the intake for Hybrid’s new progressive internship programme. Successful candidates will work in either Sydney or Bristol (UK) for three months, before transferring to the Kuala Lumpur editorial bureau for a further nine months.
“We’re selecting independent thinkers who are bold enough to work abroad. We choose people with a social content mentality.”
Hybrid’s current websites include Asian Correspondent, Latin Correspondent, Travel Wire Asia, Tech Wire Asia and Study International. In June 2017, traffic to the combined portfolio exceeded 8.5m unique visitors.
Hybrid operates out of Bristol (UK), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Sydney (Australia) and as of Q1 2018, will open a further office in Boston (USA).