Since launching our appeal for help a few weeks ago, we’ve had a huge number of really helpful responses, suggestions, offers of collaboration and help. Thank you so much to everyone who reached out, donated via Ko-Fi, and those who have continued to share our podcast episodes, newsletter and writing since then. We are grateful to every single one of you.

This week, we were able to have a face-to-face team meeting; a rare occurrence given the pandemic and the fact we’re spread across the country. We met in sunny Evesham and spent the day piecing together where we are, where we want to be, and what we need to do to get there.

We’ve got a tonne of ideas for the long term; the short-term issue has always been resource. So we’re planning to work smarter, not harder. Here’s what that looks like in practice.

First things first, we’re going to take a summer break from the podcast (as we have done every year). 

When we come back in September, the next season will be focused on the lead-up to our annual Media Moments report. Each episode will take a deep dive into one of the report’s chapters; from subscriptions and advertising to print, platforms, and emerging opportunities like NFTs. We’re excited to try something a little different for a season, and welcome any feedback as we go along.

One of the lessons we’ve seen play out time and time again is that smart packaging of sponsorship works, so we’ll be trying that out. In 2023, for the first time we’ll be offering sponsorship for the whole of the first season (10 episodes) of the podcast in a package which will include promotion in the newsletter, content, and social media. 

This helps us in that we don’t have to spend more of our time selling. But it’s also really beneficial to sponsors as they get exposure to our audience via multiple angles. We’ll only be working with vendors we trust and believe are beneficial to publishers, and will choose them as carefully as we do our Conversations episodes partners. For more information on that, please drop Peter a line.

Perhaps most importantly, our appeal has reinforced the importance of you. Whether you listen to the podcast every week, open the newsletter daily or just dip in and out of our content occasionally, you’ve told us you find it valuable and enjoy our unique take on the media industry.

What we want to do now is work out how to bring you all together. We’ve got some ideas on this, and over the coming months will be working with a small group to see how a community could work – both for us and for you. This can’t be something that adds extra noise to your day, or gives you more to do in an already-busy schedule. Instead, we want to create somewhere you can dip in and out of when you need to, ask questions, suggest answers and make connections with colleagues across the industry.

This won’t be another Slack workspace, don’t worry! In fact, we’re seriously thinking about going a bit old-school with it. Watch this space, and as always, shout if you’d like to be involved in early tests for that.

Finally, we’re also looking at collaborating with some key industry players who we have great respect for. This will never affect the independence of the work we do. But there are people and brands in this industry who have complementary offerings, and who we in turn can support with our work. We’ll say more on that as details are finalised.

Thank you so much again. We’ll continue being transparent about the ups and downs of running a small media business, and our inboxes (esther/peter/chris [at] voices [dot] media) are always open.

Esther, Peter and Chris

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