When Google comes knocking, offering tips and tricks on how to improve your publication, you’ve got to answer the door.
At least that was our thinking at the Globe earlier this month as we found out that we were selected as one of eight Asian media projects to partner with the Google News Initiative’s Asia-Pacific Subscription Lab programme. It was welcome news, with traditional media models like ours facing the inescapable reality that standing out from the crowd these days means embracing innovative, tech-driven and highly flexible journalism.
Exciting developments for us over here in Phnom Penh for sure, but what does this mean in practice for our readers and partners across the world?
The Lab is an intensive four-month programme in which eight different news publishers from the Asia-Pacific region benefit from the expertise and guidance of US-based business advisory firm FTI Consulting to improve reader experience, strengthen digital subscriptions and ultimately grow revenue so we can expand and improve the product we offer you.
In our cohort of outlets, we stand among the Jakarta Post, Kompas, BloombergQuint, The Hindu, Business Insider Japan, Malaysiakini, and Taiwan’s Commonwealth Magazine.
It’s a shot in the arm because, as you may have noticed, we unveiled our own membership-driven model earlier this year, saving you all the ad-heavy experience and betting on the support of our readers to finance the quality journalism that we produce across Southeast Asia. (You can help support our journalism for less than $3 a month at the link below).
“We are proud to be selected for this programme. In every business one often identifies weaknesses and strengths, ours is no different. Our participation in the GNI Subscription Lab allows us to prioritise and streamline, while developing a strategy that leads us towards the goal of becoming fully member supported,” said Daniel Marchette, the Globe’s General Manager.
Earlier this month, we got the project started, meeting some of the best and brightest minds in business development in a four-hour long Zoom workshop. While we certainly enjoyed the praise received about our content, organisational ethos and structure, we learned most from the hard truths, cutting feedback and tell-all, irrefutable stats highlighting where we have much room for improvement. We’ve listened to the experts, and we’re already putting things in motion now that we hope will improve the reader experience for you all in the coming weeks and months.
As we continue to grow, we’re building a model where readers engage with our newsroom, becoming part of the story. So in the meantime, we’d love to hear from you about the news we put out, and how we can better connect with you, our readers.
Thanks for all your support, and here’s to another 13 years with the Globe!