I blogged the other week about The Lichfield Blog’s print debut in the Birmingham Mail with an article I wrote about Fuse Festival. It sparked a nice few comments and I thought they warranted a second blog post to clear one thing up.
The printing of that article was not one side of a transaction, nor was it ever going to be. In the comments Ed Walker and Ventnor Blog specifically mentioned payment but as Ed pointed out in a further comment, hyperlocals like ours are set up for many different reasons.
Have no doubt that we are not in it for the money at TLB, not least because there is very little money to be had.
Our main priority is to make sure we are providing a comprehensive, impartial news service to the communities of Lichfield District. Having our stuff printed in the Birmingham Mail isn’t going to be of great benefit in that respect but it does open doors.
And that’s the point.
Let’s be honest – BPM is unlikely to have the money to be dishing out mullah to hyperlocals like us for that kind of coverage, and as I just mentioned we’re not in it for the money so that suits just fine.
…because we’ll get something out of it that’s more beneficial to us. We’re already talking about a whole new area that we can move into on TLB because of the possibilities this collaboration has thrown up.
That’s where the value is. We’re already generating revenue purely because local people have seen and liked what we do and decided to part with their cash for us. That relatively small amount is helping us to survive and have a bit of a comfort blanket.
Our ongoing collaboration will help us to improve our offering and that quality will show through further still and create more revenue opportunities for us that help us to be sustainable.
One more thing…
Ventnor Blog said that our “early actions are possibly setting the die for the future for many more.” To an extent I agree – this will be looked at very closely to see how it works out. However, this should not be seen as a template for the rest of the hyperlocal scene and local media industry to work together apart from the actual conversation.
As Ed said, each hyperlocal is different and so is each local media company. Each partnership has to be treated differently and a middle ground sought between the aims of each party. That’s the bit of our relationship with BPM that should be focused on, not the actual outcomes which are based on many different factors that will not be the same for others.
Update: We’ve recently published a post about local club Chasetown FC, supplemented with pictures from the Birmingham Post & Mail coffers.