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A useful guide for news organisations assessing revenue-making opportunities in small teams

Learn from Bureau Local’s seven-step business development process

posted on 29 July 2019

Many European news organisations are asking themselves the same question: How do we financially sustain our commitment to the community that we serve?

Today, we’re pleased to publish a guide that we hope will help support community-driven news organisations across Europe become more resilient: Bureau Local’s approach to business development.

In October 2018, Bureau Local, based in the UK, was awarded funding as part of the Engaged Journalism Accelerator’s Closed Call, as one of four organisations with a record of sustaining a loyal community and a willingness to develop a resilient business model.

Its grant application sought to explore and determine viable revenue streams and strategy for the organisation. The Bureau Local team worked with Joaquin Alvarado of StudiotoBe, a strategic planning and journalism development firm, to better understand the UK market and revenue opportunities available beyond philanthropy.

The guide is the result of that work and includes:

  • A seven-step process for how to assess revenue-making opportunities in small teams
  • Three ideas that the five-person Bureau Local team came up with through this process
  • Learnings and recommendations from the six-month process

The Engaged Journalism Accelerator is committed to accelerating the skills, people, ideas and knowledge transfer of news organisations in order to help create positive, more resilient and more impactful relationships between them and the communities they serve. This research is part of that mission and adds to a growing evidence base.

Megan Lucero and Rachel Hamada at an Accelerator event
Megan Lucero and Rachel Hamada at an Accelerator event Credit: Thom Bartley
“This six-month process has given the Bureau Local a foundation for success in generating revenue for our operations but it has also resulted in a deeper understanding and concern for the market underpinning our industry.” - Megan Lucero, director of Bureau Local

You can read Megan’s blogpost on the process here. The guide has also been published as a Google document on the Bureau Local’s website.

We will hold a forthcoming community call about Bureau Local’s business development process (date TBC). You can get a calendar reminder by adding the Accelerator reminders calendar to your Google calendar profile here (iCal link).

To find out more about the Accelerator programme and its work, email the team - hello@engagedjournalism.com.

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