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paidContent - Guardian Going Ahead With Readers' Club

This story was written by MediaGuardian.


By Chris Tryhorn: The Guardian is to hire a manager to run a planned readers’ club that could build a new revenue stream for the paper. Offered as a one-year contract, the job is advertised in the MediaGuardian print section and on its website today.

The Guardian owned by Guardian News & Media, which also publishes MediaGuardian.co.uk said the idea for a club scheme remained “in the early stages of development”.

Newspapers are looking to develop new revenue streams with advertising under pressure in the downturn and sales in long-term decline.  “The Guardian is an extremely successful brand with a committed, loyal readership online and in print,” a spokeswoman for the paper said.

“It makes sense for the business and for our readers to both harness and reward that loyalty. Our recently launched subscription scheme is one way of doing so and another idea under consideration is a Guardian offering based around the concept of a ‘friends’ scheme or members’ club.

“This proposal is still very much in the early stages of development. We are currently researching the idea and have advertised for a general manager of the scheme on a one-year contract basis.”

Today’s advert says the club initiative “aims to move us decisively away from the traditional rather distant relationship that newspaper companies have had with their readers”.

The new manager will be responsible for helping to define the club’s ambitions, creating the business plan and delivering a successful launch. Applications are sought by Sunday, September 13, and the appointee will report to the GNM managing director, Tim Brooks.

Robert adds: The survey here says club membership would buy…

—“Priority booking and discounted prices for a range of live and online events”, eg. political debates, museum/gallery viewings, literary readings, talks by Guardian journalists, tours of the Guardian office and even a special members’ room at the building.

—“Offers and deals”, eg. earlybird festival booking, discounts for galleries, cinemas, clubs etc, high street discounts.

—“Involvement in The Guardian”, eg. online Q&A with reporters, a feedback forum, “dedicated postal/email address for providing individual feedback to the Guardian”, opportunity to sit in on editorial meetings.

—“Community”, eg. online forum, local groups, members’ badge for readers’ blog comments.

—“Additional editorial content”, eg. weekly/monthly highlights newsletter, “story-behind-the story” articles.

—Welcome pack, with t-shirt, mug and book.

—Pricepoints being tested are 50 and 100 a year.

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