Vacancy: Director of Audience and Revenue Development
Start date: Ideally 1 January 2022 or earlier, but we will wait for the right candidate
Location: Remote, with a preference for CET time zone
Deadline for application: 11:59pm CET on 14 November 2021
The New Humanitarian is seeking its first-ever Director of Audience and Revenue Development to push its content to new audiences, markets and paying customers.
The New Humanitarian puts independent journalism at the service of the millions of people affected by humanitarian crises. Our journalists report from the frontlines of conflicts and disasters in some 70 hotspots around the world to drive more effective prevention of and response to crises. Our on-the-ground reporting and expert analysis and commentary inform policy-makers and practitioners, amplify the voices of those at the heart of crises, and act as a watchdog to hold the humanitarian aid sector accountable.
Having spent the last five years professionalising our journalism, raising our visibility, and building a strong foundation of institutional grant funding, we are now in a position to invest more seriously in initiatives and partnerships to grow our audience (and thus impact) and generate our own earned revenue – in line with one of the key pillars of our new strategy.
The successful candidate will enter into an organisation with many assets: a compelling mission, a strong reputation – built over more than 25 years – for journalistic integrity and credibility; a team deeply committed to its work; a recent doubling of our audience; and the beginnings of independent revenue generation through a nascent membership programme and speaking fees.
You will join our small, passionate team working at the nexus of some of the world’s most interesting challenges: a sustainable business model for quality journalism and a long-term solution for the world’s most vulnerable people.
Help us achieve our vision of providing the world’s best journalism about the world’s toughest crises; and setting the agenda in the interest of those most affected.
Our first-ever Director of Audience and Revenue Development will sit at the intersection of the editorial and business sides of our team, and bring insights into editorial, product, technology, distribution, partnerships and earned revenue. Your mission is to build and execute on a strategy to grow The New Humanitarian’s audience and impact, and generate independent revenue from our content, networks and expertise.
You will strike partnerships that allow The New Humanitarian’s content to reach new audiences and oversee the repackaging of our stories for third-party platforms – and eventually for paying customers. Think distribution agreements with African media; a series on Netflix; large-scale events, deep partnerships with corporate sponsors, and curated selections of our archives repackaged into curricula for universities. Think translation of our content into different languages, an established syndication programme; and Telegram groups that allow small communities to follow certain topics.
Reporting to the CEO, you will oversee our Marketing Manager and grow the audience/revenue team as funding allows. You will also work closely with the Executive Editor and the Product and Innovation Editor. The Director of External Relations will be your counterpart on the Management Team, focusing on institutional grant funding, individual giving and general brand-building.
What we’re looking for
The ideal candidate understands both the editorial and business sides of a newsroom. Perhaps you’re a former journalist who has since found joy in matching strong journalism with relevant audiences. You may also come from other content or technology platforms, like YouTube, Facebook or HBO, and be keen to see fact-based journalism travel more broadly on those platforms.
You should have a marketing and sales sensibility – an ability to understand what a partner or customer wants from our content and how to repackage it in a way that meets their needs. You should love creating strong networks within and outside the media industry and come with an understanding of and contacts within the global media landscape. You should have the utmost respect for quality journalism and prioritize its integrity above all else.
You should be ambitious but entrepreneurial and resourceful enough to succeed without all the support systems of bigger organisations. You will have a tiny team, at least to start, but visionary enough to foresee its growth over the years.
We are looking for someone humble who shares our values because our first responsibility is to those at the heart of crisis zones whose voices we seek to amplify. We especially welcome candidates who reflect the diverse communities our journalism serves and who are excited by the challenge of building a progressive, forward-looking organisation that models a new form of decolonised journalism.
Experience & Background:
- Comprehensive and demonstrable professional experience in news media, publishing, technology, marketing and/or sales
- Experience in building earned revenue models for news organisations
- Strong networks within the global news media, including in emerging markets
- Strong understanding of data and analytics
- Strong understanding of intellectual property rights
- Experience in sales, distribution, syndication, partnerships, events and/or product development
- Strong understanding of technology and digital publishing platforms
- Experience working internationally
- Experience in start-ups
- Experience negotiating contracts
- Fluency in a language other than English, preferably Arabic or French
- Alignment with TNH’s organizational values: You are committed, humble, candid, constructive and embrace diversity.
- Visionary: You see opportunities where others don’t.
- Brokering: You are able to sell a product or idea; strike partnerships; and help an outsider see the value in something they do not know they want or need. You are able to build consensus with other members of the senior leadership or editorial team to achieve the organisation’s audience and earned revenue goals.
- Innovation and building capacity for change: You embrace and drive forward new ideas, approaches and ways of working and can bring colleagues and teams along with that change.
- Agility: You recognize the world is changing fast and are able to thrive amid uncertainty. You are flexible enough to adapt to evolving demands of the job and try different approaches before deciding what works best. You are proactive in seeking solutions to challenges.
We have described the qualities we are seeking in this position, but we recognise that there will be strong candidates who do not meet all the requirements listed here but have other important qualities. Thus, we encourage all interested candidates to apply.
- Identify the key audience growth markets that will help TNH best serve its mission; develop strategies to reach those markets through distribution partnerships, events, advertising or other means.
- Working with the Marketing Manager, review and refine the current strategy to market our content and intellectual assets
- Strike distribution partnerships
- In coordination with the Executive Editor, develop a translation and syndication programme; find and put in place one-off re-publication and editorial collaboration opportunities based on special editorial projects
- Collaborate with the CEO, Executive Editor and Production and Innovation Editor to identify new opportunities and work with the Product and Innovation Editor and other newsroom colleagues, as relevant, to repackage content or develop new products for partners’ needs
- Track and analyse audience analytics to inform strategy
- Stay up to date on trends in earned revenue models for news publishers
- Review and refine targets set by the CEO for revenue generation
- Develop and execute a strategy for content monetization that will allow TNH to meet those targets; this may include premium newsletters, repackaged content, sponsorship, consultancies, workshop facilitation, trainings or others. Determine which earned revenue activities have potential to generate significant income in the long term
- Guide the Marketing Manager in growing our nascent membership programme
- Where relevant, direct the repackaging of content for clients’ needs, working with the Product and Innovation Editor
- Liaise with Director of External Relations and Head of Admin, Finance and Compliance on finance matters; coordinate with Director of External Relations on revenue opportunities that may have implications for grant funding
- Working with the Marketing Manager, oversee TNH events and develop an events sponsorship programme
- Working with the Marketing Manager, develop a more consistent and predictable programme for speaker’s fees
- Stay up to date on trends in digital publishing, distribution and emerging technologies that can help TNH grow audience, revenue and impact
- Actively participate in weekly Management Team meetings
- Report to the Board of Directors on topics within your areas of responsibility
- Oversee the Marketing Manager and future members of the Audience and Revenue Team
- Contribute to strategic planning; advise the CEO on audience and earned revenue strategies
- Advise the Executive Editor on audience and revenue potential for special and ongoing coverage
About The New Humanitarian
We were founded in 1995 by the United Nations as “IRIN News”, as a result of the humanitarian information gap exposed by the Rwandan genocide. After 19 years as part of the United Nations, we spun off in 2015 to become an independent non-profit media organisation, now headquartered in Switzerland.
Since our spin-off, we have constituted a legal entity with an independent board of directors; raised millions of dollars in funding; rebranded from IRIN to The New Humanitarian; sharpened our editorial voice under the leadership of an Executive Editor from the New York Times; launched an investigations unit and a podcast; and begun a membership programme, which has already attracted hundreds of paying readers.
While the COVID-19 pandemic posed an existential threat to many newsrooms, The New Humanitarian is emerging from it stronger – thanks to our diversified funding; our decentralised staff structure; and an increased recognition of the importance of reliable information about crises.
Some 300,000 government officials, UN and NGO representatives, journalists, academics and wider audiences interested in understanding crises visit our website every month; more than 65,000 subscribe to our email newsletter; thousands have downloaded our new podcast, and millions more access our work through social media and syndication by mainstream media, from the BBC, the Associated Press and the New York Times to regional media in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our journalism has prompted investigations into misconduct, changes in UN policy, and new aid programmes; it has inspired public petitions, donations, and charity telethons; and it has been used as evidence before the International Criminal Court and the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee.
Amid an unprecedented number of simultaneous crises around the world and a media industry in financial crisis, our informed and independent lens is more needed than ever. Our reporting tackles many of the key issues of our time, from migration to climate change, from the war in Syria to COVID-19, from a multi-billion-dollar aid industry in the midst of soul-searching to emerging forms of solidarity.
Our value proposition has become even stronger now that Europe has experienced an influx of refugees; climate change is resonated in the public’s consciousness; and the new coronavirus has spread around the world. We believe readers will increasingly seek out the kind of content we produce. This is a unique opportunity to work for one of the few non-profit media covering international affairs who have thrived at a time when most media are struggling.
Our $2.5 million USD budget is mostly funded by a mix of governments and foundations. Our team of 25 people is distributed around the world, though we onboard new staff in person and gather the whole team for an annual staff retreat.
We are registered in the canton of Geneva as a non-profit association under Swiss law.
Find our latest annual report here.
How to apply
Send your CV to [email protected] subject line: Director of Audience and Revenue Development along with a cover letter outlining your interest in working with TNH; why your past experience is relevant for this role in a small entrepreneurial, non-profit newsroom; and your initial thoughts on the opportunities you see for audience and earned revenue development at The New Humanitarian.
Please note: Due to the high number of applications, applicants who are not selected for interviews will not necessarily be notified.