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July 14, 2022updated 07 Oct 2022 7:10am

Gloucestershire publisher hopes to ‘revolutionise’ regional media with membership model

By Alfie Davis

The owner of Gloucestershire business news and entertainment website SoGlos has launched a membership model it claims could “revolutionise” regional media.

Launched by journalists Michelle and James Fyrne (pictured) in 2007 using their experience gained at Time Out Dubai and the UAE’s What’s On magazine, SoGlos has set its sights on expanding into other local news markets throughout England following the launch.

The new site has a free membership feature that allows members to create lists of their interests and save favourite stories, which it claims will strengthen brand loyalty and increase dwell time. The aim is to attract 50,000 members by the end of 2022 and 100,000 by December 2023.

SoGlos plans to use member data to target readers with personalised content based on their interests, as well as giving advertisers greater insight when targeting audiences. It says this will “mitigate the need for a reliance on cookies” as Google prepares to phase out third-party cookies next year.

The revamp also includes a new CMS which the publisher claims is “the most modern, intuitive and efficient… of its kind” and will “save individual journalists a whole day each per week”.

Michelle Fyrne said they were “confident the all-new SoPublishing model is superior to anything else in UK regional media, and we’re excited to now see its potential realised”.

She added: “The So brand is perfectly positioned to embrace post-pandemic positivity and our tech-first approach will empower SoGlos – and future titles – to regain reader confidence and market share over national news brands and social media platforms.”

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SoGlos currently has a website audience of 146,000 per month, plus a social media following of 85,000 and 34,000 email newsletter subscribers.

It has a team of 15, including six journalists, four business development managers, a designer, videographer and office manager.

Currently it is entirely funded by advertising revenue including display advertising, content marketing and event sponsorship. It said it has been in profit with positive turnover for 15 consecutive years with its biggest year yet in 2021/22.

Picture: Mikal Ludlow Photography

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