There, we’ve done it. Tomorrow, 1st November, is our first birthday!
For a moment, let’s look back at the year in numbers.
We’ve published 785 articles.
We’ve received 675,000 website hits.
We’ve gathered 6,117 followers across our social media accounts.
We have 39 H.I.T. Patrons – that’s you!!
I had NO IDEA what to expect when HULL IS THIS went live last year – but these numbers seem good to me, and they set the benchmark for our next year.
It’s not all about the numbers though.
The feedback I receive online and in-person is that people find the content refreshing, informative – and they trust it.
HULL IS THIS has found many friends within the journalism and media industry too. The BBC, in particular, has been very supportive, offering me an almost constant stream of invites to speak on various radio shows and TV.
You may remember that I was invited to talk about HULL IS THIS at a conference organised by journalism.co.uk at Reuters HQ earlier in the year too – an experience I’ll not forget quickly! Nerve-wracking, but very supportive. Many of the people I spoke to at the conference have kept in touch, and the journalism.co.uk team have been a great resource to refer back to.
I’ve recently been invited to speak to a couple of other groups about HULL IS THIS too – the Hull Business Women’s Breakfast group, and the meting of the Hull Secondary School Headteachers.
That’s where we are right now, it’s a good place to be. We’re seen as the ‘vitamins, not the fibre’ of our readers’ news diet.
We have no intention of standing still though!
We’ve been working to get more exclusive content on the website. Our podcasts are doing well, it’s a format that I love to produce, and more and more people are listening to audio podcasts. The podcast format is something we’re going to be playing with this coming year – expect ‘live recording’ events, and more ‘documentary’ style episodes on issues affecting the city.
We’re also working on PRINT! I know, that’s a surprise, but it’s not going to be a printed version of our web content. Instead, we’re looking at producing one-off booklets on a theme. We’re working on the first one right now, with the Women of Words poetry collective. The booklets are going to help us raise a few more pennies too – to produce even more exclusive content.
And, it’s the funding of HULL IS THIS that I’ll have to be focusing on this coming year. We need the funds to pay to commission content. Content that is exclusive to HULL IS THIS continues to do really well – and a few of the freelancers that regular submit their general work to us are now also writing content that they’re submitting specifically and exclusively to HULL IS THIS.
Well, we seem to have created quite a stir together! It’s been a rapid learning curve at times, but always a real privilege to be offering up a news project that people have been shouting out for.
With your continued support HULL IS THIS is going to grow and grow.
Jerome – the editor