Positioning A British Traditional Media Brand For A U.S. Digital Audience: 4 Questions For The Guardian’s Hannah Diddams
Although the British newspaper The Guardian is a nearly 200-year-old traditional media company in its home country, in the United States its Web site, www.guardian.co.uk stands alone as the publication’s only format. Still, site attracts nine million unique visitors a month from the U.S. — enough to make the home office take notice.
Earlier this year, Hannah Diddams (right) was appointed head of sales for North America and moved to New York to set up a sales team here that focuses on positioning the Guardian’s brand to a U.S. audience and U.S. advertisers, setting up partnerships with other companies and news outlets and building up the internationalist brand of the Guardian that Americans seem to love. We spoke with Diddams about her goals and strategies and what the future will hopefully bring for the Guardian’s brand in the U.S.
FishbowlNY: What is your role at the Guardian?
Hannah Diddams: Although we’ve always had journalists here in Washington and New York, the Guardian made the decision to launch our commercial presence in the U.S. by setting up a direct sales office here. The Guardian decided to send me out from London because they wanted someone who had worked for the Guardian for a number of years, who understood the brand and the company to come out here and set up our sales office. Since arriving five months ago I have recruited a sales team, I have developed our sales materials and filled out our sales position, answering questions like what does the Guardian mean and what positions are we occupying in this landscape. Now we’re just getting down to the business of media sales, getting out and meeting with all the agencies and talking about the Guardian, partnering with people who are doing really interesting stuff in the industry, maybe starting to have some events or conferences. We’re also looking at what kind of thought leadership we want to do, with a look towards generating some revenue and creating a permanent foothold in the U.S. market.