As the year comes to an end, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for all the work, all the happy memories and shared wins we’ve achieved as a company.
I want to also make a few important notes as we enter into a new year. All of these revolves around survivability in the industry we are in – the media industry.
While we had a lot of wins in 2017 – where we saw our revenue grew almost 5x and our headcount more than tripled since we moved out from Anson Road (when it was just the editorial team) – this year the industry saw a lot of negative news too. Notably, SPH slashed its headcount, and saw revenue declined year on year. Our friends over at The Middle Ground, AsiaOne and Mashable also saw their company closed down, and they no longer have a workplace they can continue to produce great work for.
There are many reasons why they couldn’t continue their operations – but the underlying reason was because the content they produce were no longer relevant to the mass audience in Singapore. Business model aside, when was the last time we saw a piece of editorial or video from their platform that wow-ed us?
The same applies for us – I hope all of you understand now that as a media company, we make money through content creation. This can be through our own media assets or through our client’s media asset. The day that we stop producing great work that we wow ourselves and our readers, will be the day we start losing, and soon Marketing Interactive will be writing about the decline of GRVTY Media.
Producing great content aside, as a media company, we must also put emphasis on how these content can build GRVTY’s brand. By “brand”, it means how our audience perceive GRVTY, what GRVTY and its individual media assets mean to them. For example, when entrepreneurs are looking for resources and inspiration, do they look at Vulcan Post? When a Singaporean is looking for the most popular Chicken Rice stall, do they look at Discover SG? From a business point of view, when a brand is looking for an expert in new media content creation, do they look at GRVTY Media?
Beyond just that, I also encourage and urge all of you to always keep track of what our peers in the industry is doing. For the editorial team, read more, and track what folks like New York Times, Rice Media, TSL are producing, and for the video team, follow what great agency creatives are producing. There were too many times this year that we internally shared the content / video done by others, and I hope that in 2018, all of us aspire to produce similarly / better content that our peers will look at and be inspired.
In 2018, I also hope that each of you can take time to learn something that you have never learnt in 2017. As we evolve and grow as a media company, the changing digital landscape demands us to evolve accordingly – what this means is, there might come a day that need to learn how to start a telegram channel, there might come a day that we need to manage a Facebook chat bot, there might come a day that we need to boost an ad not on Facebook, but to a video on an Android mobile app. These days may come sooner than you think, and when it does, we have to be prepared for it.
We’ve survived 2017, and I hope that we will continue to survive and thrive in 2018.
And we can – by continuously producing great and relevant content that we are all damn proud of, by solidifying what GRVTY means to the digital audience in Singapore, by upskilling ourselves and staying ahead of the curve.
Happy New Year, don’t party too hard tonight, and see you all on 2nd January 2018!