What is PostDesk Cumbria? Why write for us? Who we are, and what our aims are…

Project Manager Sam England explains the motivations behind setting up a locally facing site alongside the main PostDesk.com project, right from the outset

Penrith Cumbria

This blog post is intended to explain more about our new locally facing website, PostDesk Cumbria – which is the first (and only) local site we’re planning to launch at this moment in time, and which is to go live at the same time as the rest of PostDesk.com. This post should answer some of the many questions which have been put to us over the past couple of weeks.

What is PostDesk?

For more information on PostDesk itself, who we are, and what our aims are – including a run down of the entire team and of everyone involved  - see these two blog posts: What is PostDesk? and Why write for PostDesk?

PostDesk Front Page

The design of PostDesk is very similar to that of an editorial site, but with more emphasis given to discussion and debate

What are the aims of PostDesk Cumbria?

PostDesk Cumbria aims to bring real change to the local media landscape.  Our platform is an independent platform for editorial – anyone can write for us. We also aim to promote and encourage meaningful discussion and debate around articles, not just passive commenting. The flow of the discussion should be readable and in that sense, our pieces will become collaborative articles, which are rich, with different opinions and sentiment.  We want to hear every viewpoint from key members within the community.

We believe that local issues as well as national issues are just as important to everyone – so why should local media be left behind whilst innovation is being seen across national and international media. We all like to know what’s going on locally – so that’s why we’re trialling our platform on a local scale, starting out in Cumbria.

Why Cumbria?

We believe that Cumbria needs better local media coverage, and there are many local issues in Cumbria that are unique to the region. As a company, we’ve also made the decision to base ourselves here as opposed to in London, or in a city like Manchester or Birmingham. Since graduating university, I personally have moved back to Penrith and despite the fact that most internet based startups tend to gravitate towards London, I realised that that there are many advantages to doing business here in Cumbria over moving elsewhere. As we expand we plan to maintain a strong presence here too.

What are the aims of PostDesk Cumbria?

  • To raise the profile of local issues and debates which are topical and relevant
  • To commentate on local news and get across every angle of the debate
  • To review and offer coverage of local events
  • To give local residents a strong voice and a platform for their opinions or thoughts
  • To give local businesses a powerful platform to reach a geographically targeted audience, which is not just passive – but is actively involved in the community.
  • To showcase the realities living or doing business in Cumbria
  • To raise the profile of local arts and culture
  • To raise the profile of Cumbria on a national scale, so those from outside Cumbria can come to PostDesk Cumbria to get a real insight in to day-to-day life in the area

What kind of content will you see on PostDesk Cumbria? 

  • Features on local places of interest, people of interest, events, businesses
  • In-depth opinion pieces on local issues or anything of local relevance
  • Local news analysis
  • Reviews of local events, local produce
  • …and in the future – audio and video content

What makes PostDesk Cumbria different from traditional online and offline media?

Firstly – you write our pieces. Whilst our platform is designed with journalists, writers and bloggers in mind, it is by no means exclusive. We are also giving a platform to all local people. Members of our community write the pieces that appear on PostDesk. Community leaders, trendsetters, business owners, producers, local politicians, local students, academics, activists, thinkers, or those with an interest in local arts, culture, sports, outdoor pursuits, science and nature are great contributors. In short – anyone who has a view or opinion or an idea worth sharing should write on PostDesk.

Why write for us?

We want to give local people a platform to promote their ideas, their businesses, and their projects.

If you’re a local blogger, we can guarantee that you’ll receive more exposure with us. All you’d need to do is blog on our platform – we deal with promoting your pieces and getting you exposure.

The main thing is that we want to see passion and personality come across in the pieces – not just giving local people a voice, but giving local people something enjoyable, informative and compelling to become a part of. It’s not just about writing pieces; it’s about contributing to the discussion around pieces too.

 

Because of the number of influential local people who we’ve already secured to write for us, and because of Cumbria’s incredibly close-knit community, we know that the pieces on our site will ‘snowball’ and spread fast by word-of-mouth online, and off line.

We’re revolutionising online editorial – starting right here in Cumbria, and you can be a part of it. You don’t have to write either – PostDesk Cumbria will effectively become a curated and well put together online magazine too – with the sheer number of well constructed discussions going on, around strong, opinion orientated articles.

How to write for us

Are there any local issues you’d like to blog about? Events you’d like to report on? Do you have an opinion on a local new story? Are you a business owner? You can contact me (Project Manager) via email at [email protected] or telephone, on 07803 876 854 before Feburary 15th if you’d like your piece appear in our launch edition.

Sponsor PostDesk Cumbria

We’re looking for launch partners. Currently we are not funded, and the entire team at PostDesk on a local and national scale is working for free at present. We are ‘bootstrapping’ – so everyone from our web developers and designers the entire editorial team based across the UK and here in Cumbria and everyone involved in the management of PostDesk are currently working for free.

We believe that we can give businesses of any size who are based in Cumbria, or who have a presence in Cumbria a very attractive proposition.

Our audience is effectively everyone who uses the Internet in Cumbria who has an interest in what’s going on. We launch towards the end of February – but even before launch our nationally facing blog receives over 90,000 unique visitors a month. We know that with PostDesk Cumbria, we can garner a very significant local ‘circulation’ as well as draw in national users as well – especially good for those local businesses who are nationally facing, who have an ecommerce website – or who are national or international brands with an interest or presence here in Cumbria

Our audience is not a passive audience. The audience is a community, which actively gets involved in what we do. We do not run traditional advertising, and we only run sponsorship from businesses and brands we know our readers will associate with and find relevant. As a community around discussion and debate, this is the place where all of the thought leaders, trendsetters, decision makers and influential people come to visit. Those are exactly the people who you need to see your brand  – the people that will talk about you, share your brand and spread the word – so our audience is nothing like a traditional, passive editorial audience.  Because of the culture we build up at PostDesk, and because unlike traditional editorial offerings (online, or offline) there is the discussion, debate and community aspect to PostDesk, we provide you with a switched on and engaged audience – an audience that really matters – and an audience that is more refined, targeted and specialist – and far more influential than a more mainstream, traditional one.

We’re seeking launch partners (sponsors) for our launch edition which goes live later this month – so if you are a Cumbrian business or a national business with an interest or presence here in Cumbria – or you know a business that might be interested, please do get in touch so we can discuss things further and see if sponsoring PostDesk Cumbria would be the right thing to do for you.  As a highly valued and special launch partner – I’d certainly be willing to make some special considerations for you too. You can contact me (Project Manager) via email at [email protected] or telephone, on 07803 876 854 (alternatively you can use our Freephone number, 0800 80 85 247).

I look forward to welcoming you in to PostDesk Cumbria when we launch later this month. If you have any questions, comments or feedback at this early stage – please do get in touch with me – either in the comments section below, or via email ([email protected]).

Sam England

Founder and Project Manager

PostDesk.com