Women’s Agenda publisher Angela Priestley: ‘There is space for a lot of players’

Angela Priestley took over as owner of Women’s Agenda in 2016.

Just over two years ago when Mediaweek spoke to the founding editor of Women’s Agenda, Angela Priestley, she was embarking on a new journey with the title – this time as the owner. She had just acquired the digital title from Eric Beecher’s Private Media.

She admitted that she was “nervous” about the move. When Mediaweek caught with Priestley recently she sounded much more relaxed. “It was also nerve-racking at the time because I also had a newborn. I was feeling my way through how I was going to find the hours in the day to do what needed to be done to keep the business running at that time, which was really a priority for the first few months,” she said. “It was a year of not much sleep.” [Laughs]

The second year of running the business was about putting a structure into place to help balance work and family. “I started working more regular hours and we had the business set up to ensure that it was sustainable. We started to get some regular clients on board and set up more of the content marketing side of the business.”

This form of marketing has become a key for the Women’s Agenda business model. Priestley identified it as the title’s biggest revenue stream alongside its annual Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards event, which consistently attracts a good number of sponsors.

“Content marketing for us is about doing partner content pieces, which we clearly mark on the site, and also about producing content that doesn’t necessarily appear on Women’s Agenda. We might do that on a consulting basis for external companies, especially around how they can attract more women,” Priestley explained. “Advertising is still there as a stream but it is only going to reach so far.”

On the editorial side of things, Priestley’s mission was to modernise the Women’s Agenda website to meet its audience’s demands by making it more responsive. According to internal figures provided by Women’s Agenda, 60% of its traffic comes from mobile, 32% from desktop and 8% from tablets. The brand sends out a free daily EDM. In light of the changes announced by Facebook to its news feed earlier this year, Priestley said the EDM is more important than ever before. Facebook news feeds will be prioritising content from local news outlets and posts made by friends and family. The team behind Women’s Agenda will spend this year increasing the size of its mailing list.

“It seems like an old-school thing to do, but at the end of the day that is one of the few things that you completely own. You don’t have control over your Facebook engagement and the same with Instagram,” Priestley said. “We have always tried to personalise the newsletter and make it something that women love to open. We haven’t deviated from that.”

Women’s Agenda targets professional women and female entrepreneurs. This is a similar market to Nine’s upcoming subscription website Future Women.

“I am never really concerned by competitors,” Priestley said. “This is a big market and there is space for a lot of players.”

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