Digital Immersion Programme


Jul 2021

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Activate and accelerate your journey towards sustainable digital reader revenue.

Digital Immersion Programme is a five day interactive virtual workshop for key decision makers designed to accelerate a publisher’s journey towards digital reader revenue. By fusing strategic thinking with tactical action, participants will leave with a series of quick wins that can be implemented immediately, and an actionable framework for sustained growth.



The programme is designed for publishers at the beginning of their digital reader revenue journey. It’s aimed at organisations looking for rapid and actionable solutions to help in their transition to digital reader revenue.

  • Typically local and hyper-local publishers
  • Have a content website, not only an e-edition of the publication
  • Yet to offer digital subscriptions/memberships or at a very early stage of that process
  • Typical headcount (newsroom + operations): 9-50
  • Typical online monthly unique visitors: <250,000

Available programmes:

We have a number of dates available for the Digital Immersion programme in 2021. Please check the application form to find a suitable date for your organisation.



Each day in the Digital Immersion programme focuses on a different aspect of your digital transformation journey.

Starting with a digital reader revenue diagnostic review, publishers are guided through different phases of the reader lifecycle throughout the week, namely attraction, engagement and monetisation. On Day 5, all lessons learnt come together when publishers develop an ambitious North Star goal and a roadmap to bring their strategy to life.

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Though the programme is a week-long commitment, there is a very large lunch break to help you carry on with business as usual. We are also happy to provide additional flexibility to those who need it.

Morning session (9-10:30am)

Inspiration session and Q&A with a leading FT practitioner

Your activity for the day explained

Lunch Break (10:30am - 2pm)

Complete your self-guided activity for the day

1on1 consulting session with FT Strategies consultants

Grab a bite!

Afternoon session (2-5pm):

Hear from a relevant industry expert

Activity sharing and feedback session

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“Game changer for a local Publisher. In an area that seems like we get no support this made me feel like there was.”

William Ryan, Publisher, Limerick Post

“The quality of the programme was well beyond my expectations. Having face time with so many industry experts is invaluable.“

Steve Barron, Publisher, Highland News & Media

“Insightful and fun. This is a brilliant programme that's really helped me to understand the steps my company needs to take to succeed in our vision. Thank you!”

Kurt Robson, Regional Editor, Nub News

“The programme is a great mix of insights from knowledgeable experts and accessible exercises for practical application in our own organisations. I especially appreciate the ongoing opportunities for learning and networking after the programme through additional consultations and alumni events. “

Rebecca Quinn, Digital Transformation Adviser, The Connexion

“The FT's Digital Immersion lab has been an extremely worthwhile experience that I would recommend to all publishers however big or small. The speakers are knowledgeable, inspiring and full of thoughtful advice. I have really, really enjoyed the past five days and am overflowing with ideas and actions! I also appreciated that the schedule allowed time to carry out my day-today work.“

Emily Hewett, Head of Audience, Archant

“The Digital Immersion programme was extremely well organised and well presented, containing reams of useful information about developing reader engagement and monetisation models. I am sure that the materials provided and the topics discussed will prove very useful to me and my organisation in the future.”

Emma Morgan, Regional Editor, Nub News

“The Digital Immersion programme was an intense week of thinking hard about the future of our media company. It is not often so much time can be carved out, free of outside distraction, to really grapple with questions in your work, and with expert guidance and the sharing of real concrete advice on how to develop as an organisation. I have been left with ideas and plans not just for a few weeks, but for several years and I hope I will be able to effectively communicate what I have gained from this experience with enough of my colleagues to ensure that we take full advantage of what the Digital Immersion programme has provided us.”

Chris Powers, Digital Marketing & Community Manager, EURACTIV


Who is the programme for?

The Digital Immersion Programme is designed for publishers at the beginning of their reader revenue journey. It’s aimed at organisations looking for rapid and actionable solutions to help in their transition to digital reader revenue.

Is the programme delivered virtually?

Yes. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the programme will be delivered entirely virtually, using an interactive web based platform.

What stage of the reader revenue journey should publishers be at? Are we still eligible for the programme if we have a reader revenue model in place?

Publishers might have taken the first steps towards driving value from digital readers, including subscriptions, donations or memberships. These should not be fully developed though; the goal of the Digital Immersion Programme will be to optimise elements of their reader experience to activate or accelerate the journey to sustainable reader revenue.

If you already have a reader revenue model in place, that’s great! Depending on what stage of the journey you’re at, you may still be eligible for the programme.

Can publishers outside of the UK apply?

Yes! We actively encourage applications from news organisations across Europe, providing they can speak the programme language.

How much work is involved?

So that you can get the most value out of the programme, we will provide you with a selection of pre-reading materials. These will offer a short introduction to reader revenue models, making the most of data and analytics, and sketch out global changes and trends in the digital news landscape. We highly recommend working your way through this (short) list so that you can hit the ground running and extract the most value from our expert-led workshops.

What does the application process look like?

After submitting an application form we’ll be in contact over the next few weeks to confirm your place. If we think you’re slightly too advanced or nascent for the programme, we’ll recommend resources and next steps for you to take.

Which employees should attend the Digital Immersion Programme? Can multiple people from our organisation attend?

Bearing in mind the topics covered, we recommend that you send a mid or senior level decision maker who works within the most relevant areas, and who has a good knowledge of / is responsible for audience engagement and (reader) revenue growth. The participant might be within the data, digital, marketing, strategy or technology departments.

For each programme there can be a maximum of 12 publishers, with up to two participants from each publisher. For the morning webinar sessions, we invite participants to invite as many relevant people in their organisation as they like (up to a maximum of 20) to help share and embed the knowledge.

What sort of time commitment will be required each day?

The daily time commitment is around 5 hours of content and activities.


Case Study: Building a reader-first publication and boosting subscriptions performance

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