Sunderland Global Media (SGM) has reached a turning point. In just two years, it has transformed to become one of the largest news sources in Sunderland. But as a direct result of this, the environment it operates in has become more challenging, that is because with a larger profile, comes more opposition, scrutiny and of course responsibility.
SGM was founded as visionary organisation to promote Sunderland in a positive way, but not everyone has appreciated or understood this. As a result, a new strategy is being released to ensure SGM’s continued growth, success and survival. These are our fundamental goals.
- To continue unprecedented full-scale social media growth, with the view of transforming SGM into the largest single Sunderland page in terms of its following. For the past two years, we recognise SGM’s social media strategy has sometimes come at the expense of quality, but this is no longer an option as with growing influence, comes growing responsibility. SGM will seek to maintain high level growth but with a greater emphasis on quality and caution.
- To consolidate new community groups, pages and forums. SGM will work to reduce “excessive dependence” on certain websites that have been able to monopolise Sunderland related discussion and discourse to the detriment of others, and will work to indirectly contain their influence. This will include a renewed focus on the “Sunderland Hub” group, amongst other things.
- To become a hub for all Sunderland events. SGM will use the new “What’s on” section to promote every event possible in our city, that locals might be able to have a better experience and recognise the opportunities available.
- Acknowledgement of ethical, long-term, strategic competition. SGM recognises now that there are certain sites or organisations that perceive it as a “strategic competitor”, that is a business based challenge to their own activities or dominance, and in turn are unfriendly or even hostile towards us. SGM will now introduce a policy of “ethical competition” whereby it will compete positively by aiming to better itself, and will now seek to avoid confrontation or negativity, but will always be prepared to stand up for its interests. We are in a Cold War, but we must avoid a hot one.
- Alliance and relationship building. SGM will increase its alliances and relationships with Sunderland based groups, businesses and organisations under the banner of common interests. We will build both “commercial ties” but also “moral ties” in promoting their causes and activities for the common good. We will emphasis “serving people, rather than being self-serving.“
- Continue outwards expansion. SGM will continue to expand into areas outside of Sunderland, in particular the wider North East.
- Respect for the Sunderland Echo. The Sunderland Echo is the city’s vanguard newspaper of historical interest, and as such SGM does not regard it as a competitor or challenger because it is an icon of our city’s heritage. We will work to improve and smooth over positive relations with this newspaper, and avoid disputes.
- Political Neutrality. SGM’s primary goal is the success of Sunderland and nothing should get in the way of the bigger picture. In doing so we would like to sustain positive relations with all political parties. However, we reserve the right to scrutinise the local authority if necessary. “It doesn’t matter what colour the cat is, as long as it catches the mouse.” It is silly to hope our city fails just so someone can be proven right about their dislike for a political party. We will report what is good, and will report what is bad. We’d like to avoid all party based political vendettas.