In 2018 we were given the opportunity to help soundLINCS, and East Midlands based music charity, review and develop their ongoing membership publication project Music:Link. Music:Link's primary function is to provide a listing to the public of live music events and music tuition.
Having inherited Music:Link from a community group who had been running it for the past 30 years soundLINCS wanted to ensure that there was a continued future for the publication. Their goals were to increase membership numbers by making the publication more appealing both visually and in terms of depth of content.
The review process was funded via the Collaboration4Growth Fund from Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The review took a two-part approach focusing on the membership offer and production costs including resources. This resulted in the creation of evaluation and recommendation documents that focused on making Music:Link more sustainable.
The membership review took place through a process of consultation with members and soundLINCS staff via workshops and surveys. The process reviewed the audience identifying target demographics, reviewing the existing membership offers and exploring the feasibility of additional revenue streams.
The second part of the review looked at Music:Link's current expenditure around print, marketing and online presence. It also reviewed the way that soundLINCS manage Music:Link's customer relations. We gave recommendations that would allow for improved service, payment processing and more efficient customer management.
During the review process, it became clear that in order to give Music:Link the future it deserves staffing resource was the key issues. Whereas previously volunteers had run Music:Link, soundLINCS now needed a person in house to do this. With already pressed resources and volunteers not forthcoming this left Music:Link in uncertainty. Our overall recommendation was to halt the review process and return the remaining funding for soundLINCS to create a paid internship that focused on sales, membership development and product creation. Ultimately the internship may become a permanent position if enough membership revenue can be generated to cover the continuation of the role.