PressPad seeks to raise 15k to continue online Covid support
Following on from the success of the PressPad Remote programme earlier this year, the company are bringing the scheme back for a second round, but to make this happen they need your help.
We in Social Tech participant, PressPad, the award winning social enterprise, aims to raise £15,000 through crowdfunding to continue to deliver a hugely successful remote programme of support, PressPad Remote, which it pivoted to launch during the first UK lockdown.
Between mid-April and the end of July, PressPad Remote’s programme delivered 11 masterclasses – on topics from imposter syndrome to mobile journalism; 14 Q&As with rising stars in journalism; 118 30-minute 1-2-1 CV and pitch clinics delivered by their founders and 4 speed mentoring sessions on Zoom.
The organisation, which was founded by BBC journalist Olivia Crellin in 2018, hopes to replicate their previous success and raise the funds through crowdfunding to continue to offer support – in particular 1-2-1 career clinics. If successful in reaching the target, PressPad could win up to £15,000 extra match funding from local authorities and other Covid-related grants (1) if they reach their target.
PressPad Remote is a programme that chimes with PressPad’s mission to remove financial and geographical barriers of entry to the media professions. Anyone in the world can access it free of charge and it is delivered with the same standards of excellence and inclusivity as everything PressPad does. Several applicants have gone on to get jobs during the pandemic and have credited the programme as contributing to that success.
One of the silver linings during the coronavirus pandemic has been an increase in accessibility to many events that would previously only have taken place in London and might have felt intimidating for those who are not as represented in the UK media. During the first season, 33% of PressPad Remote attendees considered themselves working class, 28% identified as Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority and 98% didn’t have parents or close connections who worked in the media (2).
According to The Sutton Trust almost half of current undergraduates (46%) believe the pandemic has had a negative effect on their chances of finding a job and 39% of graduate employers say they expect to hire fewer graduates, or none at all, in the next 12 months (3). While we hope recent apprenticeship schemes can buck this trend, it’s clear that the economic impact of the pandemic on graduates is likely to last for some time and we believe PressPad Remote provides much-needed valuable, accessible and inclusive support.
Olivia Crellin says: “PressPad continues its dedication to removing the financial and geographic barriers of entry into the media by pivoting to provide online support with PressPad Remote. Our small team, at the height of the pandemic, worked tirelessly and quickly to be there for our young journalists; the reach and type of people we were able to help speaks for itself.
Previously the social enterprise start up had focused exclusively on their unique and innovative host-mentorship scheme (4), which reduced financial hurdles of starting a career in the media by matching interns with senior journalists who not only have a spare room for them to stay in, but who can also offer advice and mentoring. Since their £45,000-raising #DiversifytheMedia (5) crowdfunder in November 2019, PressPad has used the funds, as planned, to build a marketplace website which will be ready to host interns in early 2021, run by a coordinator whose fees were raised in the last Crowdfunder campaign.
The cost of entering the world of journalism can be an enormous barrier for young people. Not only are most internships unwaged, but the cost of living in the capital – and other major UK media cities like Manchester – can be prohibitive to those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. These costs have not disappeared, but have been temporarily put on hold while 61% of employers (6) offering work experience placements have had to cancel their schemes.
In fact, research by The Sutton Trust has showed that the cost of doing an unpaid internship in London is still “an eye-watering £1093 per month (or £1011 if an intern’s travel is covered), and a steep £905 in Manchester (£843 excluding travel).” This is why PressPad is so proud to have been able to make the most of the pause in their hosting services, despite the pandemic, to build a platform that will truly tackle the issue, on the scale required.
PressPad’s mission is to solve the very real problem of elitism and lack of socio-economic diversity in the media industry. Since its hosting pilot in 2018, PressPad has placed 50 interns with senior journalists who have a spare room. On average, the interns helped by the social enterprise are 73% working class, 23% BAME and 93% of them are completing an unpaid internship. Currently across the UK media only 11% of journalists come from a working class background (8). More than half of the country’s top journalists went to private schools and 94% of journalists in the UK are white (9).
Georgina Truss, now a producer at Hashtag Our Stories wrote to our founder earlier this month on Linkedin and said: “Hi Olivia! Just wanted to drop a message to say Thank you! I had a CV clinic with yourself a few months ago. Maybe even just over a month, then I got my first ever interview and I got a job from that first interview! Thank-you again for giving up your time to provide the clinics! 😃”
Qais Hussain, an aspiring journalist from Bradford attended several sessions of PressPad Remote and received a paid commission to write for their blog.
He said: “I found it [PressPad Remote] really indispensable. I learned what a commissioning editor is, how to pitch and the basics of freelancing. That enabled me to write for some of my dream publications.”
We in Social Tech is an innovative accelerator, set-up to support ambitious women-led social technology businesses. The programme is delivered by Nwes, the largest not-for-private-profit enterprise agency in the UK, in collaboration with founding partner Deutsche Bank, through its social enterprise programme Made for Good. The tech accelerator programme will support a total of 85 social tech businesses by 2021.
Read more about the accelerator here>>