Paid or Organic

23 February 2022

Does relying on acquiring audience through organic channels such as search or social deliver publishers with engaged audiences? Or is there a need to spend money to reach new audiences and build your brand? And how important are newsletters and events in the mix?


Martin Ashplant // PPA Decodes Chair
Martin Ashplant
Digital Media Consultant
PPA Decodes Chair

Martin is a digital media and product expert with more than 15 years’ experience of building engaged online communities and award-winning web and mobile products. A former journalist, he has led digital product and content teams at Metro, City A.M., Beano Studios and New Statesman Media Group, as well as working with publishing businesses including ITV News, BT Sport, Dennis Publishing, Dazed Media and the i newspaper as a consultant.

Carly Steven // News UK
Carly Steven
Head of SEO, The Sun
News UK

Carly has worked in digital media for over ten years. She was responsible for establishing the editorial SEO department at the Daily Mail before moving to Canada to work with the Montreal Gazette and Postmedia as SEO Specialist for the National Post and sister titles. After a period as VP of Search at Reshift Media, a digital marketing company based in Toronto, she returned to London to spend two years as Audience Development Manager at City AM. Now Head of SEO at The Sun, Carly leads the team in London and is overseeing the expansion of SEO department in New York while working closely with colleagues across News Corp. She is also co-chair of the AOP Audience Development steering group.

Emma Scott // Beano Studios and Freesat
Emma Scott
Former CEO
Beano Studios and Freesat

Emma created and led Beano Studios, where she powered the Beano’s transformation from an 80-year-old comic to a global International Emmy nominated franchise and a high-growth digital platform. Previously, Emma was Chief of Staff for the BBC Director-General and launched Freeview, the UK’s largest digital TV platform. She went on to spearhead the creation of Freesat, the UK’s satellite and streaming service, where she was CEO of the joint venture between the BBC and ITV. Now leading Cultivation Partners, Emma advises senior leaders wanting to grow their brands and businesses. Emma is also Chair of the World Book Day charity and Vice Chair of medical research investor, Ovarian Cancer Action.

John Webb // Autovia, Demand Generation
John Webb
Managing Director
Autovia, Demand Generation

John Webb is Managing Director for Autovia’s Demand Generation business. His role covers all aspects of building the Demand Generation business, helping clients to understand, attract, nurture and convert demand for their products and services across Autovia’s portfolio of market-leading automotive brands including: Auto Express, Carbuyer, EVO, Driving Electric, CarThrottle and BuyaCar. Prior to joining Autovia, John held senior commercial leadership positions at companies including Samsung, Rackspace, Yahoo!, Spiceworks, and Rockstar Games.