Australia – Non-profit research-based media outlet The Conversation has appointed Margy Vary as its new chief marketing officer for Australia and New Zealand. Prior to that role, she was working for a consultant for the company.

In her new role, Vary will be leading the publication’s marketing and reader revenue strategy in the region, and will be reporting to editor Misha Ketchell.

In addition, the role includes responsibility for driving audience growth, digital engagement, customer experience, as well as leading The Conversation’s donations strategy.

She was previously the marketing director of Guardian Australia, where she overlooked the local marketing and comms strategy during a period of rapid audience growth and development of the successful reader revenue strategy. She also has 20 years of experience in advertising and marketing, including launching Virgin Atlantic in Australia and developing creative campaigns at Host in Australia and Lowe in London.

Speaking on her new role, she said, “The Conversation has the best business model for sustaining public interest journalism, as a charity that’s not dependent on advertising revenue. I’m excited to join a team of experts with a culture of collaboration that is ideally suited to the challenges of these times, when the future of public interest journalism is under threat and Australians are more than ever crying out for facts over opinions and expertise over agendas.”

Meanwhile, Ketchell commented, “It’s the perfect time to welcome Margy to The Conversation. With so much disruption in public interest journalism and so many new developments in reader revenue happening around the world, her expertise will ensure The Conversation stays ahead of the game.” 

She added, “Margy’s track record in converting audience relationships into reliable and sustainable revenue streams will ensure we remain self-sufficient and not susceptible to the politics of funding. Margy brings a track record in creative, purpose-driven marketing that will be a huge asset in helping to differentiate the Conversation’s fact-based news by experts, which is needed now more than ever.”

Lisa Watts, CEO at The Conversation Media Group, said, “In 10 years we’ve gone from being a small startup to a global network with millions of monthly readers, and since COVID-19 The Conversation’s audience has doubled as people turn to experts for information they can trust. As an NFP our work is free to read and free to republish but we rely on support from donors and readers, and this role helps keep our work free and available to everyone. Margy is a great addition to the team, she brings deep expertise and we’re all very excited to work with her.”