Turning Stories into Revenue: Vidi Vaka’s Path to Growing Profitability Subtitle: Vidi Vaka case study

Vidi Vaka
Case Study

Name of the media:

Vidi Vaka

Mentor:

Sanja Gardašević

Founded in:

2016
10

Employees

Starting point and the mentorship goals

Vidi Vaka started in 2016 as the social-first media in North Macedonia, quickly distinguishing itself as a tech-forward organisation. They became recognisable through their master storytellers, who gave voice to the voiceless. All of it made them gain attention and recognition from organisations wanting help crafting impactful stories that resonate with different audiences while shedding light on important societal issues.

As part of their growth journey, Vidi Vaka embarked on a mentorship process through the Media Innovation Europe project. This initiative was instrumental in their decision to register and set up the first storytelling studio in the region – Vidi Vaka Storytelling Studio (VVSS), as a social enterprise. Previously, they were operating under the Foundation IDEA SEE. By separating the brand room into a different legal entity, they were able to pursue previously unattainable business opportunities and cover more provocative topics.

This change provided both the brandroom and newsroom the autonomy to flourish, setting individual goals, priorities and development strategies.

It offered them the opportunity to strengthen the journalistic freedom of the Vidi Vaka newsroom while funneling profits generated by the brandroom back into the newsroom. This financial support allowed them to adopt innovative media practices and technologies.

Vidi Vaka’s team crafting a story

Where Vidi Vaka was and wanted to be

With 40% of the budget, Vidi Vaka’s brandroom services presented a significant revenue resource for the media. This success was primarily organic, stemming from word-of-mouth recommendations and passive sales.

Even though monetisation potential was obvious, it soon became clear that opportunities were limited by internal capacities and human resources available. There was little room for proactive business development or capacity for relationship nurturing after the initial business establishment. To capitalise on the opportunities and empower the Vidi Vaka team to create an even greater impact, things needed to change. That’s where the mentors help shine through.

“When we first started, we had a vague idea of what our goals should be but lacked the roadmap to achieve them. However, under our mentor’s guidance, we’ve not only gained clarity on our objectives but also developed the skills and confidence to pursue them relentlessly. Her insightful advice, constructive feedback, and unreserved support have driven us forward, helping us navigate challenges and capitalise on opportunities along the way. As a result, we’ve seen significant progress in our personal and professional growth.”

– Aleksandar Markovski, Project Manager

The primary challenge in crafting business plans was dividing one organisation into two entities. Despite the complexity, management’s commitment to this process led to the successful separation of the team while steadily establishing VVSS as an individual brand.

Another challenge was navigating the team’s transition from a nonprofit mindset to one that understands the intricacies of engaging and delivering results for for-profit clients. 

On the road to overcoming challenges

The mentorship process was tailored to address the mentioned shifts, equipping the team with the understanding and tools to connect with and cater to a for-profit clientele effectively.

The road to change was focused on three objectives: legally and organisationally separating the entities, developing a sales and marketing strategy for VVSS, and building team capabilities to present their services to clients, keeping the regional level in mind.

One of the mentor’s sessions

Individually tailored mentorship support upgraded organisational capacity in business development and project management while involving a deeper understanding of the new business environment, identifying attractive market segments, and formulating tailored approaches for all of them. Engaging sessions brought visible progress monthly, making organisational challenges easier through open discussions and a friendly, positive atmosphere.

Working together on reaching the goals

The growth and achievements

The Vidi Vaka team’s diligent work, with their mentor’s support, resulted in establishing VVSS as a separate entity, effectively distinguishing the newsroom from the brandroom. The management process ensured a smooth client transition, making VVSS well-received by the market, while providing credibility and references. 

 “The mentorship process made an impact on my mindset, shifting to business-oriented thinking and acting”.  Aleksandar Markovski, Project Manager

A well-crafted sales and marketing strategy led to the establishment of relationships with 16 different clients, 75% of which were new ones. In a short time, VVSS has already worked with diplomatic missions, international and regional organisations, business clients, and newly founded grassroots CSOs, which resulted in an impressive 36,8% increase in brandroom revenue.

The Vidi Vaka team established international business relations with partners from Serbia, Albania, Greece and USA, indicating a broad international reach. As they emphasise, developing skills and confidence to pursue goals relentlessly helped them navigate challenges and capitalise on opportunities along the way, laying the groundwork for further business’s growth and success.