INMA Elevate Scholar: Alaya White of The Philadelphia Inquirer

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


In December 2023, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their fourth annual Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals from 31 countries. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Alaya White of The Philadelphia Inquirer is eager to learn and thrive in the news media industry.
Alaya White of The Philadelphia Inquirer is eager to learn and thrive in the news media industry.

As the marketing manager of subscriber acquisition at The Philadelphia Inquirer in the United States, Alaya White oversees campaigns and initiatives to convert new and former subscribers across many channels. And while she has found her calling in the news media industry, that’s not where her career began.

“I began my marketing career in the bridal industry, starting in the sales and retail of bridal gowns,” she said. But she was going to school to study marketing, and the owner encouraged Alaya to apply what she was learning — a move that eventually earned her a promotion to marketing coordinator.

Her next role was a dramatic departure: leading a team in a large multi-hospital health system and marketing continuing medical education courses and events to other health systems and physicians. The experience helped hone her skills in audience building, Web page creation, e-mail marketing, and graphic design.

Surprisingly, both of those roles provided her with essential skills for the news media industry, and she is now part of a team dedicated to acquiring digital and print subscribers, directly impacting the organisation’s revenue and growth.

“Working with the product and data & insights teams at The Philadelphia Inquirer has directly contributed to my passion for the news media business because of our ability to collaborate with our own strengths and share innovative ideas to make The Philadelphia Inquirer one of the top local journalistic brands,” Alaya said. “My individual and collaborative efforts collectively contribute to the success and sustainability of our organisation in an increasingly competitive landscape.”

Despite being relatively new to publishing and the subscription business, Alaya dives into every project headfirst with confidence. Her unique perspective on tackling industry challenges, particularly in acquiring new print subscribers in the digital age, sets her apart.

Sarah Jarvis, director of subscriber acquisition marketing at The Philadelphia Inquirer, noted, “The organisation will be hard-pressed to find someone who is as eager to not only learn but thrive in the news media industry as Alaya is.”

As an Elevate Scholar, Alaya hopes to enhance her skills in subscriber acquisition, product opportunities, data analytics, and advertising and is interested in improving her skills in data analysis and interpretation. However, it is learning about the business of the newsroom where she is most eager to expand her knowledge:

“I desire to fully grasp the management and strategic planning of a newsroom because strategising is my favourite thing to do. I would also like to learn about compliance and ethics of the newsroom as well. I aspire to become a trailblazer in the news media industry.”

About Paula Felps

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