Howard Sharman

My background in the commercial world was in business magazine publishing and information provision – magazines, newsletters, conferences, exhibitions and the Internet.  Starting as a journalist I later moved over to the commercial side of the business and then on to general management.  Working for a small LSE-quoted company I was also involved in M&A work.  I manage consultancy projects for EP on a wide range of business strategy, sales & marketing, income generation, product development and communications topics.  Lately I have been working on a number of ‘digital’ projects working with charities looking at launching or developing websites, developing apps, even software development.

Key skills & experience

In my publishing career I initially trained as a journalist and learned the skill of using desk research backed up by interviews to become an ‘instant expert’.  Later I produced magazines, conferences or websites for a number of different markets, and so learned quickly how to identify the key similarities – and the differences – between the markets.  My work in M&A made me very comfortable with producing business plans.  And I lived through the first 15 years of the digital transition of printed magazines to interactive websites – including managing an in-house web development team.


Recent projects

My recent projects have included:

  • Big Potential-funded projects for: a small charity that had developed its own software; and a national charity looking to launch a paid-for website;
  • Developing a sales and marketing plan to help an arts charity market itself and its services to the commercial world;
  • Research into the local newspaper market in London for a social enterprise that was considering entering the market;
  • Producing a brochure and a local marketing and awareness-raising strategy for a charity working with the homeless;
  • Initial ‘Leadership and Location’ research, followed by detailed due diligence for the merger of two medical charities;
  • Assessment of the viability of a charity, largely funded by the Cabinet Office, involving a review of the potential of its online products.

Other information

In 2008 I gained an MSc in Environment & Sustainable Development at University College London.  I am a trustee of participatory photography charity PhotoVoice ( Alongside project work for Eastside Primetimers, I also work through my own company, ERD Associates, as a media consultant in the business-to-business sector, advising publishing companies on strategy, consulting on operational issues and working on all aspects of acquisitions (initial research, approaches to acquisition targets, due diligence, integration).



Case studies

The Giving Machine“From the start, the team from Eastside Primetimers took the time to really understand our current business model and social proposition in depth.  This led to the development of a revised marketing strategy and supporting business plan.  Funders and advisors who reviewed our plan were keen to point out the quality of the delivered plans and this was a crucial factor in securing our social funding in 2017.  Thank you Eastside Primetimers – if only every partner delivered to that quality!” Richard Morris, Founder and CEO

Eastside Primetimers