Of course I do – it’s the backbone of my business and indeed my whole career since the age of 22.
Sounds obvious but I love being present in the world and knowing what’s going on. I’m inherently nosey and I like feeling I’m part of something and it’s why this is a natural world for me to inhabit. Why do I love and, largely respect, the media?
Information is power. It’s not that I love power, however, I know that when you are part of the media industry, information comes to you and you naturally, will become a fount of up-to-date knowledge about your community and sector, and you’ll develop a wide contact base. In a wider context, the media represents power and you will see this throughout history and across the world. When there is a coup, or uprising or even a war, one of the first ‘things’ which gets taken over will be the major media outlets. Asks yourself why that happens…
Being part of the media means I know how to get to people and how to obtain information as quickly as possible. I don’t have special powers, I simply know how to find stuff if it can be found. I know how to research, and where to research for relevant information. As a journalist, I have an enormous number of links who I can contact when I need to, both locally and nationally and even internationally.
Justice. The media can be part of seeking justice for those who have not had their day in court; for those who feel they have not been listened to or who feel desperate about a situation they are in. When people are desperate for whatever reason and they have exhausted all other options they will often turn to the media as a last resort. One such situations is during this last year, I was heavily involved in a campaign set up to support company owners of small businesses who have received no personal help with their salaries during Covid19. https://scottmedia.uk/metro-mayors-pledge-to-lobby-government-to-compensate-desperate-sme-owners/
Help. The media can actually be hugely helpful to people who need to tell their story because they feel it’s in the public interest. The need to whistleblow is very powerful for some individuals who are witnesses to a situation that they feel is unfair, unjust, untenable or even criminal. Things that the public needs to know, of national interest, like the Thalidomide scandal: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/sep/01/thalidomide-scandal-timeline Or local interest, like the story about Harry from Swindon who has a rare form of cancer and now his only hope is to have experimental treatment which has to be paid for privately. His family desperately needs to raise £150k to start the process before it’s too late. They haven’t got £150k lying around to do this – so they are asking for help and they are suddenly aware of the power of the media. At time of writing, they are about half way to their target. For them, time is of the essence.
Represent the public. Journalists represent the public, becoming the ‘public in the room’ and they have the power to get the word out there. This happens in court, at big events and industrial tribunals and so far. When being filmed by a tv crew and looking into the camera, you are not speaking to that camera, but speaking to the audience beyond, that you cannot see, but know they are there.
Share the word about good businesses– the backbone of what they do. They will share legitimate business stories if done well. However they need to know about the good news. So often I hear people lament the press and their ‘obsession’ with bad news and I always say two things – we, the public, soak up those stories and we click on them and read them more than almost any other story. Also bad news is much easier to find because it reaches the public domain very quickly. However good news has to work much harder because it’s far more common. Yet there are a whole host of journalists writing good news stories, the key is to find them. I have shared the stories of many businesses in different sectors, all with great stories to share with the public; about how their business has grown, how they are celebrating an anniversary for the time their business has been running, about how they have given support to the local community… the list is endless. This innate knowledge has kept me in business for 13 years.
Social Media has become an important place to be seen, and journalists and media consultants are busy looking for stories and sharing their own stories on the different platforms. During 2020, and continuing into 2021, social media platforms are going to continue to be very important for keeping businesses visible in business. Visit: https://scottmedia.uk/its-2021-were-locked-down-and-we-need-to-be-super-visible-in-business/ and my other blogs: “Top 21 things to know about Linkedin!” and “Top 21 Instagram Takeaways”.
Personal stories. As well as good business stories, journalists are also looking for people’s personal stories. If they are already linked with business clients, they will often, with their agreement, suggest them to magazines and national newspapers for their inclusion in stories – if they fit the bill. As I said at the beginning, I am nosey, and so are most people, so we love to read about the passionate beliefs people have, or interesting lifestyles etc. Several of my clients have appeared in national magazines with their stories recent examples include one in the Mail on Sunday sharing a story of drug rape, another in Platinum magazine sharing tips on nutrition, another sharing a seven-minute video on dealing with Lockdown in MailOnline.
Photography – the media adores good and emotive images. Good photography is extremely important to any printed or online news stories. Often, stories won’t be published if there isn’t a good, high resolution, colour image available. I value the importance of photography and ensure that I always have professional headshots, and also a range of professional images for use in my social media posts, including my blogs.
Radio – radio journalists, both nationally and locally also provide an important role in getting information out to the public, and also as a show-case for local businesses. Having links with local stations, means that you have the opportunity to share your views on important issues of the day. Because I have great links with both BBC Wiltshire and local radio stations, my clients also have the opportunity to take part in debates, or input in the relevant programmes.
TV & video – still the most powerful way to tell a story because film hits all of the sense at once – visual, auditory and kinetic (think of the success of platforms like YouTube & TikTok). This can also be another outlet for news, that a professional journalist will have contacts within. I loved working in TV, it was my life, before I was made redundant, 13 years ago, and started my consultancy. I still miss my regular producing role, but my time spent in TV has given me links that I can also call upon, and given me many skills I used every day in my media business. I’ve had clients appear on Sky News several times, Good Morning Britain, This Morning, regional tv and also taking part in tv series relevant to them, their business or their personal stories.
Films – films and TV programs, often the imaginative side of media, are equally important to me. Even more so during the pandemic. I love films, and when I am able, if the cinemas are still open, will be going back to see the latest films released. We all need time to wind down, and good, creative, exciting fantasies of imagination, or sci-fi, thrillers – good stories are a great way to relax.
Media Influence on society is huge, both good and bad, but I have to say over this last year media in its broadest sense. Both written and broadcast media has been the outlet for the Government to give us news and keep us updated with information about Covid19. For many of us social media has been vital to continue to work, and run meetings online. And it has provided people with fantasy and fun when we needed to escape the everyday reality of life.
Hopefully, you can see why I love media, and ‘am very proud to be part of it!
For my last blog of February, I’m going to be sharing what I love about community.