Want to hire good people? What perks and benefits do you offer?

MTA media headhuntersIn a candidate-driven jobs market smart employers need to go the extra mile to secure the services of high-quality people. Often, the best person to fill a vacancy isn’t even looking to change roles, so what can a prospective new employer do to garner their interest?

A new challenge and more money are usually the entry-level requirements, but when a prospect is already sufficiently well-off and is meeting challenges on a daily basis, what other incentives are likely to draw their attention?

Martin posted a blog last week about why salaries may not be the only consideration, and a couple of recent polls have attempted to find out how attractive other benefits may be to current and potential employees. Not surprisingly, on the surface, the two surveys have radically different findings. (more…)

Listen to your media headhunter, it might just change your life…

MTA media headhuntersThe opportunity of a lifetime only lasts as long as the lifetime of the opportunity.”

It was not a quotation I had heard before Anthony Joshua’s IBF world championship fight this week. But in the aftermath of that bout, a BBC commentator attributed it to a former Olympic athletics coach*. It struck me as a pretty significant thought.

Within 24 hours, the British golfer Danny Willett had become US Masters champion. Conventional wisdom would dictate that neither man should have achieved these amazing goals. Joshua became heavyweight world champion after only 16 professional fights: fewer than almost anyone else in boxing history. Willett had previously finished in the top ten of a major tournament only once in 11 attempts. (more…)

Skiing lessons for media business success

Competent skiers at Puy St Vincent. Martin isn't amongst them!

I have just spent a week falling down mountains. At the age of fifty, I have discovered the truth of the adage: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Specifically, you can’t teach this ancient pug how to ski. As much as I understand the theory, the practice is beyond me. And I have the bruises to prove it.

Annoyingly, of course, it was also my children’s first attempt at skiing. After their first two-hour lesson, they were straight back up the mountain to crack the green runs. By the end of the week, one of them had conquered red runs and the others were comfortable on blues. (more…)

More key skills for global sales leaders in the business information sector

Thanks to the increasing take-up of digital technologies and production cycles that ensure new content and information can be made available on an almost continuous basis, the media market is becoming ever more global – and with that comes a need for senior staff with the experience and drive to lead teams that are often dotted in offices across the globe.

In recent months, it has become apparent that the demand for senior executives with a global outlook is growing. Increasingly, our clients ask us to look for global commercial heads – but when they ask us that, what do they really want? What characteristics to the want to bring into their businesses? (more…)

Digital publishing means constant flux: get used to it, hire leaders who can adapt and react

Sometimes the pace of change in publishing can be staggering. It seems not a month goes by without the arrival of a technology or platform that causes permanent disruption to how and where content is presented to end-users and forces executives to (again) fundamentally rethink their digital model.

The other week we met with a senior figure at a major international online publisher to discuss the changing nature of their business. He flagged up the biggest issue almost immediately:

‘The emphasis,’ he said, ‘has changed from driving traffic to our sites to taking our content out to where people are. That requires quite a change of mindset within the business.’ (more…)

Culture Secretary wades into ad-blocking debate – but what about the customers?

Barely a month seems to go by without us writing about ad-blocking – if we’re not discussing its rising popularity, or increased use on mobile phones, we’re examining the fear it engenders in digital publishers.

In fact, ad-blocking has been such a prevalent topic, I think Martin’s pretty bored of it! And I was prepared to leave the subject well alone, but then the issue was ratcheted up several notches last week when John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary, used his speech at the Oxford Media Convention to wade into the debate. (more…)

Happy eighth birthday to… us!

Today marks eight years since MTA opened its doors to an eager media market. Although, as it turned out, the media market in 2008 was not that eager: within weeks, the global economic collapse had gathered pace and there was precious little investment in the industry. Timing has always been my strong point.

Nonetheless, we landed two clients in the first couple of months. The first client, one of the UK’s largest consumer publishers, remains a client today. The second – an international news and data business – led to a multi-year project which saw us recruiting for bureaux around the world (Russia, China, Europe and the US). Strong partnerships like this have been our mainstay ever since. (more…)

Do you really know your audience as well as you think?

The other week I found myself in a meeting with the CEO of a niche B2B publisher, and a senior member of his digital product team. The CEO had spent much of the previous hour bemoaning his declining print revenues, as well as outlining an advertising-driven attempt to go digital that, it’s fair to say, has experienced some pitfalls.

The digital executive (who was new and therefore not involved in the aforementioned digital transition) then began outlining, very articulately, proposals to create a high-value, subscription-driven online service out of the data published every issue in the back of the magazine. The sort of service that, were they to get it right, would generate millions in recurring, secure subscription revenue every year. His CEO interrupted him by slapping down a page of the magazine, showing an ageing executive in a suit, and declaiming “but most of our audience looks like this”.

Does your business have employee advocates?

It used to be the case that most people would go to work, do their job, and never talk in detail to the outside world about what they were up to. That was for the bosses to worry about.

Well, not any more. The new trend is for employee advocates, where champions from inside a business are encouraged into direct contact with customers to win influence.

Turning employees into trusted brand ambassadors is increasingly seen by firms as a great opportunity, with some even claiming that content shared by staff gets significantly more engagement and is more shared than if it comes through more official channels. (more…)