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Media recruiting: managing your career starts at the bottom of the ladder

 

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

At the end of last month’s column, I wrote: “That thing they always said about treating people well on your way up because you might need them on your way back down is really true. I can think of a number of people who struggle to get work because they burned so many bridges in the past.”

I have written little about the importance of maintaining good relationships in your career; cynically, it might be called career management. A great many people in business

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How much will augmented reality change the way we shop in-store and online?

As the number of empty shops on UK High Streets increases, retailers are resorting to more innovative ways to attract time-pushed shoppers, or those looking for more unique shopping experiences. The adoption of new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual changing rooms in-store is on the rise.

At this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, technology company Bodymetrics showcased the latest version of their body mapping technology, which creates a 3D model of a shopper’s body that mirrors their every move, allowing them to virtually ‘try on’ outfits. The camera’s sensors can detect tightly or loosely fitting garments to help find the right size. Spanish company AITech.es have developed a similar technology that also has a system capable of determining the availability of certain items in real time and can promote related clothes according to the historical choices of the user.

At the moment, I think the true value of augmented reality technologies such as Bodymetrics lies in reducing return rates on clothing that doesn’t fit. If you run out of time to join the queue for the changing room to see if that much-coveted LBD that you absolutely need for tonight actually fits, simply try it on virtually and you could skip the queue. However, pair this with the ability to then tweet images of yourself wearing the dress to your friends to get their thoughts (Nadap’s Tweet Mirror for example) and the retailers could really be onto something…

 

enquiries@trippassociates.co.uk

Martin Tripp Associates is a London-based executive search consultancy. While we are best-known for our work in the TMT (technology, media, and telecoms) space, we have also worked with some of the world’s biggest brands on challenging senior positions. Feel free to contact us to discuss any of the issues raised in this blog. 

E-readers and the future of publishing

I’ve just been reminded of this year’s traditional family Christmas row. I mentioned that I was planning to buy a Kindle. My sister, an author of many books, spluttered that I shouldn’t mention Kindle to her. It would kill publishing – and media jobs – just as surely as downloading had killed the music industry. She also felt that authors were entitled to a larger slice of revenues from e-books because the publishing companies had much lower overheads.

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Augmented Reality T-shirts – anything in it for media recruitment?

Clothing company Zappar takes augmented reality clothing to a whole new level. This year, the company created interactive t-shirts that work with a free app – customers download the app and then view the t-shirts through their device screen. The t-shirt then ‘comes alive’ as the customer touches part of the t-shirt on the screen (see video). What’s really clever about the Zappar t-shirt is that it merges shopping and games in a move to generate interest and push sales. The t-shirts went on sale in the autumn in Macy’s and JCPenney stores in the U.S.

U.S. retailer Moosejaw created an X-Ray App last year that uses

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Changing face of media – fifteen years as a headhunter

Today marks fifteen years since I first became a media headhunter.

It is astonishing how much the sector has changed in that time. The job titles themselves are indicative of these changes. While we still recruit MDs, Editors, Sales Directors and so on, we are now as likely to be working on roles like Head of Product Roadmap or Chief Scientist. As business models keep changing, so too do the attributes of the individuals who can add value. 

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Media recruiting tips: graduates beware

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

I have just watched BBC3’s “Up for Hire.“ Four young unemployed people were given an opportunity to show how they would work under different circumstances. I found it quite depressing: not least because it served to underline prejudices about media degrees and media graduates.

Kirsty, one of the four candidates, had graduated in Newspaper and Online Journalism. She was disappointed because she had “paid a lot of money” and couldn’t get the job she wanted in the media. She also mentioned she didn’t like being “told off” or in a team: “I like working on my own really – that’s got something to do with me wanting to be a reporter.” The inability to take direction or collaborate seem pretty large barriers to entry in any career – especially journalism.

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Future media executive jobs for News of the World journalists

I’ve been asked by the Editor for the impossible: to find some good news for those journalists who have suffered redundancy as a result of the closure of the News of the World. Are there media executive jobs – and regular media jobs – out there for them?

Journalists suffer redundancy all the time, of course; but the NoW is special. The reasons for the newspaper’s demise have been well-documented. And because of the mishandling of the investigation by News International, nobody is yet sure to what levels the misbehaviour extended, nor when it stopped (or started).

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As media headhunters, we disagree with Kelvin MacKenzie about journalism courses

Shock news: there are a lot of dinosaurs in the media. And Kelvin MacKenzie is amongst them. Is anyone surprised?

MacKenzie said last month that you learn nothing from journalism courses: “It’s a job, a knack, a talent. You don’t need a diploma… There’s nothing you can learn in three years studying media at university that you can’t learn in just one month on a local paper.” He would “shut down all the journalism colleges today.”

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Media recruiting tips: Frankly, Mr Shankly – resigning issues

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

“Frankly, Mr. Shankly, this position I’ve held
It pays my way, and it corrodes my soul
I want to leave, you will not miss me…”

As Morrissey famously illustrated, there are ways to resign, and ways not to. However good for the soul it might be to get back at a boss or a business, it is inadvisable. Resignation is an underestimated part of career management. How you leave will often dictate how you are remembered.

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Media headhunters’ view: the christmas job market cheer

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

I am writing this in December, a week before Christmas. And, guess what? This week, I have ten interviews in my diary.

This time last year, our media headhunters‘ diary was empty. I was not alarmed; December is always quiet, but last year felt different. Looking at the column I wrote then, there was a sense that the Christmas job market was holding its breath: the economy was fragile, and the election was coming. Magazines and newspapers were closing, and people had spent the year making cut-backs. Even the buoyant online market was showing signs of caution.

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Media headhunters see Middle East as the new media frontier in journalism

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

I have just come back from the burgeoning media market of the Middle East. Dubai is its poster boy: it has a well-established Media City (essentially, an economic free zone where media businesses enjoy liberties they would not enjoy elsewhere), and is the region’s centre for most large media organisations – including Reuters and the BBC. While some well-established media organisations have suffered during Dubai’s well-publicised problems, there is still opportunity to be exploited. There is always a need for experienced journalists, and it is amazing how many old hands (and new) turn up.

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Empathy and understanding are the key to editorial success

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

In the fourteen years I have been a headhunter and media search consultant, I have been lucky to have worked across an astonishing range of titles and products: from Horse & Hound to The Financial Times, from heat to AOL. We have recruited journalists for Reuters in Russia, Euromoney in the US, and, toughest of all, Saga in Folkestone. Bella, Men’s Health, The Jewish Chronicle; all boast current editors recruited by us.

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Media recruiting: hiring data experts

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

Those few of you poor souls who have been reading my media recruiting column over the last year or so will have noticed one thing: I am an eternal optimist. While in these dark days of enforced austerity it is difficult to be upbeat, I have a small chink of light for you. Particularly for those of you who have spent the last several years toiling away in the geekier recesses of B2B media.

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Media recruiting tips: going freelance

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

Last month, I wrote about the positive reasons for changing jobs at the moment. But not everyone gets to choose; redundancies and closures are happening across every sector of the media, and, as a result, more and more people are being forced to go freelance. With this in mind, I asked a few editors what they thought were the golden rules – the media recruiting tips – of establishing yourself when new to the market. It seems to boil down to the following freelance tips:

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Media executive search: the slow summer job markets

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

Like many people, I have just returned from holiday. Mine was spent in the Hebrides – so please excuse the fishing references which pepper this column that is otherwise about media executive search.

Anyone looking for jobs in August will have struggled. The job pages are empty, apart from adverts telling you, hilariously, ‘how to improve you’re proofreading’. September offers rich pickings; there is a sudden profusion of advertising. Jobs, we hope, proliferate.

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Media recruiting tips: post-grad courses for journalists

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

Last month, in a somewhat garbled column (blame the theft of my laptop), I looked at journalism degree courses. This month, I want to talk about further media recruiting tips, in fact the first stage of this process – post-grad courses for journalists, and emphasise how important they can be for entry into the industry.

To a large extent, the days of wandering into a newspaper job direct from school are long gone. Many editors regard NCTJ-accredited training as a minimum requirement for new journalists. This is not surprising: the NCTJ is described by its CEO Joanne Butcher as an “industry charity” with a mission to ensure that training reflects the “industry’s gold standard”. Each NCTJ-accredited course should teach the media basics, such as media law, public affairs, ethics, and shorthand. For Butcher, shorthand is a benchmark. “If you’re starting out in the business, get shorthand. It will open a lot of doors.” She recognises that “not every journalist will need it, but it says a lot about someone’s commitment to journalism.”

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Media headhunters’ view on media studies degree vs journalism schools

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

In my conversations last month with Tim Luckhurst and Emily Bell, I was struck by their different approaches to what a degree in journalism was actually for.

Luckhurst, whose first students are due to graduate from the University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism this year, was avowedly vocational in his approach: he is clear that he is training journalists. Bell – soon to join Columbia University – took the view that, with entry to journalism schools at an all time high, such schools could not be merely concerned with training journalists; there are simply not enough jobs to go around.

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Media headhunters’ perspective on journalists working as academics

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

Over the next three months, I’ll be writing about journalism and academia, from opposite ends of the spectrum. Next month, I’ll try and give some guidance to aspiring journalists on what they might seek in a degree course. This month, though, I want to briefly give a perspective – held by us as media headhunters – on the attractions that an academic career can have for experienced journalists.

A small seismic shock was caused at the Guardian last month when Emily Bell resigned to head up Columbia University’s digital programme for post-graduate students. At the time, she said that this was “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help reshape the future of journalism”, and she is part of a growing trend.

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Editors need to become commercial players

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

How commercially-minded are you?

If that question brings you out in a rash, take a deep breath. With B2B publishers fighting for every penny, journalists need to think broadly about media jobs, they need to be to able make a real-terms contribution. They are expected to create supplements, roundtables, and conferences, and work with advertising sales to maximise revenue opportunities. So what does this mean for editorial integrity?

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Media executive search viewpoint on media sector recovery

Is the economy out of the woods yet?

Apparently not. Most experts say that 2010 will be just as challenging for the media sector as 2009; consumer and business confidence will remain low, and advertisers and subscribers will be increasingly selective.

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Media recruiting tips: how to succeed in an interview – if you get one

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

This month, as promised, further media recruiting tips, namely a brief look at how to succeed in interviews. I’ve had some real horrors in my time, including a man who, boasting about the money he earned, dropped his trousers to show me the labels. Unusual: but there are many potential pitfalls. With some comments from Allan Cross of The Media Network, here are some danger areas to watch out for:

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Media recruiting: why your business needs media people

We are all media companies now. And we need media skills to match.

The phenomenal pace of change in internet and mobile technology means that retailers, banks and other consumer-facing businesses are no longer just competing with their high street rivals; they are competing for consumer attention with anyone who has a presence in the digital space. To be effective, they are having to think like media businesses.

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