Tax breaks for creatives – more please, it’s good for media jobs

A day before the RTS awards, it’s good to see the government heavily trailing tax breaks for British TV productions in this week’s budget. Obviously, this is not yet policy; we wait to see how this will pan out on Wednesday. Nonetheless, an article in the Guardian today illustrated the huge impact these – relatively inexpensive – tax breaks can have on the industry. They can, for example, be great for media jobs creation.

Downton Abbey was, of course, a huge success. While it did not

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Recruiting into media executive jobs: Kingfisher and Burberry lead the way

At this week’s Retail Week Conference, Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire told delegates that they need to improve innovation in order to remain competitive and that retailers will need to recruit people with a “real point of difference and who understand brands” because it is a different skill to those who trade the business.

As well as recruiting for technologists who can lead innovation recruiting into media executive jobs is vital. Retailers should carefully consider

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Game BAFTAS: the media headhunters’ predictions (with a bit of help…)

Tiny pixellated characters the world over will be spending today rehearsing their acceptance speeches and perfecting their gracious defeat faces, as tonight sees the great and the good of the games industry pitted up against one another at the Game BAFTAs.
So here are the media headhunters’ predictions (with more than a little bit of help from tech journalist and blogger Daniel Nye Griffiths – actually, we asked him for his verdict on the frontrunners, and who he’s tipping to take home the big awards – this is all his work…):
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Zombieville developer pulls out of Android – is this a trend media recruiters should keep an eye on?


Not long after I posted yesterday’s entry on the importance of content to mobile OS’s, my attention was drawn to a post from Zombieville developer Mika Mobile. Essentially, the company has decided that it isn’t making enough from Android downloads to merit the time it takes to keep them updated, and is pulling out of Android development altogether:

“We spent about 20% of our total man-hours last year dealing with Android

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Content creators hold the key to mobile OS success

Mozilla’s recent announcement that it is working on its own Linux-based mobile OS, with the first devices expected to ship later this year, will drop yet another system on a smartphone market already heaving under the weight of iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, Windows, not to mention smaller players such as WebOS. It’s a brave move

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A media search consultancy view on privacy, Twitter, and social media

It’s been a funny week for privacy. First, Google launched their long-anticipated unified privacy policy, despite objections from EU lawmakers. Second, the Leveson enquiry heard evidence that Police officers were being paid to pass on “salacious gossip” to certain parts of the UK media. Third, Twitter and Datasift caused a stir by signing a deal which allowed the Reading-based company access to two years of archived Twitter data, and this

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Media jobs: movie marketing lessons – what’s the strategy?

Speaking on Radio 5 Live to Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode today, Andrew Stanton, director of John Carter, complained that people were fixated on “the money”. “It’s the most boring subject in the world”, he protested. “I make films for myself.”

Of course, it is difficult to criticise someone with his track record (Toy Story, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, etc). But, as Kermode later protested, if you spend $250m on making a film, people are bound to focus on the money. Investors want a return

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This media headhunter thinks brands need to enbrace publishing

An interesting article in the Evening Standard today reflects a lot of the preoccupations of my last few blogs, albeit in a social media context.

In an article called Social media is still minefield for brands, Gideon Spanier, the paper’s media commentator, writes:

There is no doubt that brands must embrace social media. Tomorrow,

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Media recruitment: taking content marketing lessons from editorial experts


I wrote a marketing letter today. Not surprising, I grant you. Except that I mentioned – without irony – that non-media brands require “media skills” to create trust. Given the current crises in the media sector, this may have seemed chutzpah of the highest order.

The Leveson enquiry, and all that it encompasses, shows that (in the UK, at least) trust in traditional media is collapsing. The newspaper watchdog, the PCC, has failed. The industry has been accused

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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 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…

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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