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.
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.
In a tough trading environment, the difference between success and failure is marginal. Let’s assume that 5% makes all the difference. This means publishers squeezing 5% more out of their budgets; sales directors improving their profitable revenues by 5%; and editors getting 5% extra creativity out of a budget reduced by 5%. The same principle applies for the events and research sectors – indeed, for any business.
But how does a company achieve this? Well, it requires a senior team which is flexible, dedicated, and leads by example. And that means hiring the right people for publishing in a recession and, where necessary, replacing the wrong ones.