Who (else) would I work for?, by Greg Tingle


Who (else) would I work for?, by Greg Tingle - October 2017

Draft article in progress

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I'm often asked about the news media, advertising and publicity business, as you might imagine.

Having been in this line of biz for a decade you become somewhat of an "expert", almost by default, even though the fact is some things I am fantastic at, whilst others I am not. It's hard to be great at everything - ok, I don't like the word, but impossible to be great at everything is accurate.

For those of you who don't know, my introduction into the world of media came about a few ways. It was 1995 and I was working as a constriction worker, truck driver and sometimes computer operator for the Sydney Water Board. I was over 5 years into the job when the Optus Vision pay television services hit Australia.

As a hobby I has been bringing in PAL and NTSC videotape footage of pro wrestling, boxing and rock concerts into Australia, primarily from the United States, Europe and Japan. My knowledge of both professional sports, most notably pro wrestling and MMA increased, as did my overall understanding of the pay (subscription) television industry.

Probably the best advise I ever got from my ex wife was to "stop using my muscles so much and start using my brain". I was super fit at the time, and I was starting to learn the ropes of the pay television industry, as part of the natural occurrence of things bringing in sports tapes to Australia. Well, she was right.

I was scanning the weekend newspapers and I saw this gigantic ad for Optus Vision: Pay TV Sales Reps and Technicians. Anyway, I applied, got an interview, which turned out to be more of team group interview, and the management, and no doubt other job applicants couldn't figure out how my product knowledge was so strong across a number of American sports, as well as knowing the U.S pop culture and entertainment scene so well, when I was "just" a construction worker and truck diver on the Sydney Water Board. Anyway, I told them how I knew all about it, did a few sales demonstrations from selling pay TV channels to pens, cups and all manner of things, and then I was basically told "Congratulations, you have the job". All up I worked for Optus Vision, which went on to become Option Communications, for over 5 years. Overall I loved working there. I even achieved 'Salesperson Of The Month' and ' Employee Of The Month' a number of times. I had so many happy client testimonials I lost count of them. Great workmates and management too. I only left after they became Optus SingTel, when conditions, pay and staff moral went down.

It's now year 2000. PSI Net Australia had just gone into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in the US, and the Sydney office was closing down. I'd been there about 8 months. I was learning the ISP business ins and outs, and had also created my own sports and entertainment website on the side (which wasn't making any money at the time): Australian Sports Entertainment. This led me to work for ID Media and I focussed alot on one of their flagship projects: WaveCam (which is very similar to the well known CoastalWatch). The project combined together my passion for sales, promoting, technology, sports and the ocean. It was a dream job of sorts while it lasted. The investors were hit by the "tech wreck" which hit Australia, along with 100s if not 1000s other others in the fall out.

Another key time was circa 2003. I was now divorced, and had my eyes and ears open for the next opportunity. Some friends of mine knew I could talk underwater as well as being passionate about sports and entertainment and they kindly invited me to a taping of Channel 31 Community TV at the Redfern studio. First Joy Hruby gave me some tips over operating the video camera. Then Joy and others realised how talkative I could be, so I was invited back next week to interview someone! Well, I did, and this turned out to be an ongoing thing for many years. Over 7 years off and on I would say. For the record, Channel 31 never paid me directly, in fact I would give them modest donations from time to time. I did however get paid from various clients of mine, who I would sometimes incorporate television appearances for at Channel 31, which later went on to become Channel 58, and later TVS Sydney. I attended Joy's earlier this year. What a beautiful and talented lady she was.

I'm still building up to the current state of play, so stick by us here. The background is most important - aliken it to when your watching a movie and they are setting the the scence. You have to know the past, to help figure out the present and the future.

Circa 2003 - Petersham TAFE - News Media and Journalism Certificate 3. The class has started with just under 30 students. 10 months later there were only 5 of us remaining. That should have given me a good indication of how demanding the media industry could be, even back then. By that stage the Media Man Australia website was becoming very popular and had even made the finals of the Hitwise Australia Top 10 (Entertainment - Personalities) category a number of times. We had some awesome clients and projects on board, and I even was getting asked regularly from media giants such as News Limited, Fairfax Media, Nine, Ten, Seven and the ABC... for my opinion on a number of media, sports and entertainment matters, news stories and the like. In fact I was becoming a semi-regular on Australian Television and Radio. When I wasn't on the programs I was more often than not successfully pitching our clients to appear. Great people like for instance Kym Illman, Hannah Fraser, Mario Milano.. Enough name drops already. Around this time I realised that I should do more media agent and project management / advertising work, and less journalism. I was able to plug into the media agent world quite seamlessly, and profitably. This was all before social media went bananas and turned just about anyone into a blogger, photo journalist, social commentator, influencer and you get the idea. Now of course the market and internet is flooded with experts on everything - especially social media, which I still have a love - hate relationship with.

Now into the present. Finally, I heard you say. The news media and entertainment industry is more competitive than ever. Let's see, including Pay TV I've been in this business for over 20 years now. That makes me a veteran of the industry. I've still got.. Let's see, 6 websites and a nice modest portfolio of projects and clients. The biggest challenge I see in the media industry in Australia, and globally from where I sit, is the current decline in profit margins and a saturated market.

To provide more detail on this I mean that you put in the same or more amount of work that you would have say 5 years ago, but the current market means that people only want to pay about half the price that they used to. For reasons such as this firms such as Fairfax Media, Ten, News Limited and others are not making the sort of money - profit margin that they used to. Some media companies are loosing money. One television station got bought out / bailed out, from overseas. Newspapers are getting thinner. Advertisers are paying less, and expecting more - you know the story.

A few people who I know quite well have been asking me about where I see the media and new media industry going. Well, I seeing it continue to evolve. Frankly, it needs to. I actually have a few big ideas that I've been selectively pitching to some major media folks both nationally and internationally. 'The Big G' (that's code for Google), even got a communication from myself recently. So did the ABC and LinkedIn.

For me, its hard not to be impressed by the developments and ongoing success of the Big 2 - Google and Facebook. Both have had a few issues on their respective journeys, and the privacy matter certainly remains a hot button for many. I've got a felling there's a gig for me at at least one of those firms if I wanted it. I just don't quite know what the position is yet. Maybe PR or sales, with a combination of readership relations or something - maybe.

Another couple of firms that impress me greatly are Nine Entertainment Co. Old guard media, who have successfully embraced emerging technologies into the operation. I just love Nine News and 9 Go!, which can be viewed on 9NOW. If Netflix set up an operation or team of people in Sydney I would be happy to work for them full time, rather than just assist with a few campaigns.

Then there's Sydney's staple newspapers: The Sydney Morning Herald (who I worked for previously for about 4 months and over performed, pissing off some fellow sales team members in the process, since I was so loud, successful, and in the end I "didn't fit the culture". When I finished with the SMH they started doing positive stories on me and my vast client portfolio. Go figure! Got to mention The Daily Telegraph, under the News Corp Australia banner. I actually like them overall, however sometimes I read a story that seems a bit hyped out. You do know they are trying to sell newspapers. Boring does not sell - newspapers, or just about anything else. Very exciting times at News.com.au also, and I'm sure I could be tempted into the right project, even potential full time role there, if they are happy to have me. God knows News Corp has done plenty of positive news stories on myself and many of my clients over the years, so maybe they might be interested in having me in Holt St, or even perhaps at one of their Eastern Suburbs offices.

In this media business its often a good idea to stand out from the pack. I guess that's what I'm partly doing here by writing this article. Perhaps one day some of my articles might form various chapters for my own book, but at this stage I'm happy to share a few of my thoughts on the highly competitive world of media, entertainment, technology and such. This article is / was a bit rough around the edges, but its a start. I love the profession of journalism and writing, and it was a chain of events that got me more into the media agent / promoter side of things.

This week I'm actually awaiting a reply from Google, the ABC and LinkedIn on some career / project matters and its going to be interesting to see if my scribbling today has any or no impact on that, as well as a few ongoing projects I'm working on.

In the meantime its business as usual (that's the line the bluechippers give) at Media Man Int, Media Man Australia and Greg Tingle Promotions. Yes, we have advertising opportunities available, as well as a few interview spots for suitably qualified people.

See you in the news, if not - down the beach!

*the writer has done commercial media business with many entities in the above article.

*this article was not paid for, nor sponsored in any form.

 

with Mark Fennessy

with Joy Hruby OAM

Channel Seven News. Bondi Beach, Sydney

with Max Markson (Markson Sparks!)

Richard Branson (Virgin Group and Virgin Unite), and Yuggera Tribe, Brisbane

 

and Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest

 

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