Hosting the talk was Jamie Bolding, founder and CEO of Jungle Creations. He kept the conversation in a distinctly chatty style, allowing any panelists to chip in when needed. On the panel was Jacqui Kavanagh, VP of commercial brand partnerships Europe of Refinary29, which pits itself as a ‘modern woman’s destination for how to live a stylish, well-rounded life’. Steven Bartlet also sat on the panel, he is CEO of Social Chain Group, which is a media company that markets themselves as the ‘first responders’ for media action. Finally, David Amodio, who is the digital and creative leader at Channel 4.
A Little Media to Get Started
The stage was set and the video was played. The talk opened with a 2-minute video which at first seems to be scaremongering the audience; it showed all the extremely negative effects of social media, mentioning Instagram’s detrimental effects on social health and Fyre Festival. In a slick turn, the video changed to the extremely positive effects, highlighting the Ice Bucket Challenge and the fundraising for victims of Fyre Festival.
Are we Completely Buggered?
No, and yes. The media landscape needs to change, and fast. The panelists were in agreement that after a ridiculous stage of growth the media world (specifically social media) was transitioning from childhood into adolescence. In response to this, companies need to alter their business plans to deal with shorter time-scales. The reality of the risks of media are catching up with people, and people need to adapt to that.
Jacqui (in response to a question on the layoffs at Buzzfeed and Vice) – ‘It’s a natural time of change. The media loves portraying layoffs in a certain kind of way but actually its a product of growth and change.’
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
We’ve seen what can happen when Facebook denounces a certain brand, that brand loses their whole facebook following and the majority of their income. It’s important to spread your influence over multiple media platforms, preferably as many as possible.
Pace of Change
Steven Bartlet – ‘If you know there’s going to be an earthquake every single month then you would structure your building differently’. The same theory applies to businesses, their models and their social media strategies. It’s important to create a business that isn’t algorithm dependent.
Baby Steps – What New Media Companies Should Do
- Utilise emerging media’s that older and larger companies are too slow to react to, e.g. podcasts and longer forms of content.
- Go after a really niche audience that isn’t being targeted as much. Jacqui noted that once you’ve gained their attention you can approach the bigger media companies in an attempt to merge their popular audience with your niche audience in a win-win trade.
- Don’t put your eggs in one basket.
- Don’t put your eggs in one basket (they were pretty adamant about this).
- You can’t ask for paid subscribers till you’ve proved that your content is worth subscribing to.
- The consumer knows you’re targeting them so don’t offend them with poor content.
- Design your business plans with the knowledge that change is happening thick and fast.
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