How a media consultant could make a difference to your business
There was once a time when a person introduced themselves as a ‘media consultant’ you would just respond “Oh you are unemployed, are you?”. It was a title that had so many connotations – and not all of them were positive. There was a perception that media consultants weren’t good enough to be employed by one of the agencies, were recently let go by an agency or simply didn’t know what to call themselves, so they just punched that title out on their Linkedin profile.
But the times are a-changing. Today, a savvy media consultant is one of the most valuable tools any small or medium sized business can have. The flexibility of having a well versed, well-connected and gifted storyteller is an asset to a business today that’s not only affordable but one they can’t do without. In today’s modern communication world an experienced and current communicator for a business is just as important as having access to great accounting and legal advice. Maybe more important, as the changing consumer behaviour of news and media has made it difficult for businesses to have their story told or to cut through the cacophony of voices.
In the last decade we’ve seen a shrinking of the larger PR firms in the country. There has been a decline in the support services that aid PR and media relations firms who monitor the media. The redundancies, the change of focus and technological competition has caused these businesses to contract and in many ways lose their ability to bring about real outcomes for their clients. Of course the ASX100 clients will continue to use them as they are slow, cumbersome and set in their ways but there is a movement for large, medium and small firms to use media consultants and here is why.
- The knowledge of an experienced media consultant is often far superior to that of an agency. They are invested in media, have relationships and know their industry inside out.
- The flexibility and thinking of the media consultant is not stuck on just one brand or industry – they tend to be working with multiple businesses and aren’t part of the traditional framework or operations of a large brand.
- Most operate on an hourly or a fixed rate which allows businesses to save money and still get to have access to the best information and advice. It has become very cost prohibitive for brands to get access to good advice via the traditional agency setup.
- With the enormous number of redundancies and shrinking of the media industry there is a lot of quality former media that have the pedigree and experience to become very good media consultants.
- Media consultants can dive deeper into your brand and to you as the business owner – they become an extension of you and can think like you, which is so important when it comes to putting forward your messages.
There has been an enormous shift to bringing media consultants on board particularly from outside the business and not necessarily keeping them in-house. This has resulted in much smarter and more qualified advice, greater results for the client and a flexible workforce where those businesses that haven’t been able to afford such an asset, can now.
The trick though is to find the right media consultant that fits your business. As much as a good one will be your greatest asset, a poor one will be detrimental to your business.
By Nic Hayes, Managing Director, Media Stable.