Ep. 32 - Media Mistakes with David Skapinker

Listen to David Skapinker of Telum Media talk about making the right connections to achieve media coverage. Find out how to access a database of journalists in Australia, Asia and New Zealand to help find the who’s who and contact them

David Skapinker

David heads up the Sydney office. He is a Corporate Affairs and Media Relations specialist with experience in both Australia and the UK. He has worked in both agency and in-house environments, most recently for Suncorp, an ASX Top 15, and Aon, a Fortune 500.

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  • Telum Media helps users make the right connections to achieve media coverage. It essentially offers a database of journalists in Australia, Asia and New Zealand to help PR find the who’s who and contact them
    • For PR, there is pressure to find and connecting with appropriate journalists – but how can you form these important relationships?
    • A key component of PR is finding journalists who will take your stories and push them out to various outlets. But you need to consider that journalists can’t be bought. They trade in news/stories and if you can provide them with great content/ideas, these strong relationships can be built organically
    • PR firms specialise in crafting these stories to share and can add value by helping you ensure the correct narrative is presented by journalists.
  • The high risk venture that is reaching out to the media
    • PR101 says that you have to convince a journalist/producer to include you in their publication BUT once you hand over idea, you lose control over what goes to air, whether or not the angle you originally wanted is used
    • Traditional newspapers and small business publications have “separation between church and state” of editorial & advertising
    • Editors create editorial direction of entire publication
    • Media tends to pump all best stories between 6am-9am to cover peak travels time, as this is when people consume content the most
    • Publication teams have ‘conference times’ (around 10am) when all key editors across different sections of publications decide on biggest stories of day and the angle they are going to take with these
    • Top tip do NOT call around conference time – media is too busy to deal with you then
    • Journalists need to pitch their stories & push them to their bosses at these conferences – finding the right journalist who can pitch your story is critical to getting it into publications
    • Publications increasingly looking to incentivise journalists by linking their bonuses with subscriptions after reading their articles. If you offer a story that is popular, you can cultivate these relationships
  • How to create your own communications channels & what would you recommend?
    • Media now allows everyone to have a media outlet BUT not everyone should
    • You need to have an actual goal for your content marketing because fi you don’t, people can tell and it is hard to create an authentic connection
    • Your content consumers should be at the forefront of your considerations and journalists act as a conduit to get to them
    • how can you actually understand who your audience is???
    • Get in their heads – not everyone has something interesting to say; every business has a great story BUT people only have time to engage in quality content – if dont have someone to identify this (in or out of house, need to find this e.g. PR agent)
  • How do you gauge if something is actually interesting? – put yourself in your audiences shoes
    • Is your content actually interesting to people – you must be able to self edit or call in a professional
    • It has never been easier to distribute content on mass BUT this is a massive brand risk – audiences disengage if content isn’t useful & this is damaging
    • Once you’ve built a channel, you have a responsibility to keep it going & ensure that the content you push out is actually relevant to your followers
    • In certain industries, there is significant legislation and risk associated with what kind of content you can push out. Consider reaching out to professionals who understand these risks

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