Media-Wize
Giving a voice to startups, founders and fast growth companies

Kathryn Van Kuyk is an award-winning senior public relations consultant currently account managing the Dynatrace, Fluent Commerce, Affix and Vonage accounts for BENCH PR.

She is also the co-founder of Media-Wize, an agnostic media training agency helping founders and fast growth companies tell their stories.

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Anthony Caruana is a Freelance Writer, Presenter & Consultant, who contributes to a variety of publications, including Finder AU, Lifehacker Australia, CSO Australia and more.

1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

My career has been quite diverse. I did my undergrad degree in biochemistry and cellular biology straight from high school. I then did a teaching degree and worked as a high school teacher for a few years before moving into vocational training.

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Media-Wize recently conducted a media training workshop. It was a great session that was well attended by founders, comms professionals and leaders of fast-growth businesses looking for tips on improving their media profile. Here’s a short package of highlights from that session.

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launch festival penel discussion

It was wonderful to attend Launch Festival 2019 and listen to inspiring speakers and meet many founders and startups with great ideas and passion.

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For startups the question of when to start engaging with the media is pivotal to achieving success.  The following may help you assess when your startup is media ready.

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Media-Wize’s CEO and co-founder, Anthony Caruana is a regular tech commentator on ABC Radio. He recently joined Rafael Epstein to talk about Googling your children and misinformation on social media.

Congratulations to all the outstanding finalists in the 2019 Samsung IT Journalism Awards.

Media-Wize’s CEO Anthony Caruana is nominated for Best Security Journalist, Best Technology Issues Journalist and Best Corporate Content.

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When it comes to deciding the best job titles to use for media spokespeople it’s important, they’re easily understood. Leave being creative to the actual work you do.

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Doing your homework for interviews and preparing your facts are critically important for a media spokesperson.

This is why media training, conducted every two years is so critical as it will help you learn what facts you need to check, obtain, create and use to tell your story in the most compelling way.

There are many facts that you’ll need to be armed with and ready to use if required in a media interview, depending on the topic. These may be technical facts about your products or about turnover, growth plans, staff numbers, customer numbers etc. Some of these facts may be in constant flux, so you need to be aware of what you’ve said previously and what you’re saying now.

Google indexes news and makes it easy for anyone at anytime to Google your name, company name or product and read news reports going back years. If you said in 2017 that you had 10,000 customers in Australia, but the number is still 10,000 in 2019 reporting, then that’s easily noted.

It’s important that you know your most up-to-date stats at any time (check with your team regularly) and are consistently building on your message. If in fact, you only had 9,700 customers in 2017, but by the end of that year expected to have 10,000, then say you have 9,700 customers to the journalist – don’t round up numbers. Be accurate and build a truthful account of your business.

This is crucial for many reasons and for startups hoping to achieve coverage in major publications be aware you’ll be asked for your turnover. Why? Because your claims will be verified – if you say you’re the largest in Australia, but in fact haven’t made any money yet, then the reporter will wait till you’ve proven your idea is recognised by customers and investors.  If you do secure coverage, your turnover will be on the record so if you’re on track to become the next Atlassian, Canva or unicorn it will be touted.

Many media groups also run startup and fast growth awards so make sure you’re always operating with full disclosure. If you apply for these awards, the reporters will check your facts and if they find that they don’t match what you said in the past, you can be assured of not only failing to win but failing to be trusted again.

Reputation is crucial – it’s better to wait till you have a great story to tell, than jeopardise it.  

If there is one thing that the tech and startup industry loves, and reporters can’t stand it’s the use of jargon.

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