In simple terms, I’m a professional communicator. With Media-Wize, our focus is on helping business leaders find their stories and to tell them as well as possible. So, part of my work involves training spokespeople to talk to the media, customers, investors and others stakeholders.

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Marketers are under increasing pressure as the world struggles to adapt and ride out the economic impacts of COVID-19. For many marketers ‘keeping the lights on’ across digital media channels is crucial to a successful rebound and to remain relevant in the future.

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Feeling utterly consumed by your new startup? Or maybe you can’t seem to step away from it, spending weekends working and missing family events… It can be easy to neglect your own mental health and get caught up in the rush of kicking off your startup, but it’s important you’re continuously investing in yourself as well as your startup!

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The last decade has seen a massive revolution in the way stories reach the media, and how these stories are told. The market’s thirst for content is growing, but the number of people telling stories is shrinking. This makes it harder than ever for startups to cut through and get attention.

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Everyone needs an elevator pitch – that pithy summary of what you do and what benefit it brings to your customers. Don’t think because you run a small business you don’t need one, it’s more competitive than ever and being able to explain the value you provide, and your point of difference quickly is essential. In fact, you need a quiver full of those messaging arrows that you can shoot at different targets.

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  • May 14, 2020
    10:00 am - 11:00 am

During this free Zoom session, you’ll learn what financial journalists, business reporters, technology reporters, radio, TV, channel press, trade media and startup media look for in a story and how you can cut through the noise and stand out. This session will provide founders, entrepreneurs and spokespeople with crucial insights into working with the media (more…)

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.
  • May 12, 2020
    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

During this free Zoom session, you’ll learn what financial journalists, business reporters, technology reporters, radio, TV, channel press, trade media and startup media look for in a story and how you can cut through the noise and stand out. This session will provide founders, entrepreneurs and spokespeople with crucial insights into working with the media (more…)

Issue jacking is the art of using something that’s of significance in the news of the day to, sensibly, further your company’s message. Handled correctly, issue jacking is powerful tool to help you get valuable publicity for your startup. But it’s important to be thoughtful and ready so you aren’t caught on the hop.

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When it comes to your business, brand and credibility the most important asset you have is your reputation. In today’s world you can express your opinion quickly and have it viewed by a potential audience of millions in just a few minutes. That means a whole new way of thinking about what comes out of of your mouth or streams from your fingertips. Just ask former PR consultant Justine Sacco.

To summarise, Ms Sacco, the former PR executive of InterActive Corp, the owner of popular websites Match.comDictionary.comOkCupid and Vimeo, posted a quick tweet to her small band of fewer than 200 followers. Although it was intended as a lighthearted joke, it quickly took on a life of its own.

She posted this just as she was boarding a flight to South Africa – the country she was born in. In a statement she said

“This is my father’s country, and I was born here. I cherish my ties to South Africa and my frequent visits, but I am in anguish knowing that my remarks have caused pain to so many people here; my family, friends and fellow South Africans. I am very sorry for the pain I caused,”

By the time she had landed, one of her small band of followers had sent the tweet to BuzzFeed where it went viral. She has lost her job as her employer didn’t want their reputation to be tarnished by her actions.

While it was treated as something of a joke (as evidenced by the “LOL” tag on BuzzFeed this is really serious business. This moment of poor judgement will haunt Ms Sacco for the rest of her career. Indeed, like the unfortunate Claire Swire, Ms Sacco will find this story will appear in every web search any future employer, friend or colleague makes. Her reputation will precede her, even if that one tweet is not representative of her actual views.

It’s easy to make offhand comments over social media, thinking that the only people who will read them are your immediate friends. But as Ms Sacco, and Ms Swire before her, can attest, the retweet or forward buttons are very easy to click and their affects can be long lasting and damaging.

Over the holidays, you might be tempted to post a funny picture or make a witty comment about a news story, something you see or some random thought that pops into your head. My advice is – don’t do it. Even if you delete a silly post within a few minutes of making it, it’s possible that someone might screen capture it and send it on.

If you’re tempted to do this, leave your smartphone at home. If you absolutely need to be contactable, buy a cheap, boring cell phone that can make calls and text without all the social media apps.

Christmas and New Years are meant to be a fun time where you enjoy yourself and let your hair down. Don’t spoil it in a moment of poor judgement.

The Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short description of what you do that can be delivered to a stranger who knows nothing about you or what you do in the time you share an elevator ride.

When you’re talking to a time poor journalist, you’ve only got 15-30 seconds to get their attention and make them want to know more about your business, product or service.

The aim is to win them over and make them want to know more before the elevator has reached the floor and the conversation can be continued.

An elevator pitch assumes that the person listening to it knows nothing about who you are, or what you do.

At Media-Wize we can help you put together an elevator pitch that while is planned, when delivered sounds spontaneous, non-robotic, the words natural and easy to remember.

And you’ll need to memorise your pitch, so practice it while in the car, in the shower and on your family and friends.

It’s also useful to have a couple of different versions. A long version that lasts about a minute and a one or two sentence snapshot.

Developing your elevator pitch will help you focus on your communication objectives and your point of difference.