Surviving the media revolution

The blog is appearing on a panel at the mUmBRELLA360 (  conference next week June 5 and 6.

We are part of a panel called First Against the Wall: surviving the media revolution. Other participants are Kate Mills, Fairfax; Sam Walch, AFL Media; Richard Carr JWT; and, moderator Vanessa Liell of n2n communications.  After a teleconference last week which involved a preliminary chat about what we might talk about it was interesting to see the extent of disagreement and agreement on various issues. The blog was also flattered by mumbrella’s plug for the blog but a bit dismayed by their knowledge of PR history. (

n2n, which is organising this panel, organised another – mainly about the impact of disruption on corporate affairs and journalism –  a while ago and have put a valuable summary up on their website  ( )

There was consistent emphasis among the panellists discussing next week’s contributions on things like adaptability and creativity but some mild disagreement about the new media – mainly of course from the sceptical blog. In more substantive terms there was some agreement on the continuing importance of narrative in communicating messages and it became clear that the situation was putting very different pressures on advertising and PR than it was on mainstream media. If you would like to hear more in a lot more detail and depth come along to the Hilton Hotel in Sydney at 2pm on June 6. You will need to register of course. There will be lots of opportunities for audience participation.

The blog is particularly keen to hear more from Sam Walch because AFL Media is the leading Australian example of the US trend for specialist media outlets for sport, science, education and health established by organisations involved in the areas and designed to bypass mainstream media.

Meanwhile all the panellists agreed to end their contributions with some practical examples of what people can do to prosper in their career and survive the revolution. One of the characteristics, of course, of revolutions is their tendency to devour their own (eg the French and Russian revolutions) so one good piece of advice is probably to avoid being the very first on the barricades as that might mean you end up as the first against the wall. The blog will be avoiding that point, however, and is inclined to suggest some reading of texts (available in both print and online versions needless to say) but hasn’t quite decided what they might be. Probably the best scene in the otherwise forgettable Rod Taylor version of H.G.Wells’ The Time Machine was the final one when Taylor is preparing to return to the future and goes to his library to get a book. We never learn which book and are left, as the blog has, wondering some 53 years after the film was made which book. As Taylor plays H.G.Wells the odds are it was something improving and perhaps even a Wells work. But it might not have been.