Sign in/sign up

Swan's content experiments landing well

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
The Australian has dialled down its print edition over recent months, and with that the print edition tech section has been on hiatus. But that doesn't mean David Swan and Chris Griffith have had their feet up taking it easy, with two new projects launched in the digital domain – a podcast and a live blog.
 
"It's probably underestimated how much work goes into print," says Swan. "Even though it's just two pages in a newspaper, you're thinking throughout the whole week about what story is going to lead that physical page, how you're going to fill it, getting content from different contributors.
 
"It is a negative – you'd always love to have the print section – but as long as it hasn't been there it has absolutely freed us up to do other things."
 
The podcast, Forward Slash, has been sponsored out of the gate by IBM. Swan says the feedback on the first episode has been great.
 
"An enquiry from IBM dovetailed really nicely with me having an idea floating around in my head," he says. "So far it's been really smooth with that conversation. I'm happy with it being my voice and my project, because sometimes sponsored content can be compromised for a bunch of reasons. But this is one where I've been able to do the stories I want to do."
 
The first episode explores the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine and the exploration of new technologies to help find a solution. The show will continue with one episode each fortnight for a run of ten episodes, each with a different theme.
 
"We're not sure what it will look like beyond that but IBM is positive on it so far so I wouldn't be surprised if there were more seasons," says Swan.
 
As a separate project, Swan and Griffith have launched a live tech blog covering the daily news in a fast format. It's now one week old, but again Swan says the feedback has been excellent.
 
"Obviously tech is such a fast moving animal, it's not really achievable to do separate stories for everything. Just having a one stop shop where we can put everything that is breaking into the live blog is good," says Swan.
 
"It really gives us a way to cover everything – even if it's two lines. Other outlets might have a strong piece about something, or they might get an exclusive. It doesn't mean we have to then go away and do a story of our own. We can link to it and cover it off.
 
"Tech is moving a bit like politics because so much is happening every day. So we feel like we can offer extra value to our subscribers by having that blog that has a crack at covering everything. It's a lot of work, we've just got me and Christ Griffith on the tech team right now. The resourcing isn't what it once was but we're making do with what we've got and so far, so good."
 
Swan says he actually feels refreshed by the break from print, with the ability to experiment during the downtime giving them some room to play. And to do so without too many expectations.
 
"It was fine to just say that if it doesn't work we'll just stop doing it," he says. "It was a really good spirit of being able to experiment with the paper and I think that's quite an unusual thing when it comes to it."
 
"Obviously, it's the national masthead, a serious brand that we're playing within, so to be able to experiment within that has been really fun. It's been refreshing and a lot of fun. More experiments would be great for the second half of the year."
 
When asked for his wider hopes for the second half of 2020, Swan jumps to the idea of adding a third member of the tech team at The Australian.
 
"That's something we're told is a possibility. I'd be really happy if that happened."
 
But for now, he's taking the victories where he can – and getting to play with new digital formats and do so successfully is a big win given the year the industry has been having.
 
"It wouldn't have been the end of the world if the blog wasn't working, or if no one liked the podcast, but the feedback has been good so it is validation that sometimes trying new things can really work. And that even though our flagship product is still the physical paper, we're by no means limited to that and we can do a lot outside that as well."

Membership privileges

  • Read and comment an all stories
  • Weekly digest of media and PR news (optional)
  • Post media releases to PRWire newswire
  • Advertise job vacancies
  • List your business in our PR directory


Please note that Influencing is used EXCLUSIVELY by media and influencers, as well as professionals who manage marketing and communications within their organisations, so we need a work email address.

More Media News

Which-50 bought by Boardroom.Media

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Digital content portal Which-50 has been officially acquired by multimedia outfit Boardroom.Media. 

Which-50 editor-in-chief Andrew Birmingham said the purchase agreement was signed late last week. 

The brand and website will be retained as its staff is integrated within the Boardroom organizational structure. 

“We will keep writing the stories we have always written. We will also utilise the Boardroom Media capabilities and incorporate video and other multimedia into our coverage,” explained Birmingham.

“Another change the Which-50 audience should expect is to see a wider range of perspectives in stories. Traditionally we would interview chief digital officers, or CMOs or CIOs in our stories, or founders if they are an emerging business. With the expanded focus expect also to see more perspectives from CEOs, CFOs, HR, risk managers. We always wanted to do this in the past, but lacked the scale to do so.”

The acquisition came months into a pa

Knowing who journalists write for

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on

 

Following on from the question of having your contact buckets in order last week, and bouncing off Redrup’s 5 Minutes yesterday, there’s an important issue that constantly crops up in discussions with other journalists about what goes wrong in PR pitches.
 
“Why are you pitching me this? I would never write about this.”
 
The ‘me’ in that sentence is critical. We know why you’re pitching it. It’s your job.
 
But if you treat everyone in your contact bucket as exactly the same – a generic list that tells your client you contacted THIS MANY journalists – then you get a reputation as a timewaster that starts to get filtered into our own special bucket… the ‘Ignore’ list.
 
Journalists are under the pump. Overworked. Underpaid. Time poor. And when I say that I don’t want to discount that PR teams are also under a lot of pressure to move fast and hit targets. But, like those

3MP radio back on the air

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The ACE Radio Network has officially reactivated Victoria regional station 3MP.

The network stated that the new 3MP will be an Easy Music station catering to the Mornington Peninsula over 1377AM. It will also be available on Melbourne DAB+, iHeartRadio, and CRA’s RadioApp. 

SEN granted ACE Radio the licence. 

Launching out of Frankston in July 1976, the original station, 3MP Classic Hits, was changed when the Pacific Star Network rebranded it as Classic Rock Radio in 2016.

ACE Radio announcer Emily Canning kicked off the broadcast on Friday night. 

John Vertigan and Julie Strini are hosting The Easy Breakfast, followed by Canning from 9AM to 3PM. Cathy Jubb is on drive and primetime duties from 3PM to 9PM, while Dave Drinkell goes on the late-night run.

Hamilton exits MTV

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Lisa Hamilton has bowed out of MTV Australia.

She will be up for freelance opportunities.

Hamilton had been with MTV since 2013, when she came in as writer for MTV Travel Co. She later moved up to writing for MTV Style and MTV News, and later promoted to VJ and editor of MTV.com.au.

Follow Hamilton on LinkedIn.

5 minutes with Yolanda Redrup

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
When she’s not breaking news at the AFR, you might find Yolanda Redrup in the pool, on a run, or chowing down on popcorn while smashing out words on a deadline. Here’s her 5 Minutes with Influencing Tech.
 
What do you do and where does your work appear?
I’m a technology and healthcare reporter for The Australian Financial Review. You’ll see my stories appearing in the daily paper, as well as the Tuesday tech section.
 
Anything else in your career you’ve been known for?
I moderate panels at events and you might also hear me pop up on podcasts every so often.
 
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut because I loved space, but I quickly realised that was unrealistic because I hated amusement park rides that went upside down… or really fast. I knew I wouldn’t get through the training. By the time I was in my early teens I’d settled on becoming a journalis

Tilli hosts Triple M Albany breakfast show

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Anthony Tilli has started hosting Triple M Albany’s breakfast show, now named Anthony for Breakfast.

He takes over from Ray Love, who pitched in during the recruitment period but will handle other assignments at the station. 

The move is also Tilli’s first radio gig in four years. He previously aired over on Radiowest in Merredin before leaving to work in the real estate business. 

“Anthony brings so much experience and creativity to the team. We’re so thrilled he’s decided to return to what he does best – entertaining and relating to his audience, while making them smile as their day begins,” said Triple M Southwest group content director Jarred O’Brien.

SENTrack 1593 AM goes live

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) has assumed the 1593AM frequency in Melbourne for its racing station, SENTrack.

The new station is already rolling with a strong lineup.

The Odds Couple with Simon O’Donnell and David Taggart is up at 8AM Saturday with previews of the weekend races, followed by Saturday Trackside at 11:30AM with Jack Heverin joining O’Donnell and Taggart promising punters the latest mail on race day.

The Sunday lineup is headlined by 11AM show Tricks of the Trade.

For weekdays, listeners are treated to Harness Racing Victoria’s Blake Redden and Jason Bonnington from 11AM to 1PM with Talking Trots on Track. Taggart, Heverin, Campbell Brown, and Sam Hargreaves bust up the 1PM-5PM block with Trackside.

The 5PM-6PM block on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, will have Thrill of the Chase keeping greyhound fans tuned in, while Hargreaves and Molly Haines take over the 6PM-10PM slot with The Lids Fly.

The new station also resulted in current

More News latest

Haystac lands Springfree Trampoline account
Haystac is now representing Springfree Trampoline.

Slack taps new APAC comms manager
Slack has enlisted a new APAC communications head.

RED Havas earns Hydralyte account
Hydralyte has tapped RED Havas for representation.

AKQA/Switched On merger complete
The merger of AKQA and Switched On is done.

Tourism NT rolls out PR agency list
A number of PR outfits are working with Tourism NT.