Media Specialist

The media consumer is elusive – think ‘irrational’; in a disrupted media environment even more so – think ’empowered’. That’s a worrying combination for mainstream media, for decades the sole custodians of broadcast and print media content for a largely stable and receptive consumer. Mainstream media are now in a constant battle to somehow re-connect with a consumer that is abandoning allegiance in the search for new avenues of entertainment, news and information; and the options are endless. Furthermore, they are creating their own content – through social media – which is embraced by their peers. So why should they pay for mainstream content?

Critical for connecting to such a media consumer is understanding the following: whereas the media environment may change a lot, human behaviour doesn’t. Psychology – the study of the mental or behavioural characteristics of an individual or group – holds clues as to what shapes human nature; understand that, and how to tap into it, and mainstream media will find it easier to design and deliver content that effectively connects with the media consumer.

Daryl uses his unique skill set – a combination of 30 years’ expertise in media across multiple platforms, and his qualifications in clinical psychology, assessment and counselling – to provide media organisations with practical guidance in connecting with an empowered media consumer in a disrupted media environment.

This is also important for organisations hoping to gain traction with the media. This is a key component to what’s known as ‘strategic communication’ – all communication (both internal and external) with the purpose of realising an organisation’s strategy. The term has been largely commandeered by advertising companies to refer to all marketing messaging aligned to an organisation’s brand. This is incorrect. An organisation’s strategy is the direction in which it is going, its tactics are how it’s going to get there. Daryl draws on a close partnership with the strategic intelligence agency mindofafox, to guide an organisation’s media-directed strategic communication that is aligned to scenario strategy. This is a more advanced form of strategic communication in that it includes all communications with the added purpose of helping realise an organisation’s best-case scenario, and mitigating the effects of a possible worst-case scenario. This means recognising all factors outside of the control of the organisation, especially those pivotal key uncertainties that influence the most realistic scenarios facing the organisation. It is more contextual in nature, more proactive, and therefore more powerful.

Strategic communication should also be aligned to the organisation’s narrative. A narrative is a story, rich with meaning, characters, and emotional connection points. It has subtle themes and a clear storyline that holds attention and builds expectation. It also has a defining nature that can be encapsulated in several statements that are then easily repeated, both throughout the organisation and externally.

Every organisation should have a narrative, and all communications – both internal and external – should emerge from that narrative. Without the narrative as an anchor, all communications risk being disconnected and discordant. An organisation’s narrative evolves as it grows, and, importantly, its strategy should be an exciting and viable extension of its current narrative. Scenarios are the possible extensions of the current narrative, so a scenario that sounds likely but lacks connection to the current narrative would require dramatic change within the organisation.

The question Daryl asks of organisations is the following: who’s writing your narrative? You, and your team, or other players in the game, such as competitors, customers and consumers through social media? Does your organisation invoke standard claims such as ‘customer-centric’ and ‘best service’ as part of its offering? What is it that defines your organisation and sets you apart from your opposition? If we were to ask anyone in your organisation what is the organisation’s narrative, would they know? If market research was done, right now, how would the market view your organisation?

Daryl helps executive teams develop their own narrative, and then shows them how to communicate that narrative, both internally (because everyone should be on the same page) and externally (which is key for shaping public perception).

The process involves interviews with key players within the organisation, the composing of the organisation’s narrative, the identification of key components of that narrative, and suggestions for how it can be communicated, both internally and externally.

Daryl also helps write thought leadership articles in line with an organisation’s or business leader’s narrative.

For availability and costs, contact Daryl directly.