How to Miss a Damn Good Media Crisis

26/10/2010
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No one was safe during this crisis. No one is safe yet. This could be the simple conclusion of two days of media talks at the conference Forum Media that took place in Prague on October 25-26, 2010.

One of the trends emphasized is that, on the one hand, clients are asking for more efficiency and accountability from their advertising and communication agencies. On the other hand, clients aren’t always willing to pay for the services they receive. More and more clients learn to do things internally – which isn’t bad if they bothered to invest in hiring more people for communications and training them properly. But that’s not always the case.

Another trend is that paid digital content is becoming the norm on the Czech market. More and more publishers go for it and even the Publishers’ Union is carrying discussions about how to support publishers in their approach. Information is not for free, publishers agree. Now it’s the time to see whether the market is ready to confirm or infirm that trend.

With or without paid content, readers, listeners and viewers are customers and the level of customer care is lousy in the Czech Republic, some publishers agreed. Not a surprise, if one compares with the level of services in other industries in this country. The gloomy mood was boosted by Erik Best, the publisher of the Fleet Sheet and The Final Word, who said that the wind blowing from the West isn’t encouraging; the level of customer care will probably go even lower in the future – if that’s possible.

For an attentive eye, most of the discussion panels were made of men. This reflects a reality of the Czech media world (and not only) – from newsrooms to media agencies women work and men run the business. This empirical statement needs to be enforced with figures, but this is an aspect of the Czech media market no one bothered to research yet.

If there was something missing at the Forum it was the lack of impact of the economic crisis on the level of arrogance and self-sufficiency of the Czech media gurus. Despite the changing trends, many of the speakers sent a silent message. It doesn’t matter what the clients want and how the market is changing; we are here, we have a pretty strong and comfortable market position and if you want the job done, you’ll have to work with us – and follow our rules. When one is looking for a reason for this self-sufficiency, maybe it wouldn’t be bad to look at the gender composition of the top management of media agencies. However, it’s a pity this crisis didn’t bring a wake-up call for the Czech media specialists. Quality services done in an open and honest way, with a respectful approach towards the client and the market, aren’t here yet. This isn’t valid for the media market only – it’s valid in general. It could be said that, from this point of view, the Czech media market missed a damn good crisis.

I focus on strategic communications, emotional and systemic intelligence and personal and organization leadership. I help leaders and future leaders to develop their strategic communication skills, to build reputable personal brands and to boost their team and organizational leadership. I support individuals, teams and organizations through advisory, training, coaching and mentoring services.

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