Ever wondered which media companies are most attractive to people in the industry? Well, the secret is out. The most popular company for ad sales people is DStv Media Sales and for media agency folk, it is The MediaShop.
This was gleaned from the 2012 MOST Awards questionnaire, in which respondents were asked where they would most like to work.
DStv won hands down, more than four times the number for e.tv, which came in second. The MediaShop had twice as many votes as Mindshare, which came in second with the media agency folk.
Media24 and Primedia Broadcasting jointly came in third, in terms of media owners.
For the media agencies, Carat came in third.
These winners clearly have something special to offer, but what is their secret ingredient?
For the most part, there were genuine reasons for these companies’ popularity.
DStv’s SuperSport GM Patrick van Schoor attributes the pay television company’s success to being “fortunate to represent really credible brands”. He explains, “Our channels are market leaders, easy to relate to and certainly inspirational. If you have cool, sexy, sussed products, it’s easy to get excited about what you do. This adds to the vibe or buzz in the work place and coming to work becomes something you enjoy doing.
“There has always been a culture of caring and understanding for all staff. While it’s important to do the job, make budget and work hard, top management has always tried to ensure a happy and safe working environment. I don’t think it’s a secret that TV is the pinnacle of all media and I guess our business is at the top of the TV pile.”
Considering that, it is not surprising that e.tv was also very popular. However, e.tv’s chief commercial officer Khalik Sherrif said he gives “no value to the MOST Awards” and didn’t want to be associated with it.
Terry Volkwyn, CEO of Primedia Broadcasting, however, was thrilled with this accolade, saying that much of the appeal of working for this company has to do with its culture and staff opportunities.
“Our stations are premium brands and exciting properties to work with and to sell,” says Volkwyn, adding that the reach and diversity of their audience means the sales team have the opportunity to engage with big clients and interesting campaigns.
“Our business is a fun place to be,” says Volkwyn. “We have a culture of ‘yes we can’ and things that most organisations think are unrealistic or impossible are turned around in no time here.”
Media24’s head of HR Shelagh Goodwin believes this company’s popularity is partly to do with selling extremely strong brands. “Our sales teams are proud of the titles that they represent and this is a powerful motivator,” says Goodwin. “We make sure that rainmakers are incentivised. We invest a lot in training and development, as well as in building a high-performance culture that is based on integrity, courage, respect and accountability.”
The MediaShop group managing director, Chris Botha, says: “Our secret is that we have a team who believe in creating partnerships, both with the clients, creative agencies and media owners, and with each other in the business.
“We divided the business up into business units that we encourage the managers to run as their own little agency. Everyone is a stakeholder in our business… Our biggest asset is our people. We know if we don’t look after them, we are nothing.” As such, The MediaShop “pours a lot of time, money and effort into up-skilling staff”.
Maria Phillips, CEO of Mindshare, agrees in developing her staff. “This industry is a tough one and it’s hard to find talent, so we believe the best way to create the organisation we want to be is to grow and develop our own people.”
Mindshare builds new talent by offering bursaries, internships and hiring and training graduates.
“As over 80% of our talent in this industry are women, we have a good maternity leave policy, a bit of flexibility around start and end times, and a lot of empathy around the issues facing working mothers,” Phillips explains.
Quinton Jones at Carat has also been intent on creating a “fantastic place to work”. He says his people get treated like adults and work in a fairly free environment.
“There is enough pain in the ‘long hours, short deadlines’, so we give our people as much of a break as we can,” says Jones. “They get big salaries and big responsibilities, so they need to step up to the plate.”
In an industry where top staff is a premium, being the most popular place to work is a sought-after position. It is clearly not one that companies take lightly.
This story was first published in the January 2013 issue of The Media magazine.
The MOST research is available for sale. Contact Ronell Buitenbos.