Rory Brown, Founder, The Media Briefing.
Rory is the founder of Briefing Media Ltd., a business media company serving distinct specialist business communities.
Briefing Media has operations in the media, healthcare and agriculture industries. Some of our major brands are: Farmers Guardian; Pulse; Lamma and TheMediaBriefing.com. Briefing Media is backed by the mid-market private equity firm GCP Capital Partners.
Rory's background is in marketing and general management and he has worked across some of the most successful international products in the business media space. He specializes in the development of high-end subscription / data services, conferences, exhibitions and digital product development. Previous companies include Metal Bulletin (now part of Euromoney Institutional Investor), Emap, Risk Waters Group and Incisive Media.
Who was your best ever hire and why?
My best ever hire was our first journalist; let’s call him Patrick because that’s his name.
Patrick took a leap of faith to join a start-up with no history or office. He quickly became the voice and public persona of our launch media strategy site - www.TheMediaBriefing.com.
Patrick joined from The Guardian where he had been told that “if he hung around for two years he might make assistant deputy features editor, but there was no guarantee.” Quite rightly Patrick told them to stick it and set out on his own. It takes guts to do that when you are in your mid-20s.
Patrick also brought to our business a personal brand. He was extremely active across all social media platforms and this added credibility to our business when he joined. Patrick now has a job title of Chief Analyst and Editor in Chief and deserves all the plaudits that come his way.
What most impresses you in an interview?
Preparation, presentation, intelligence, humour and hunger.
What would be your one hot tip to someone coming to be interviewed by you?
Clearly demonstrate from the first moment that you ‘give a shit.’
If I give you a project to prepare or a presentation to make (which I will before hiring anyone), put a huge amount of effort into it. Ask questions about it in advance. Show me that you’re really taking pride in the work you do because that generally reflects on how you will approach work if you join.
How do you and your company attract and retain top talent?
It’s all about setting a culture within the company where top talent feel that they are being challenged and learning. We’re still only a medium-sized company and accept that when the big corporates come calling, with big salaries, we cannot match them. Sometimes you have to let good people go and accept that there is nothing you can do.
However, in my experience people don’t start looking around until they get bored or feel that they are not learning.
Ultimately you have to make your company punch above its weight. It has to have a reputation within your industry that sets it apart from the competition. If it does key staff who share your vision will stay longer.
Recruiters - trusted partners or necessary evil?
In the main a necessary evil, very occasionally trusted partners.
Rory was talking to Annabelle King.