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Gather round - with rich and diverse media backgrounds, these dedicated women know a thing or two about navigating the highs and lows of the media industry. Hear what they have to share about what motivates them to stay in the game and why they believe so strongly in newspaper media.

Anna Hosking - Group Sales Manager, Victoria
 Anna Hosking 

Like a lot of people who started in media at an early age, I fell into it through someone I knew. Starting at Channel 7 in Mackay, I set my eye on a sales path and ended up working for all 3 regional TV networks across multiple markets. Feeling restricted by creative limitations, given that integration within regional networks was near impossible then, I decided my next move would be based more on the role and strategic opportunity than the product I was selling. From there I moved to the publishing world where I worked in roles which gave me exposure to various sales and product development projects, but most recently with APN Australian Regional Media where I’ve been for almost four years, commencing in Brisbane and now in Melbourne this year since taking up the role of Group Sales Manager, Victoria.

Q. Working in an industry that cops a fair bit of criticism, what motivates you to stay in the game and to lead a sales team in news media most days of the week?

Most people who have worked in the industry for a long time will agree that media is like a drug. The pace that it moves at is always shifting up a gear and with that comes the opportunity to be constantly learning, developing and being challenged – which for me personally is really satisfying. There is nothing more fulfilling professionally than setting a goal and hitting it – all the hard work in between doesn’t feel like work because of the satisfaction you get from seeing yourself and your team have those wins.

Q. You’re in Richmond…why regional media?

While I’ve lived in metro cities for a long time now, I actually grew up in regional Qld, so I am well aware and appreciate the role local news media plays within these communities and the strong connection it has with its residents. This connection makes for exciting opportunities for advertisers, building local conversation and relevance for brands.

Q. You’ve lived and worked in Melbourne previously, but just spent 6.5 years in Brisbane, how is it being back? What are the main market differences you’ve noticed between Sunny Queensland and Wintry Melbourne?

Aside from arriving earlier this year just in time for the longest and coldest winter in 26 years…the biggest shift I’ve seen is within the Retail category. I left Melbourne in late 2008, which was the peak of GFC. Consumer confidence was at an all-time low and major retailers had refined their media channels to traditional media only, because they were reliable. Confidence has obviously increased since then and delivered some stability, so we’re seeing Retail experiment with new media choices. At APN Australian Regional Media we’re finding that regional Qld has been an ideal test and learn market for these advertisers and there is increased demand for our newer products, particularly digital and content plays - the most exciting of late being Brand Extra, which is an Australian media first.

Q. If you could go back to the very start of your journey in the media industry, what advice would you give yourself?

One of the biggest lessons for me personally was moving from TV to Readers Digest, at a time when TV was considered top of the media totem pole and a lot of people questioned why I would do it. But I have to say I’ve learned the most in my career from channels perceived to be unglamorous. So from my personal learnings I would have to say, don’t always chase the role where the product is in demand and business naturally walks in the door. Your personal growth will come from that challenging role where you have to think creatively at every opportunity and really understand and build strategic relevance into everything you do.

Nadine McLennan – Group Sales Manager, Queensland
Nadine McLennan 

My introduction to the media & advertising industry was back in the day when full-service agencies were all the rage – funny how that pendulum swings! If you’ve ever worked full-service you’ll know that multi-tasking and tapping into specialists are par for the course. I quickly went from small to medium to a global agency - they all had their pros and cons and I definitely picked up learnings along the way. Post that era I took a leap of faith and headed client side with NAB and had my first experience dealing with a ‘Media Agency’. I learnt that ‘creativity and innovation’ weren’t just the realm of those ‘Creative Agencies’ – in fact I was so impressed with the way these media agencies operated I decided to join one as a Group Business Director. After 3 years on that side of the fence I realised there was movement in content and digital in publishing land and I wanted to be at the forefront of that – so here I am.

Q. You used to work agency side…why the shift and how is it on the other side?

After lots of years in agency land with all sorts of roles from Co-ordinator to GM plus a stint client side, I gave myself one remit when we moved interstate – do something different. I always harboured a secret passion to be a journalist and with the rise of content, publisher side seemed the right fit.

Q. What is the most drastic shift you’ve witnessed in news publication through the years?

Picking one is hard – but definitely digital platforms. It’s the gateway for all the other fun stuff; native content, data solutions, video, mobile. Digital still presents a great ROI story (clients love the stats on efficient buying), but we’re seeing a gentle shift to engagement metrics, which is the real power behind delivering conversion to sales and awareness.

Q. As a working mum and one that has to travel some ways to get to work, what are your tips for balancing work commitments and family life?

The magic ‘B’ word; look I don’t always get it right but I give it a good shot. Each summer as a family we set our goals for how we can make it work for next year. Day to day we have a plan A which often reverts to plan B – but there’s lots of communication, a few crazy plan Cs. I try to turn the commute into a positive with lots of phone calls or change it up with a train commute and hotspot for an hour of power on my emails to the clear the way for the day ahead. Sometimes it can be more productive then sitting at a desk.

Q. If you could go back to the very start of your journey in the media industry, what advice would you give yourself?

Learn from everything, those ‘insurmountable challenges’ are a moment in time, tackling ‘change’ head on, and the ‘ideas that seem tough to crack’ they’ll give you the skills that you’ll use time and again throughout your career.

Best advice I received early on from a CEO mentor? ‘Get the big things right, the right staff and the right family support, they’re the backbone of your success – without those you’re an iceberg and we all know what happened to the Titanic!’