8M content with media niche

WHILE most media professionals are obsessed with the emergence – and convergence – of new electronic mediums, a Perth company is offering what it believes is needed most...content creation.

8M Media & Communications managing director and founder Thomas Murrell said one of the company’s four core areas of service was providing content for a range of media outlets including SBS Radio, Bloomberg News and Bridge Information Services.

“This is essentially a journalism service,” Mr Murrell said.

“We picked up the contract with SBS Radio last November to supply their national radio network with stories from WA.

“SBS broadcasts in 68 different languages so they want interviews in those languages, as well as news with grabs and interviews in English for their English current affairs program.”

Mr Murrell said an example of the media translation service was a recent interview with Theo Kailis at the Prime Minister John Howard’s opening of Kailis’ $15 million factory in Osborne Park.

“We covered that for SBS, giving them interviews in both English and Greek,” he said.

Mr Murrell said the breadth of his integrated media, marketing and management consulting company was a first for WA, perhaps for Australia.

“Our four core areas of specialty provide four separate streams of revenue,” he said.

“I saw a niche in the market and opportunities to grow such a business and, with the key word being persistence, got the company up and running in March 1998.”

The company provides consulting services in the form of media relations – essentially a public relations role – and general marketing strategies.

To help ensure businesses do not rely on PR services in the long term, Mr Murrell said he sought to demystify the process of dealing with the media by offering training and

executive coaching, either in-house or as public workshops.

“Part of this is doing a practice run – being interviewed on camera while I fire the sort of hard questions journalists would ask – so spokesmen are prepared and don’t get thrown or flustered when they are in that situation for real,” he said.

The fourth stream of the business covers professional speaking on media and

marketing issues.

“For example, I was a keynote speaker at a risk management conference recently with 255 government delegates and spoke on managing the media during a crisis or a

high-risk event,” he said.

With honours in biochemistry, Mr Murrell began a career in the media doing what he calls “a 12-year apprenticeship” with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Radio immediately proved to be a passion.

In 1991, at the age of 28, he became the youngest ABC senior executive to be appointed to the position of manager of regional stations in WA.

In his final year with the ABC, Mr Murrell managed the Perth 6WF radio station.

He completed a Masters of Business Administration part-time and discovered the corporate world was one that excited him.

“I could see that the media was a growth area – expanding, dynamic and interesting – but the ABC was contracting…staff were leaving and budgets were cut,” he said.

“It was just time to move on.”

Mr Murrell has won several State and international broadcasting awards and, in 1988, was the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship for Young Australians.

In 1999, he was awarded a Vincent Fairfax Fellowship.

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