Interview with Adam Good, Director of Digital Media and Content at Telstra Media
What’s your day job?
Director of Digital Media and Content at Telstra Media. The position is accountable for a suite of products in entertainment, news, sports, lifestyle and personalisation that are delivered across four digital screen platforms mobile, web, tablet and IPTV.
What type of projects does your company work on – how long do they run?
Telstra Media was established to manage all of Telstra Corporation’s end-to-end media capabilities. The portfolio includes: 50% ownership of FOXTEL Pay TV business, award winning IPTV platform the T-Box, BigPond web and mobile portal properties, BigPond TV, BigPond Movies, Sensis directory business including Yellow, AFL.com.au, NRL.com.au, the Racing network, GameArena, BPM, streaming music service MOG and restaurant booking service Dimmi. Excluding FOXTEL, Telstra Media’s current assets house 4,700 employees and generate $2.5 billion in annual revenues.
How did you get started in digital?
I have been in digital media, marketing, content, advertising, publishing and technology for over twenty five years. I started in the Australian film and television industry, moved to Microsoft and then onto Newscorp. I jumped into advertising with Omnicom for thirteen years working for agencies DDB, Tribal DDB, Clemenger BBDO, Proximity Worldwide. I’m now at Telstra Media. During this ride I have lived and worked in varies countries including United States, China, Australia, and New Zealand. The media, advertising and technology industries continues to change, but my professional goal seems to stay the same. I just want to always be part of a team looking to break new ground and develop creative interactive brand experience programs for clients. I’m passionate about how brands and businesses can create participation with consumers in both the real and digital channels.
What’s your current favourite book, website, blog or source of inspiration for your business?
I have a few digital properties such as Mashable, Fast Company, Wired I read most days. An inspiration book I have just read is Imagine, the science of creativity by John Lehrer who wrote The Decisive Moment.
What’s the ratio of project managers to developers and producers?
2:12: 4. Of course it depends on the talent and experience you have.
How many staff do you have in total
Telstra Media staff in digital media and content curation is around 90 full time staff. We share media, technology and delivery teams in the wider Telstra Corporation. We also source content from third party digital content supplies such as AFL Media being a large group of 75 staff for this sporting property alone.
Have you introduced in new roles/jobs title in your business – is the nature of your business changing?
You have to be energetic, creative, with analytical skills to be successful in digital content. Be focused on teamwork, collaboration and building effective working relations with all members of your team. When driving a project I prefer the Project leaders to be all about consumer engagement and always getting to the truth of user experience. You also need people in the digital team with a strong understanding of brand marketing, as well as operational dynamics that can affect a company’s ability to reach audiences and drive engagement and revenue. Be driven to create meaningful tools and architecting user experiences. Once you have an idea on the table, applying an interactive mindset and a focus on making the end user feel personal with it is a must. The idea you have must be helpful towards advancing the user’s purpose.
How do you keep hours and costs on or under budget? How do you maintain profitability on each and every project? Is it a result of project management processes, good budgeting, or initial scoping?
Good customer experience architecting and prototyping and then user testing before you go into hard production is essential.
What tools do you use to manage time and job tasks?
I’m still trying to find the best project management tools. It’s been twenty years and I’m yet to find one.
Any suggestions on dealing with difficult clients?
Everyone is worried about failure. No one likes it but unless you make mistakes you don’t learn anything and you don’t move forward with new thinking. Knowing the level of risk your client is prepared to live with is very important when establishing and managing a working relationship. If you don’t know this level you may have problems. You will certainly not be able to do good work without establishing a good understanding of objectives around innovation and creativity.
What’s your or the company’s biggest challenge currently?
Navigating the thousands of opportunities that are presented each and every day. We also have a lot of customers on hundreds of different devices and platforms so migrating out the old technology with the new is always a challenge.
What particular skill set do you look for in your new hires?
I’m always looking for Customer Experience Officers, Technologists, Data Planners, Information Architects and, of course, Interactive Producers. People with ideas, services and products that are not only focused on both board room objectives but also on a style of brand communication that is truly useful to consumers, more engaging and relevant to their day-to-day life. Know anybody?
How do you ensure that your team is performing well, and focused on the same goals? Do you have any special team activities that you do to maintain a good culture?
Telstra, as you can imagine, has a number of company processes for setting individual KPIs that are focused on company goals, business unit goals and of course how people hit their bonus structures. It works well, but that all said you also need to create an environment where people can have fun. I’m a big fan of taking staff on long lunches. I love the office quizz and the surprise staff reward. The weekly visit to the local pub are also essential elements to building a collaborative creative culture I have always found.