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The good, the bad and the ugly advice in my career.

The good, the bad and the ugly advice in my career.

By John Croll

I’ve been in media intelligence for over 20 years and as you can probably imagine, I've received plenty of advice throughout my entire career. Some of it has shaped me and some has, let’s just say, been less helpful.

I recently put a call out to LinkedIn to see what advice my network had been given in their careers, and while all were fantastic insights, there was one comment that especially stood out to me.

“Surround yourself with smart people and empower them” - Tom Rustowski, Chief Revenue Officer at Janison.

People powered

It gained my attention because it’s similar to one of the pieces of advice I was given when I first began my career - “The company that has the best people wins” and it’s stuck with me.

This has been especially relevant lately as we’ve worked to launch Truescope.   When Michael and I started, we were very clear about what we wanted to achieve and how we wanted to go about it from day one. We had seen companies experience really successful periods and also very average periods so we wanted to be clear on our purpose and direction. This meant we could invest time in getting the best people to help us achieve what we set out.

Media intelligence has become an industry driven by technology. Tech will deliver the next great product improvement but you absolutely can’t deliver the technology without the best people. A diversity of IT skills and smart people who build the technology that delivers these improvements for the client go hand-in-hand.

To date, we continually make sure the skills and team environment at Truescope are a priority and enabling our team to have ownership, whether a solution or even part of the company, has also been key to the environment we’ve fostered at Truescope.

So I’m confident in saying it’s true -  the company that has the best people wins and however you define winning, we certainly have confidence that we have the smartest tech and people on board.

Solutions focussed

‘Do not present the problem without providing suggested solutions’ - Ernie De Wal.

This was another pearl of wisdom from my Linkedin post that stood out to me. I have worked with some great people who want to own the solution and it’s extraordinary what can get done when you have a positive team that is solution focussed.

It’s the same with media intelligence when you think about it. Truescope can help PR & Comms professionals to identify potential brand challenges by measuring sentiment, identifying mentions in media as well as industry trends. By identifying the challenge, you’re also enabling yourself to work toward a solution before addressing  it with the client.

But with the good advice, of course, has come the advice that I’ve raised an eyebrow over time.

New world Media Intelligence    

In my early days I was told by a long list of distinguished media executives that media intelligence companies would be out of business in two years.

But look where the industry is today. Yes we might be different, but we’re certainly still in business. To me, this prediction showed a fundamental lack of knowledge in the service that we provided and still provide; that is the aggregation of content from multiple providers and platforms in real-time and then the searching, alerting and reporting of relevant information.

Back to the future

And one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was from a fellow peer who I went to school with at Sydney Boys High. He said there will be a time in your career that presents itself and you will know this is what you want to do. On that day, you have to embrace the challenge and throw everything you have into being successfuI.

I think this is timely whether you’re a university graduate, someone looking to embark on your own start-up journey or if you’re a well-established industry professional. And it’s safe to say I think I saw that opportunity with Media Intelligence and I continue to throw everything at it.


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