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7 April 2019
Sheetal Cross

Starting a 100 % women-owned media business

Left Journalist Sheetal Cross, Translator Hle Shandu and PR agent Olivia Jones Symcox

Over my 15-year journalism career in print and printed media, I have noticed how the emergence of new technologies globally, has seen a deviation from traditional reporting models. However, the marketing impact of mainstream media is undeniable and only become more powerful, with new media trends.

Once I identified a need for Entrepreneurial Media Empowerment Programmes in South Africa, arising from new media trends, I decided to launch my own media company last year, called Titanium Media South Africa (TMSA). The company is a 100%, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), women-owned, Level 1, B-BEEE, 135% Procurement recognised, media company operating in Durban.

Considering my 10-years of workshop facilitation experience in and out of the country, my degree and experience in journalism, as well as the need for women empowerment in business and media, I had the idea to start doing media seminars.

So far, every effort has been successful and impactful, helping to train and educate a myriad of people to understand and use mainstream media tools more effectively. I also aligned the programme with public relations agent, Olivia Jones Symcox, who helped me co-create the training manuals we use. Thanks to entrepreneur and operations manager Hlengiwe Shandu, we were able to translate the copy into a bi-lingual document, taught in English and isiZulu.

The business has created multiple opportunities for me to continue to uplift women and entrepreneurs. This is in keeping with my previous efforts with my Sunday Tribune SPORTMatters Column, which used to focus on Women in Sport. I love the transition between the print newspaper platform and the additional impact that our seminars have in real-time.

If you have ever wondered how to tap into a mainstream media resource, look no further. Here are 6 easy steps to get going.

Step 1: Have a media profile or short bio about yourself ready to share when journalists contact you for an interview. Journalists and other media agents love readily available information on the subject they are reporting on.

Step 2: Start a website and include contact details like an email address or social media handle. This is a great way to ensure you have a digital footprint for online searches.

Step 3: Make sure you have high-resolution pictures ready to send to media on request and if you are sharing large files, try and use Dropbox or WeTransfer to do so. These two platforms are free and help you avoid sending large mail attachments which are often a problem for newsroom servers and slow internet connections and which hamper deadlines.

Step 4: Create a media database of journalists who might be interested in your latest accomplishments. Remember, contact journalists who cover the beat relevant to the topic you want to get coverage on.

Step 5: Create a press release summarising the important information about your achievement or upcoming event and email it to your media list. You are more likely to get interviews across various mainstream media platforms this way.

Step 6: Promote any media coverage you receive onto your relevant social media platforms.

For more information about our media programmes or general enquiries, contact us on (+27) 72 030 7659 or info@titaniummediasa.co.za