Sefiani Webinar | In conversation with Sean Aylmer

We’ve just launched our Sefiani webinar series, “Conversations with Experts about Communication that Matters.” This series features a special guest in conversation with a member of our Sefiani team every three weeks, bringing to light relevant, real-life insights and ideas we hope will be helpful to our clients and friends of Sefiani.

Our first webinar saw Robyn Sefiani in conversation with Sean Aylmer, the newest member of our Sefiani Senior Advisory Panel and former Editorial Director of Fairfax, (now Nine) where he led The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, as well as the digital transformation of Fairfax.

Sean’s sharp news sense makes him one of the country’s leading content specialists. He is now the voice of the weekday 6.30am Fear and Greed podcast, covering business and finance news and interviews. Sean is also an economist and discussed the Australian economy in a post-Covid environment as well as the future of journalism.

Sean opened the conversation discussing the three factors that will be involved in rebuilding the Australian economy to pre-Covid health: consumer spending, business investment and Australian Government initiatives. While employment is predicted to take a slow rebound, Sean commented this will likely see a recovery model in the shape of the “Nike swoosh”, declining abruptly and then rebuilding at a gradual pace over the next few years.

While expressing praise for companies that acted quickly to innovate and remain relevant during Covid, Sean expressed hope that businesses will continue to innovate and offer a competitive edge in products and services that can be sold here and around the globe, to help rebuild Australia’s economy.

The conversation then shifted to media. Sean believes for journalists and publications to survive it is essential they “own what they’re good at”. Covid ruined the advertising model Australian media relies on to survive, as according to Sean “no one wants to advertise when they will be placed alongside bad news.”

As the number of journalists declines and the pressure to create content increases, Sean advised communicators to build relationships with journalists and help them as much as possible; by providing all the information needed, video or infographic assets, case studies and any other materials relevant to the story.

He also highlighted the growing power of social media, as we live in an age where people go directly to the source. Companies and business leaders who consistently post good content – whether LinkedIn blogs or podcast interviews – may get noticed by journalists, establishing them as a thought leader and a place to go for reliable comment.

On building trust with reporters, Sean said while journalists can often be sceptics, by proving yourself to be genuine and trustworthy time and time again, a relationship will grow and produce greater outcomes with each interaction.

So, what is the future of media? Sean reflected on some recent changes and said time will tell if multiple outlets providing the same entertaining news will be difficult to sustain. He also highlighted the importance for outlets to change with the times, citing the importance of “cancel culture”, adapting to what society wants and accepts.

His closing advice: be genuine and authentic, write to your audience and be consistent with quality content on a regular basis.

To watch the full webinar: Robyn Sefiani in Conversation with Sean Aylmer, please click on the image.