3 tips on meeting a deadline...

business planning Oct 23, 2017

John Young - John Young Media

3 tips on meeting a deadline - from a TV journalist who faces them several times a day.

John Young knows all about deadlines. He's been a TV journalist for 28 years, appearing as a
presenter and reporter on BBC South East Today since its launch in 2001. Here he shares three tips from his very own TV themed business skills workshops.

1. Less is More
You have a mountain of information, and you've got to turn it into a report. Try to make that report as short as you think is reasonable — and then shorten it a bit more. Most people prefer to receive something brief, that they can digest, rather than something long, that just won’t get read. The average TV news report is about three hundred words — lasting barely two minutes. It can be frustrating for the people who’ve contributed to it — “I told you loads of things for your story but you only included three or four of them!” — but as a journalist, your job is to make difficult, but fair, judgments. Running my own business, I’ve learnt, is similar.

2. People don’t miss what they don’t know
It’s easy to take too long over a report because you’re worried people will miss things if you don’t include them. But if your audience — your staff, say — are new to a topic, they won’t know what they’re missing. Tell them too much, and they’ll become confused, and miss the entire point. A prerecorded TV interview may be six or seven minutes long, but the clip included on air may be less than twenty seconds. That’s not because journalists are sneaky and want to leave things out. It’s because they know people just don’t take things in if there’s too much of it. The skill is in choosing the bits that most need to be taken in.

3. Kill the Kitten
This is a little phrase I once heard a senior News Editor use early in my journalistic career, so I
asked her what it meant. “Be a little ruthless” she told me. “It saves time.” She was thinking of it in terms of having to drop news stories that had been planned for a news bulletin, because more urgent news had broken in the meantime. But I’ve realised it applies to business too. If you’re proud of a pet project, but the context has suddenly changed and the project isn’t so relevant anymore the sooner you recognise that, the sooner you can crack on meeting the deadlines that are still relevant. I’ve worked on many a lovely news story, only to see it abandoned at 5pm because breaking news has taken over.

John Young - John Young Media 

If you’d like to experience some of John’s tips for yourself or with your team, his TV news themed workshops are a fun, affordable, on-site solution for high quality, high energy business skills development and team-building.

His next event half day event is in Brighton on Friday November 10 — more details

Or visit his website — johnyoungmedia.co.uk — or just give him a call on 07850 188620.


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