Welcome to the Telum Spotlight, a quick insight into some of the interesting people in the PR and communications space, as well as freelancers and those launching their own boutique agencies. Today we shine the Telum Spotlight on Tom Finnigan, a seasoned broadcast media and PR veteran, who recently launched his agency, PR Strategy & Content.
By way of introduction:
Hi, I'm Tom Finnigan, the Founder of PR Strategy & Content. It's a Canberra-based specialist agency that crafts comprehensive PR and content solutions. Focusing on video and written storytelling content, I bring over 25 years of media experience and a keen focus on emerging technology, cybersecurity, and startups. We partner with you to build a digital brand narrative that brings your brand the right customers.
My first job in media was as a camera assistant, lighting assistant and grip for commercials and corporate videos.
One thing you would change about the communications industry:
One thing I am personally focused on changing is the uptake of AI tools in the communication industry. There is a great opportunity for AI to be a copilot on our campaigns and storytelling. It's not about replacing our jobs but instead augmenting our ideas and strategies and moving from a drafting-heavy workload to editing. AI is disrupting our industry now, and you need to be surfing the AI wave before it breaks.
Most admired person in comms:
Ryan Holiday is someone who I relate to, and his book "Trust Me I'm Lying" is a must-read for any communicator.
Most admired journalist:
In the almost 18 years I worked in the Federal Press Gallery, I was privileged to travel with many great journalists. David Speers is someone I admire for his ability to build complex ideas on the fly as a presenter. It's not easy at all.
Advice to anyone starting out in comms:
What worked for me was having a career in the media. Spending time on the receiving side crafting stories daily (the news never stops) helps you learn quickly and understand how to draw the level out for the media.
Essential daily reading:
ABC, Guardian, Mail Online, News.com, and anywhere interesting stories are. I like Mail and News for instant news. They will report anything with little fact-checking. Platforms like ABC and The Guardian have accountability, so they will confirm facts and, as a result, be slower in a breaking news environment.
Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson
The Fifth Element
Skiing in the morning with a mountain bike at lunch and a surf to round out each day. The empty mind you need to relax into when doing these sports is a key part of my self-care.
Clickbait fact about you:
I was once locked in the dog house in Buckingham Palace before I met the Queen. A photographer from The Australian and I were locked in the room the corgis slept in for 10 minutes because PM Kevin Rudd was late.
I have three favourites that I use every day:
"Don't rush to failure"
"The obstacle is the way" and
"Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast."