Over the period, the media has agitated over the lack of respect accorded them by organizations, firms, artiste-managers and the artistes but this same showbiz media has failed to act and put proper mechanisms in place, in a bid to change the status quo.
The loudest of such complains hinges on the refusal of organizations and artistes to travel with media personnel, press and publicists.
We complain when the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Creative Sector embark on core projects without any media presence; we complain when the likes of Shatta, Wale, Sarkodie, Guru, Kaakie and co. tour or travel without media presence and of course, we complain when event organizers undertake their events without media presence.
But, with all these protests, which are becoming a jarring nuisance, what has the media fraternity done about it? What are they doing about it? More complaints!
The Need For Media Presence:
Attention is imperative in our side of the industry. The ability of an organization, label or artiste to generate positive attention to a project, a concert, a deal or whatever it is – is a plus.
On a particular project, every person on that project has a role; the coordinator has his/her role, the agent has his, the artiste-manager has his and if there’s a media practitioner on that project, he/she also has a defined role too.
The event coordinator cannot do the work of the media personnel and the manager can also not do that work properly; you need that media person to paint a vivid and correct picture of proceedings and he/she also has the proper training and skill to put a good spin on whatever report.
What About A Publicist?
On a music tour for example; the artiste and the label do not necessarily have to travel with media personnel. All they need is a publicist.
The publicist has the requisite training and expertise in media works and is the linkage between the artiste/label and the media.
His role on such projects is to provide the media and general public an account of proceedings on that project.
It is therefore essential that every organization, label and artiste-management firm must have a publicist.
Why DStv & Others Get It Right:
While many organizations have less regard for media presence in relation to their projects, some others place such high premium on media and their importance, hence their resolve to always include the media in their dealings.
DStv stands tall in this regard. For years, the firm involves the media in the projection of their programming, by taking care of plane tickets, hotel accommodations and stipends for entertainment journalists – just to be part of their projects.
Their continuous zeal to invest in media presence on their projects only attests to the advantages they derive from such engagements.
The Miss Ghana pageant is another brand that has some trust and conviction in the media and makes it a yearly resolution to have media presence throughout the organization of the pageant.
Why The Media Is Rejected:
Truthfully, some firms, labels and artiste-managers and artistes do not regard media personnel. They do not know or see the importance of attaching a media wing to their projects, especially on their music tours.
The lack of knowledge and the thirst to fill newspaper pages and online space with stories will cause the entertainment journalist or blogger to go for anything.
These managers and event coordinators know that many media guys are thirsty and hungry for stories and will pick anything and everything on social media to make stories.
All they have to do is to put photos on social media; twitter, facebook and instagram and these very smart media people will definitely pick them up and coin great stories out of them. How ingenious!
Why would any label or artiste spend money on media personnel when they (media) are on the prowl on social media, waiting to nibble on anything?
So Much Envy, Jealousy & Back-biting Among Media People:
Don’t be astounded to the revelation that, the media guys are mainly to blame for their woes. They do not speak highly of each other; they envy each other, back-bite on one another and despise the progression of one another.
In their lobbying for recognition and validation, they malign each other and fail to address their issues as a unit.
When media persons hear stuff about each other, instead of engaging themselves as colleagues, they’d go out there and gossip.
A media person finds it difficult writing, reporting or speaking about a colleague media person doing well or achieving something in any venture. It kills them!
Lack of Support In The Media Fraternity:
There’s always a call for firms, organizations and labels to engage the services of publicists, persons that come the media fraternity, and when some firms make the move of engaging media persons as publicists and PR persons, the same media fails to show support. Such a shame!
Ironically, some of them expect the same kind of support from the fraternity when they assume roles of publicists, managers and label heads.
When a media person attains an honour, an award or a nomination; some other colleagues find it torrid to congratulate and share in the glory of the honouree. It is really unfathomable!
We are all we’ve got, but strangely, when colleagues find themselves in some kind of trouble; we are the first to report and make mockery of the situation. By all means, do your work as a media person, but try and protect your kind!
So Much Disunity In The Media Fraternity:
Yes, there are a few miscreants within the group, who should be called out when they go wrong, however, media guys are always quick to discredit their colleagues when they are challenged over the veracity of their stories.
Before some person picks a pen or pulls a microphone to speak about my complaints too, I reckon our major setback as media people and offer a solution.
There’s so much disaffection and disunity among us as media personnel. We need a unified force, one voice and one movement to champion our cause and project our essence.
We need a body with a constitution and elected officials to lead the front. We need to bring almost everybody under one umbrella and make the body appealing and viable. With that, we can attain all the necessary respect we deserve without having to ask for it.