Alex Connock is something of a MediaCityUK fan.
He’s been writing and speaking about the project from the earliest of days, is the visiting professor of Media Business for Salford Uni, and is now launching a brand new company at Media City – Pretend TV.
Pretend aims to tap into the creativity of the Manchester media scene to develop new entertainment formats, and eventually export them to the US market. Alex is currently on the lookout for talent and ideas via the new website – PretendTV.com.
And as CEO of Ten Alps (the independent TV production company he co-founded with Bob Geldof) – he knows a thing or two about working in the Media industry.
Alex was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, offering some tips and advice for those seeking employment at Media City. Here’s what he had to say…
Q. What advice would you give to young people wanting to get a foot in the door at MediaCityUK?
A: The age of being able to get a job in the media, if it ever existed, by simply sending your CV in, is long gone. You need to market yourself using the internet.
If you want to be a director, make a film (using an iPhone if necessary) and put it on YouTube and send the link to people who run TV companies. If you want to be a reporter or writer, write a great blog and get it up on a wordpress site. You’ve got to prove you can make it – by actually doing it.
Q. What advantage do you think a course at Salford Uni would offer people looking to get a job at MediaCityUK?
A: There are a lot of universities around the country offering great media courses, from Bournemouth to Sunderland via Stoke and Coventry.
But there is only one which is literally right next door to major production centres of BBC and ITV. If you manage to spend three years there with that degree of proximity and NOT make any useful contacts in the broadcast world, you haven’t got the networking aptitude to make it in media.
Q. What steps would you take to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market such as those applying for jobs at BBC North?
A: The BBC application system is this fiendish and rather random-sounding online test. You’ve got to take that test. But apart from that, get in direct touch with the people who edit programmes you really like, go to the recordings if you can, try to become part of the place at MediaCity. At some point, serendipity will intervene.
Q. What other opportunities do you see becoming available at Media City, if any?
A: I am starting a new entertainment company there – PRETEND – and hoping to create work. Other independent producers are doing the same. Find out who they are by following the blogs and twitter, follow them, watch their shows, make contact.
So there you have it, a few tips to increase your chances. If you think you have what it takes to impress Alex, you can submit ideas, videos or anything else via the Pretend site.
And be sure to check out our ‘8 ways to find a job at Media City‘ article for more tips!