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2020-10-12

Media Minded With Fennella Bruce

In a world where everyone is fighting for attention on social media, mainstream media and online, how do you get your message or story out to the masses? 

In this episode, Coach Stone speaks with Fenella Bruce, a veteran television producer and writer, and Founder of FKB Media Solutions – a media consulting company that finds solutions for media problems. She shares great tips to help you get mainstream media coverage. 

Fennella has worked in the field of journalism for over 20 years and produced both Canada’s national morning shows – Your Morning and Canada AM. Fenella was also a senior writer or producer at numerous major market television stations, including CTV News Channel, CP24, CityTv, Toronto 1, and BET. For six years, she taught Media Theory at Centennial College and served on many critique juries, including the Canadian Screen Awards and The New York Festivals International TV Broadcasting Awards.

She talks about leaping from journalism to production and how these are two intertwined with each other. She also talks about why there is nothing wrong with doing something else as long as you enjoy it, and you love the challenge. Fenella also mentions how black people don’t have enough exposure in the media, especially in lead roles and positions behind the camera.

If you have a dream or you are searching for your dream, listen to this episode.

Here are a few more highlights from our conversation:

  • [10:39] Never burn your bridges.
  • [11:29] As a journalist, you genuinely have to be an expert on everything.
  • [11:47] When you are writing, you have to be able to summarize things very quickly.
  • [12:18] The writer gets to interact with everyone, the reporters, the camera person, the editors, and the assignment desk.
  • [12:32] Most writers go into producing because once you know what everybody does and how it works, that is the first step to becoming a producer. 
  • [12:55] You have to be able to write if you are a good producer.
  • [13:47] That is what people think about journalism, you are in front of the camera, or you are writing a story. But I did not realize so many other roles until I started volunteering in the newsroom that were open to me and that I should consider.
  • [14:04] Producers are decision-makers. They are gatekeepers.
  • [14:35] If you have a good team and a team that respects you, then it is not a difficult job.
  • [20:51] You want to be in the space, so people see you, and when an opportunity comes up, they think about you. 
  • [21:10 ] A lot of people do not understand the power of mentorship. It is the power of getting in the same space as people who are already doing what you are doing. 
  • [21:57] You have got to keep your eye on the prize. 
  • [22:37] I am not afraid to speak to people. I am not afraid to put myself out there and take feedback. I want to learn. 
  • [32:01] If you decide to ease in into doing something else, you could always come back to doing what you were doing. 
  • [32:48] There is no shame in going back.
  • [32:54] If I can do my job as well as I was doing for someone else and make these companies millions of dollars, then I can do that for me. 
  • [33:04] You have to be able to bet on yourself.
  • [34:40] What you need to do is sit down, figure out how much you need to make for a month, set that as your goal, look at what you can do, and how you can get that goal, and then you do from there.
  • [35:08] When you have that monthly goal, it does not seem as daunting to you. 
  • [35:41] Many of us give up on our dreams and goals because we do not think it is possible. But we have not sat down and mapped things out. 
  • [37:38] I tell people when things do not work. I am not going to act like everything is all great. 
  • [39:05] Sometimes, you can do something just for the love of it.
  • [40:01] It was either do it now or don’t do it at all.
  • [45:46] If you find the right people and train them properly, you can relieve a lot for you. 
  • [49:21] Auntie Jillian is Canada’s first Black Caribbean reality tv show. 
  • [51:57] A lot of shows or people, Candian personalities, are the same people. We do not see any fresh new faces.
  • [53:43] When everybody looks the same, then you’re not going to get anything different. You’re going to get the same stuff, and that’s what you’re getting in Canadian Television.
  • [1:00:47] It’s all about your work ethic and being open. 
  • [1:04:05] Make sure that your package is right.
  • [1:04:42] Ensure that your website reflects what you’re doing, up to date, with good content, easy to navigate, and shows what you want to do.
  • [1:10:00] You want to make sure you’re targeting the right person, and then you want to send what’s called the “pitch.”   
  • [1:10:19] You have to be careful because sometimes you’ll just get shrugged off to advertising, so there has to be something distinctive about you. 
  • [1:11:48] The easier you can make it for the reporter or the producer to visually see your story, the easier it will be for you to get your story in.
  • [1:16:23] When you’re working from home, you can continuously work. And so, you have to learn to draw that line.
  • [1:18:07] That’s part of grinding, where you can’t let things set you back. 
  • [1:19:55] Set an attitude of gratitude.
  • [1:20:08] Gratitude is not just about saying thank you when somebody does something for you. It’s about saying thank you even when they haven’t done something for you.

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