Inspired by the media to inspire others, Braben’s Matt Bourn describes his life and work
25th September 2014
My first job was as a paperboy. In those formative teenage years, I dreamt of being a famous footballer/lead guitarist in a hot new indie band/break-through star in a cult Hollywood movie, and the newspapers I delivered fed those dreams. Looking back, my journey to managing director of media specialist, Braben, began on that daily round.
I had one of the biggest deliveries in the shop, 60 papers, from The Sun to the FT, and I loved reading every paper on my way round. I could see there were a number of consistent stories in the papers every day, each told from different perspectives depending on which paper I was reading.
At the same time, some newspapers went through more front doors than others. I figured if I could understand how to get my version of a story into the one that went through the most letterboxes that it would lead to a very interesting position of influence. I wasn’t interested in writing for the papers, but I was fascinated by how the news was made and constructed. My studies into business and media indulged this further.
My move into PR was a logical next step after graduation. I got my break through a deal with a temp agency in my home town. I did the first job it needed me to in return for the first marketing role to come across its desks. Five days later, I was in the local NHS Trust marketing department. From there, I got a role in tech PR and then pursued and nurtured my interest in media to Braben today where our specialism means I work at the heart of the media landscape.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with talented people and been challenged time and time again to be creative and strategic with communications solutions that make a difference. I work with media owners and brands, marketing services companies, connecting advertisers with consumers and technology companies driving dynamic changes across the world of media.
It’s an inspiring place to be because there is an exciting development every single day which refreshes and redefines what media is and what it can do for audiences and for advertisers. We are consistently helping to shape, evolve and influence the media landscape for all of our clients.
And my PR career has been fun too ... I’ve built a golf hole on top of one of London’s tallest buildings, convinced BBC News science fiction had become science fact as mutant bugs invaded our homes and screamed during a live radio interview to prove a study that screaming makes you a better lover.
The news is delivered in a different way to when I was a paperboy, but the principles of how to create and shape editorial content of all kinds and an understanding of how to build a position of influence are as vital and relevant as ever.
For aspiring PROs, I encourage them to watch, listen, read and understand as many forms of media as possible and to understand the dynamic business models that drive them. This knowledge and experience will inform an understanding of the power of communications to build reputations and profiles of influence.
Matt Bourn, managing director of PR agency Braben, was interviewed by Daney Parker