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Women in Media - Meg Gossert



Welcome to MediaScope's new profile series where we ask 'Women in Media' about their career and experiences in our industry.  Our aim is to create awareness of the opportunities and ongoing challenges for women in the media, marketing, advertising and publishing industry - and hopefully generate some level of conversation within companies and employers of our capabilities and needs.

This time we feature the inspirational, and formidable - Meg Gossert.  Meg recently caused some controversy through an opinion article in AdNews where she called out larger media agencies for some of their practices.

Thanks to Meg for getting involved.Women in Media - Meg Gossert

Name:   Meg Gossert
Company:  Multi Media Buying & Planning Services Pty. Ltd.
Role:  Chief Executive Officer

Please share your industry experience?

This is frightening! My career in the media industry commenced in 1966!  Yes – long before most of you who are reading this were born.  46 years in an industry that has been extremely challenging and yet generous. 

I commenced with an agency called Fortune Australia at age 16 as a receptionist + shorthand typist – (shorthand? – what’s that you are thinking?)  typewriters with carbon paper, telex machines that no one has heard of now, and tearsheets we no longer tear out of the papers!  My career advanced quickly, I became Media Manager, got head hunted and moved to George Pattersons in Adelaide, then to Monahan Neate, J Inglis Wright in NZ and back to Australia where at the ripe old age of 25 became a Director of Wearne Paton. 5 years on, I moved to Sydney chasing love and adventure!  I found it at Fortune again where I became Media Director of Australia’s largest Australian owned agency and was Nominated as Business Woman of the Year! (exciting!)

5 years with Fortune, and then …. – back to Adelaide (children in tow) and joined Leo Burnett.  Short stay as they wanted me in NSW, so ……back to Sydney on a mercy job for Leo’s on Grace Bros. Head hunted by Total Media where I spent 5 years working myself to death, and realized I needed to set up my own business to look after the small end of town. (that is the small clients who got put to the end of the line) 25 years later, here I am, competing in a tougher than tough industry and still loving the work.

What is your role now, and what do you do?

My role is that of a business operator, mentoring my staff, rolling my sleeves up, and doing everything that has to be done.  Including making my team cups of tea and babysitting their children if they need to go to a meeting and the babysitting service hasn’t shown up!  Building confidence with our clients, helping to build their businesses, and MOST IMPORTANTLY …… CARING about the trust that has been shown by them – in us.

How do you personally manage your work/life balance?

I just do it.  I never hesitate in doing a job and I never shuffle the paper on my desk.  You get your work done, and your personal life happens.  I run two other businesses during my “personal time” and this includes breeding Clydesdale Horses, a passion I have embraced since childhood, and running a boutique wedding and events operation on weekends.  Great fun.

Please outline your views on the general media market & the position of women?

Media has become more impersonal and transient.  The market has splintered, and there are a plethora of choices available.  More choice has made the market more competitive, tougher, and people naturally show little loyalty when something is easily replaced by another source.  Our country was serviced by a massive number of magazine titles, and we are seeing the decline as people shift to other reading methods. Newspapers – adjusting their offering to cope with readership losses, and television providing composite platforms to retain and connect with their audience. Radio – now a visual as well as audio offering!  Women have a great future in our industry.  We are detail conscious.  We stick to it and basically every media department is supported by women who do the hard yards.

Make sure you put your hand up.  Hone your negotiation skills and be proactive in your role.  Above all, be efficient, fair, and honest.

What advice can you offer to women who are considering a long- term career in our industry?

The media market is a vastly different place today.  I find that people do not have all encompassing skills but have focussed on one facet.  I believe having all round knowledge of all things media augers well for the confidence your clients will have in your ability.  Try to gain experience in television buying, radio, print, magazines as well as the all-important digital arena, and you will find your value strengthens. 

What challenges have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them?

A challenge almost always becomes an opportunity, and it is easy to overcome the challenge when you view the opportunity with patience, logic and apply a thought process that isn’t emotional.  If I have had occasion to grit my teeth over an issue, I write it down.  It lessens the issue, and in the end sense prevails.  There is always a solution if that solution is presented well.

What can our industry do right now to better recognise & support women & families?

Ok – Basically/eventually I was a single mother – three young children. Driving a business and coping with those very important lives.   Companies need to recognize the need for tolerance, flexibility and understanding with circumstances women are often confronted with in their day to day lives.  The women who form part of my business have children, and their children know me and are welcome at any time in this office.   The girls appreciate that, and the effort they put in is my reward.  Management needs to wake up to the fact that you get what you give, and loyalty will flow if there is a generosity of spirit.

What’s your favourite business and personal magazine, site or program?

Business mag – I enjoy Boss, and personally I enjoy Country Style.  Web site –
I’m a junkie for all things Vintage, sites like rustonline …..  Program – I loved that Midwife series on the ABC recently – Spicks and Specks was another favourite, and of course anything Gruen.  I watch reruns of Sex and the City!  Brothers and Sisters! Greys! Private Practice!  I don’t need a lot of sleep.

Cheers everyone.

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If you know a 'Woman in Media' you'd like to see profiled please get in touch with your suggestion.

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Further Resources

 - Women in Media - see other women profiled in this new series

 - Digital People Profiles - over the past 2 and a half years we've profiled 100 of the most well-known and experienced people in the Australian digital media industry through trade site - Digital Ministry

 - Media Owner Profiles - we ask some of Australia's most successful media owners about running their business and ask them to offer advice to other media owners

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Other Pages of Interest