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Women in Media - Bec Derrington



Welcome to MediaScope's profile series where we regularly ask 'Women in Media' about their career and experiences in our industry. 

This time I'm pleased to present Bec Derrington - founder of Sourcebottle & Media Bag

Thanks to Bec for getting involved.

Name: Bec Derrington   
Company: Sourcebottle (a free online service that connects journalists with sources) & Media Bag (matching journalists + bloggers with products & services).Women in Media - Bec Derrington - Sourcebottle

Tell us about your industry background?

While I started out as a lawyer, it was short lived, and I soon found myself back at university, pursuing a career that I loved - working in marketing and media. After the birth of my first child, I started my own consultancy called Wagging Tongues, concentrating on public relations, marketing and copywriting for SMEs.

A few years later I started SourceBottle, primarily because I could see that the industry was failing everyone. The relationship between journalists, PR professionals and businesses was really inefficient. Journalists were being inundated with unsolicited and (many times) irrelevant PR pitches, while thousands of interesting businesses were going unnoticed because journalists so often stuck to their usual sources.

This meant that no one was winning – least of all readers looking for fresh perspectives from credible, thought-provoking sources. So I wanted to start a service that invited journalists and bloggers to ‘call out’ for the sources they were looking for so we, the collective, could respond.

What is your role and what do you do?

I started to take a step back from the functional day-to-day workings of SourceBottle when my third child was born two years ago. Today, much of the administration and social sharing of the call outs on SourceBottle are managed by my incredible Virtual Assistants, both Australian-based and internationally. This means I can concentrate on the more important elements of running the the business. I still write the ads, however, and respond to most of the emails.

In early 2012, I also started a media/blogger review service called The Media Bag, which invites brands and businesses to pitch their products and services (in the form of a voucher) to influential journalists and bloggers to review. The uptake has been wonderful, so generating awareness of this sister service is a new part of my role.

What are your family circumstances and how do you manage your work/life balance?

I really hate the phrase, ‘work/life balance’, ‘cause it’s just a pipe dream for me. I have none. With a husband who works excessively long hours, and travels extensively, and three boys – seven, four and two – it remains completely elusive.

The only way I get by is to just sleep a whole lot less.

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

I think the market is helped enormously by strong female role models, like many of the women whose profiles grace this site. And while many inspire me to be all I can be, I can honestly say that I have never felt my gender has really played a defining role in my outlook.

If anything, I’m excited about the changes in the media market since it represents more flexible working opportunities for women, who want or need it to juggle the demands of parenting and work.

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

Believe in yourself and go for it. And since you’re bound to be your harshest critic, ignore the majority of what you say to yourself and remember that you’re doing your best. Oh, and never let anyone else dictate your career trajectory.

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

My most difficult challenge has been educating the market on the purpose and benefits of signing up to SourceBottle. This is largely because it is a completely foreign concept for many people, particularly those without public relations experience or an understanding of how the media works. This meant it took a lot longer to build a loyal subscriber base with significant enough numbers to be useful to journalists and bloggers.

My response to this challenge has always been to just keep on pushing. (I did, however, get great support from the media, with a handful of journalists using the service in its infancy and helping spread the word. Without their support, the service would never have got off the ground, so I am eternally grateful.)

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

I’m really not sure. What I do know is that the tools of our trade are much more accessible wherever you’re based (working in a traditional office setting or remotely), meaning that the flexibility the industry offers women with families and commitments outside of work shouldn’t be overlooked.

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

Where do I start? I read everything I can lay my eyes on (since most of the content I read is digital these days). But for me, the game changer has been Twitter. Not only has it been the best business tool to share SourceBottle call outs to a large group of people, I have met some of the smartest, most inspiring people (many now close friends) via the social network.

My biggest fault with the service is that it can be such a distraction (my fault though, not theirs).

Thank you!

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

  • - Digital People Profiles - over the past 3 years we've profiled over 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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