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Some Good Ideas to Help Media Companies Save Money
These are trying times. However, my new consulting business is here to help!
The warning signs are here: It seems certain that the U.S. is poised for another significant recession. As economic futures take a downward turn, media companies will inevitably have to tighten their belts, finding ways to cut costs the same as every other sector of the economy. As a former journalist with over a decade’s worth of experience in the industry, I have developed many insights that I think could be valuable to media executives in these trying times. At Crosbie Creative Consulting, we promise only the best and most innovative solutions to suit YOUR mom-n-pop media conglomerate’s needs.
To illustrate this, let’s break down some of the recent cost-cutting measures adopted by your competitors.
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Solution One: Layoffs
The Washington Post today announced that it would deploy one of the most basic cost cutting measures in the book: layoffs.
Skipping the Q&A portion of an all-hands? Classic. A nice touch that makes this a bit more streamlined than usual. The typical move is for an executive to stand up there and take their lumps, but as we always say in the biz, time is money!! And why waste any more of your time or your money on your employees?
That said, layoffs are so basic. They will inevitably bring bad PR from the haters and losers who don’t understand how to run a business that is owned by the second richest man in the world. And even worse, sometimes they’ll send your employees to very dark places!
I think we can do better, no? That brings us to:
Solution Two: Innovative Communications Plans
In modern workplaces, there exist a plethora of platforms for your employees to communicate and collaborate. In media, Slack is largely the standard, as its open layout and numerous customization options allow for new levels of workplace productivity. However—it’s expensive! Pricey! What’s more, sometimes your employees find it to be a distraction from their work, as it is invariably used to socialize and build relationships. And while it’s pretty easy to police your internal Slack for anyone using the word “union,” there’s no guarantee that your employees won’t be using a separate server to build a wall between them and management. Therefore, Vice’s latest cost-saving measure seems pretty shrewd:
No more Slack! They can probably do their jobs on Gchat anyway. This is getting a bit more innovative, but still, Slack can’t be one of the biggest business expenses you incur, and its utility probably justifies that cost—especially when you consider its potential for employee surveillance.
Finally, here are some cutting-edge ideas I have that we haven’t seen tried yet.
Solution Three: Hire someone really, really annoying
This plan has been applied by many media companies in times of crisis, but it’s always worth keeping in your back pocket as a graceful solution to several problems at once. If, for instance, you were to bring in a new HR director, or another highly placed executive (the Chief Operating Officer position is a great one for this), and ensure that the candidate hired was the most annoying and grating person available to you, several key business results will almost certainly come to pass. First, hiring someone looks good. It makes it seem to outside investors like your business is flourishing. Second, perhaps more importantly, the right extremely annoying hire can make some of your underperforming employees’ lives so miserable that they quit, allowing you to reduce your workforce without doing layoffs and, most crucially, without paying severance. Keep an eye out as we approach Q1: You’re almost certain to see a few new big faces crop up at media companies to help “right the ship” or “shore up leadership teams,” who will coincidentally be gigantic, annoying dorks who suck. Not like you, dear reader! No, no, not you. You’re smart and shrewd enough to have come to Crosbie Creative Consulting—and that makes you a winner.
Solution Four: Bagel Wednesday, But Cut All Bagels Vertically Down the Middle
This is one of those little cost-saving measures that can go a long way. Bagel Wednesdays are integral to employee culture—we’re a family after all, and what family doesn’t love bagels!—but they’re also a niggling expense that’s easy to pare down. Simply cutting bagels vertically down the middle — do NOT slice them normally first — should frustrate and confuse employees enough that they have fewer bagels, on average. I’ve been focus testing this strategy on my family recently, and I’m proud to announce that my grocery bills have gone down and my two toddlers have both lost weight!
Solution Five: Take One Wheel Off Every Wheely Chair
This one is really thinking outside the box, but bear with me. A standard desk chair has a five-legged array on the bottom, with each leg ending in a wheel. There’s an easy way to reduce chair costs by at least 20 percent: Ditch the extra wheel. Four should be more than enough to support a wheely chair, as long as your employees sit perfectly still at their desks (which they should be doing already). As a bonus, when complaints begin to surface about chairs falling over a lot, you can announce a new quality of life initiative: folding chairs for everyone! They’re significantly cheaper, and with a few accessories that your employees can buy on their own, they can be almost 30 percent as comfortable as a “regular” desk chair. I’d also suggest sending around an email with some Amazon affiliate links for seat cushions and chair customization kits so you’ll pull in extra revenue if your employees purchase through the site.
Solution Six: Subscribe For More!
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