Q&A with Sophie Madden – Chief executive officer, Media Federation of Australia

Sophie MaddenIn a Q&A that first appeared in Encore, Sophie Madden, CEO of the Media Federation of Australia shares her media habits and reveals how she could have been a vet.

Who is the most powerful person in Australian media and why?

The consumer, the power of the people. What people watch, read and listen to has a direct impact on what content is produced, how media ad spend is deployed and who gets (or keeps) their job. Not to mention that this extends to which products are manufactured and offered to us to buy and consume.

What one medium could you not live without?

The internet. I couldn’t do without online shopping.

Your one guilty media pleasure?

Reading a good book. Once I start reading a book, I find it hard to put down. I will ignore my family, my job, food and sleep to finish a good book, despite my better judgement.

The next big industry trend is…

It’s all about data and results; what data is out there, how to use it once you’ve got it, who you employ to make sense of it, the systems you develop to work with it and the training needed to develop skills around what is possible.

If you weren’t doing this for a living what would you be doing?

I grew up wanting to be a vet, however the reality is I don’t have the skills to do anything else now, so probably nothing.

Your best piece of career advice…

Work hard, embrace change and ensure you have a broad and versatile skill set.

If you could poach any one person, who would it be?

Having just returned to the media industry, I’m so impressed by the passion, enthusiasm and work ethic of the people that work in media (and of course they’re smart, too). So my list of potential ‘poachees’ is growing by the minute.

Would you recommend working in this industry to your kids?

Absolutely. This is an industry of ideas, creativity and open-ended possibility, which I love.

What is your favourite Aussie ad?

I love the Cadbury Joyville work from Kraft (though I have to admit bias as I was working there at the time and I love anything to do with chocolate).


Encore issue 5

This story first appeared in the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and Android tablets. Visit encore.com.au for a preview of the app or click below to download.


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