In the latest episode of The Silver Bullet podcast hosted by Zanda Wilson, CEO of The Brag Media, Luke Girgis, joined to talk about the rise of the music-focused publishing and events business.
The Silver Bullet features disruptors from all across the Australian business landscape, including founders, ASX-listed company CEOs, and business-minded thinkers.
Girgis explained to Wilson where the idea for The Brag Media originated, pointing to the goal of treating a publisher like an artist, instead of a media company.
“I wondered then if we were able to acquire one or two of these publishers and operate them like they are a band, ie they have their own fan base, they have people that depend on them, they have people that love the brand and love what they do. If then we can do it differently, and then actually offer value back to artists and back to brands and back to whoever we want to champion or work with,” he said.
“It became the lens of can you run a publisher like it’s an artist, instead of a media company? And that’s where I saw the gap in the market.”
Girgis then touched on the editorial values that the company holds.
“At The Brag Media, we believe our job is to inspire not divide, we want to inspire our readers, we want to bring our readers together, we want to get around their passion points.
“What I feel the real problem right now with publishers is that they’re very, very divisive, intentionally.
“I actually think that some of these other publishers sit around and they go, ‘how can we be offended today?’ or if something’s happened? ‘How does this offend me,’ and then they really lean into the absolute divisive side to every single news story,”
Describing the content as a ‘real cardinal sin,’ Girgis pointed to the effectiveness of driving traffic as the reason why publishers create this content.
“These mastheads are losing their value every single year the more that they do that.
“We believe that as a publisher, not only is it better for society if we focus on inspiring and non-dividing [content], but we actually think it’s going to be long-term benefit for our brand and our equity because our mastheads will live longer and and and be more respected and be more fondly received then if all you’re doing is trying to divide your public and show your audience how offended you are about everything that happens,” he added.
Girgis went on to describe the culture at The Brag Media, sharing some insight into how they ensure everyone on the team is aligned. The company introduced the ‘Brag Bible,’ to ensure everyone’s expectations were on ‘the same page.’
“Prior to us having this culture document, which is what the Bible is – we had a very shambolic culture, I’d say a lot of different people had different expectations of what was required of them.
“Everyone was running their own races in different ways, with the best intention, but we just weren’t aligned as a business. And so that, unfortunately, in our early days of The Brag Media created a lot of tension within our culture, but what we did was we created this Brag Bible document, which is something that is very explicit about the kind of person you need to be to work at The Brag.
“We actually hire, fire and promote people based on objectively how people demonstrate those values and those behaviours.
“We literally review it every six months, and we go did you do X, Y and Z? If you did? You get a bonus, if you don’t? Well, we have a conversation. And what that has allowed us to do is just get everyone on the same page.”
Listen to Silver Bullet’s Betting big on the music industry’s post-pandemic boom with The Brag Media here.