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Assignment

#1: Organizational Overview/SWOT Analysis


MDST 4070- Public Relations Internship
Emma Martin
Pamela Mollica
11 February 2016








Interviewees
1. Name: Gabe Dunlop Job Title: CPG Lead Client Strategy
2. Name: Steve Muscat Job Title: Food, Drink and QSR Lead Client Strategy
3. Name: Coral Fraser Job Title: Retail and E-commerce Lead Client Strategy
About Bell Media
With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media
creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire
audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canadas premier
multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home
advertising, and digital media(Bell Media). The following is a detailed
SWOT analysis, which includes the organizations overall strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats in the media industry.
Strengths
As the largest media company in Canada and one of the only national media
companies that covers both English-speaking Canada and French Quebec, Bell
Media is known for its longest running television assets in the country. The
organization thrives as the only media company that is still owned by one of the
oldest media institutions to date- Bell Media Enterprises (BCE). Known for its
unparalleled production quality, Bell Media produces superior
content, commercial and non- commercial, to any other media company in the
country. The company excels in reaching its six strategic imperatives that place the
business above its competitors: accelerate wireless; leverage wireline momentum;

expand media leadership; invest in broadband networks and services; achieve a


competitive cost structure; and improve customer service.
Bell Media is unique as it operates in more media verticals (i.e. web, television
broadcasting, out of home advertising (OOH) and radio) than any other operator in
the country, and offers the greatest audience scale in both radio and television
broadcasting. At its core, Bell Media is an entertainment company with additional
assets, including sports and news. As the preferred partner of Clear Channel
Communications in the United States, Bell Media syndicates most of its radio
content in Canada (i.e. AT 40 with Ryan Seacrest). The organization has multiple
assets inclusive of its elite Canadian sales partnership with Vevo, one of the top
three YouTube channels globally. Furthermore, Bell Media produces more Canadian
content and funds multiple Canadian productions and co-productions, such as
Sports Center, Orphan Black and Daily Planet. Bell Media also has a variety of
licensing and operating assets with the Discovery Brand and HBO, as well
as the Virgin Radio Brand from Richard Bransons holding company.
With its unique assets, Bell Media has strong partnerships with the studios in
Hollywood and high-level negotiators that allow the organization a first look at
content before it becomes available to its competitors. Bell Media is therefore more
comprehensive in its thinking when it comes to the popularization of content or
celebrities, compared to competitors, such as Rogers or Shaw media. Thus, the
organization maintains a program advantage, which translates
to greater audience attraction. Moreover, the organization strives to produce the

most premium content for Canadians, which naturally attracts consumers attention
and desire for further Bell Media services.
Bell Media excels in the industry because the organization is financially
cautious and therefore only takes on calculated risks. The benefit of
taking these risks actively fosters potential for future growth within the business.
Bell Media only invests in high-level production and acquisitions that align with the
strategic imperatives and overall benefit of the company. A strong example of a
calculated risk taken by Bell Media was its acquisition of licensing rights to Crave TV
instead of the NHL broadcasting channels. This decision aligned with the companys
objectives as a smart-thinking and cost-efficient media buy, rather than being
financially irresponsible by investing in the ownership of NHL broadcasting rights.
Weaknesses
Although Bell Media excels in the media industry on many levels, the
organization is also vulnerable to its competitors. Due to the fact that the overall
media pie is shrinking, traditional media players are short sighted and there
are many competitors that are desperate for short-term investment. Gone are the
days where your company was a guaranteed must buy due to the limited variety of
available options. Today, as the media landscape continues to grow, there are many
options for buyers both in media and in the trade level marketplace to
fulfill consumer needs. In particular, digital competition continues to develop more
than ever and therefore creates a renewed demand for Bell Medias digital expertise.
The company is on the rise after suffering from a lack of leadership without a leader
in digital over the last year.

In order to remain ahead of its competitors, Bell Media must use


social media to stay relevant, be well-branded, and remain connected in this
developing digital world. The companys overall vision instilled by President
Stuart Garvie, is for Bell Media to become a want to buy and not a need to buy as
it was originally considered. The goal is to now become the preferred choice in an
overcrowded and highly competitive marketplace. The company could fail by
undervaluing its brand and, therefore, must stand behind its premium offerings in a
professional way, without succumbing to highly irrational client demands. In order
to improve, Bell Media needs to move from a transactional relationship to a
partnership with its clients to demonstrate flexibility in response to the changing
economy, media reality and landscape. The short-term band-aid versus long-
term build approach prevents Bell Media from maximizing its potential. At this
time there is too much focus on quarterly results and updates (i.e. shareholders,
stakeholders, dividends) instead of forward- thinking brand health such as fostering
positive brand partnerships and opportunities. Spending time and investing in
clients who are strictly interested in a media buy rather than those
who actually value Bell Medias offerings, is as a preventative method in maximizing
the companys full potential.
In order to correct such preventative methods from taking place in the
future, two recommendations would be advisable: research and a shift in paradigm.
Research would address how the company can help clients best move their product
within the industry using Bell Media services. This could be done through case
studies for proof of performance or in-depth category reviews to demonstrate the

path to purchase and how Bell Media is present every second of the way. Shifting
the paradigm would allow Bell Media to redefine its thinking from transactional to
value offering, which will allow stronger delivery of its services. As a final
point, to grow, Bell Media must follow its vision and overall mandate in becoming a
desired want rather than a need.
Opportunities
As a desired want Bell Media has many opportunities for growth within the
company. Out of all of the divisions inclusive of web, television broadcasting, out of
home advertising (OOH) and radio within Bell Media, the company ranks first place
in all areas except OOH compared to its competitors. Currently Bell Media is in
second place falling behind the Pattison Company. In an effort to attain first place in
the industry, the company recently acquired Vancouver International Airport and
Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Additionally, Bell Media expanded its digital
OOH footprint in Calgary and recently purchased Metromedia in Quebec, with
a first-time breakthrough in below ground transit advertising. Bell Media
is forward thinking on its next plan of action to move in new directions within
Pearson Airport and is currently bidding for its advertising rights.
Due to the fact that targeted, relevant and measurable advertising is
becoming more important to marketers in the ever-changing media
landscape, fragmentation is causing marketers and agencies to implement smart
media thinking in their decision making. These industry trends have increased the
importance of a greater ROI because of the various media options available
to consumers in the market. Bell Media is aware that customers are relying more on

automated technology, dashboards and algorithms, to help them make their


decisions. With that said, Bell Medias competitors are vulnerable because the
company is a leader in content creation with programming such as The Marilyn
Dennis Show, The Social, and CTV News in 21 markets across Canada. Bell
Media also has secured the licensing to top programming such as The Masters, The
Super Bowl and The Oscars.
However, Bell Media is also vulnerable to its competition because of the
preconceived notion that smaller is better. The smaller the company, the more
agile decision making becomes - it allows you to focus in on
distinctive capabilities that set you apart from the competition. Bell Media is
such a large corporation that it takes time to move through major trades that
smaller companies can accomplish faster (i.e. the launch of Crave TV, two and a half
years after Netflix). The next step for Bell Media will be to become experts in what it
is already good at, such as distinctive capabilities, content licensing, OOH,
research, and using large amounts of data as a resource. This is going to happen by
focusing its efforts and applying resources to top priority needs. There has been
a cultural change post-merger between Astral and Bell Media. Therefore, the
company will have to adjust to what this means for its place in the industry, as a
very corporate world has been merged with a family-owned
company. Ultimately, there are many opportunities internally and
externally for Bell Media to leverage, but first it must determine what the company
is in this redefined light.

Threats
In this changing media landscape Bell Media is still a part of the BCE
organization with more than 7 million customers. The amount of consumer
consumption data that is generated overall is considerably large, creating difficulty
in delivering value to clients in the form of insights on how people are consuming
the companys media. Therefore, this acts as a threat to the organization because it
holds Bell Media back from realizing its maximum potential, as the research
used is outsourced from third parties. Although Bell Media has
many strategic insights, privacy laws make the process difficult to turn those
insights into useful data.
Additionally, there are alternative threats within the organization.
Evidently, there are structural issues. There isnt a direct line of sight into what each
individual department is doing to create strategies for clients. There is an issue with
the acquisition of Astral as Bell Media must understand the reality of
the Astral business model before it can fully thrive. Each platform operates as
a single business unit and therefore creates a communication gap. This prevents the
company from developing an efficient way of linking all of the platforms together.
Many divisions are doing their own administrative work because the systems are
out of date so they are unable to utilize their core strategies in their
individual departments (i.e. manual billing systems makes things difficult to share
information with other divisions).
Finally, emerging media has created a new level of challenges for Bell
Media. There is a lot of misinformation in the industry about what Bell Media

specializes in, and the reality around television and radio advertising in
particular. Since the organization has been around for so long it is often referred to
as the dinosaur of the industry and, thus, this perception creates challenges for
Bell Media as it is considered by todays customers. Bell Media is held to governed
laws under the CRTC, whereas, many emerging companies are not and, therefore,
are at a disadvantage compared to its competitors (e.g. Netflix).

All of these threats are imminent to Bell Media. As a leader in the space, the

organization is under constant attack and needs to react quickly in order to


maintain market share. In an industry time of cultural threat, the top sales
approach is about serving in the reactive business given the volatility of the market
and client spending. Marketing budgets are not increasing, but the choices of
where to spend are, therefore Bell Media is indeed in a vulnerable position.





Work Cited

"About Us." Bell Media. Bell Media, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.