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The Media Huddle helps media professionals thrive in an evolving industry

8 July 2011 No Comments

Nnecka Elliot

By Erica Phillips

Instead of acquiescing to or bemoaning the ever-changing media landscape, Nneka Elliott decided to embrace it. On May 2, the television personality left news channel CP24,  where she had worked for three years, to open her own company.

The Media Huddle (TMH) launched on May 26. It was time for the Ryerson graduate to step out of her comfort zone and listen to her heart, which, since October 2010, had been telling her she needed a change. “I felt like I was becoming complacent and losing my true sense of self. I was out of touch with all the things that made me, me,” she says.

The debut of Toronto-based TMH featured many of her former colleagues, including Dwight Drummond, Nathan Downer, Gurdeep Ahluwalia, Michelle Dube and others. Many of them held up signs that read words of inspiration and encouragement.

Elliott started TMH to help steer media professionals through an industry-wide transition, driven in large part by social media. She wants to help media professionals acquire the skills needed to stay alive and thrive, no matter their stage in the industry.

TMH, she says, is about people coming together, learning, sharing and connecting. “Social media has changed the definition of what media is,” Elliott says. “We can’t just sit back and let the change happen, we must be a part of that process. We need to position ourselves in different ways, align ourselves with different people and learn new ways to tell our stories.”

The 27-year-old has several goals for TMH. In the first year, she hopes that it will become the official source for educating media professionals in Toronto. Over the next five years, she hopes to provide scholarships for media students and develop her web series into a kind of “inside the actors’ studio” for media professionals. In 10 years, she wants to set up branches in major cities around the world.

To do this, Elliott will use thought-provoking seminars, networking parties and skill-building workshops led by industry experts. Topics will include: networking, developing your personal brand, social media trends, freelance work and negotiating contracts, to name a few. Meanwhile, newsletters will provide tips, job postings and links to videos.

As Elliott’s passion is still broadcasting, she plans to appear on television as a contributor and be the face of TMH’s web series. For now, her days start at 7:30 a.m. with her puppy, Remy, and exercise. Then it’s onto making phone calls to potential sponsors and guest speakers, touching base with her personal assistant, interns and volunteers, coordinating web content and event planning. She stops just after midnight.

That work ethic and energy come from Elliott’s major inspiration, her very active mother: “My mom does not know the phrase ‘I can’t.’ She always figures out a way to overcome any obstacle, including breast cancer. She has a quiet strength, a strong sense of self. She gets more beautiful everyday and surprises me with her wisdom every time I talk to her.”

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