Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession. Speaking up for the media library…
In the canteen coffee machine queue this morning I found myself advocating for the archive without even realising it. Only afterwards did it occur to me that the conversation I’d just had was a lot about advocacy.
An actor from the cast of Emmerdale who was ahead in the queue asked me what my job was, which led to a short conversation in which I explained the existence of the programme archive and our role within the company. I explained that the archive holds most produced by the production arm of the company or acquired for broadcast on our channels including all the episodes of Emmerdale. I used him as an example of how the business might reuse the content; should he ever be making an appearance on a daytime tv magazine programme or breakfast tv to give an interview, chances are the archive team here will be retrieving episodes from his notable storylines and sending them out to production teams.
What the conversation highlighted for me was the fact that some people in my organisation probably don’t have a clue about the existence of the archive. It isn’t necessary for an actor to know about the archive but it is still perhaps good if the public face of the business has an understanding of what other people do to help make the organisation run smoothly. Thankfully because of the nature of what we do, the people who need to use us know who we are. But I am sure we could be more visible. There are no doubt people who require our services every so often but don’t know much about what we can offer.
If our potential customers don’t know we exist then we are at risk. If the people with the power don’t understand the importance of our service then we are at risk. I think there is so much more that my department can offer the business which would strengthen our position and secure our future. Advocacy is one way in which we can strengthen our position within the organisation.