Jennifer Kronstain, CEO & Principal Consultant,
Tingle interviews acclaimed American media figure,
"tracked down" Jennifer via Poynter Online,
of which Media Man Australia also contributes to.
Jennifer writes for some of America's most respected
media outlets, regularly speaks at media forums, and
runs her own media company, after moving forward from
world continues to get smaller, thanks to the Internet.
graduated from Syracuse University (home of the 2003
NCAA Men's Basketball Champions!) with a degree in
English and political science.
started out as a newspaper reporter for two dailies
- one in Binghamton, New York and the other in Greensboro,
North Carolina. After newspapers, I worked as a web
copy writer for organizations in the Philadelphia
area and taught myself how to build web pages. I then
was lucky enough to land a job at AOL
Time Warner, working on the development team for
its interactive television product, AOLTV. I started
working for myself in 2001.
are your aims and objectives?
think the hope of every entrepreneur is to be lucky
enough to work for people who share your vision and
look to make that vision a reality - and I'm lucky
that I have clients who do share my philosophies,
or I'm sure we wouldn't be working together.
goal, as a media consultant, is to help my clients
a) work more efficiently, b) communicate more effectively
with their constituency, delivering more of what matters
to them and c) somehow, within all of that, make the
world a better place to be. If those things happen,
then I've done my job.
key services do you offer?
provide two types of services.
I provide editorial and content development services.
I'll help organizations implement their editorial
strategies by writing for newsletters, web sites,
email newsletters, etc. (Fairly simple.)
More complex is the consulting services I provide.
Using consumer survey data, I and a team of hand-picked
consultants put media organizations in closer touch
with their constituencies and at the same time improve
how their businesses function. We specialize in all
types of media - television, radio, online, newspaper
and magazine - and we also provide services relating
to media law.
do you do on a day to day basis?
do a lot of business development and planning. I would
say that on the whole 25 percent of my time is spent
promoting the business (through speaking engagements,
writing opportunities, interviews, meetings, non-profit
opportunities, etc.), 25 percent is spent administrating
and strategic planning and 50 percent is spent doing
work for my clients. (I actually figured this out
at one point!)
has the Internet been good and bad for your business?
the Internet, I have one client as opposed to five.
I could not do business the way I do business without
only downside is keeping up with the necessary equipment
to be better and faster. ;) Not cheap!!!
do you consider to be the highlights of your career?
first would be working for one of my current clients,
a research company based in Ohio. (This is not a promotion
for them, though it sounds like one.) I found them
in an article and sent their CEO a note asking if
they needed some help, and it turned out they did.
performs the Simultaneous Media Usage (SIMM) Study
twice each year, measuring how consumers take in their
media and putting that knowledge in the context of
their buying decisions. What BIG has done is create
a direct and clean link between content and fulfillment
the likes of which have never before been made - research
that truly analyzes at a micro level consumer behavior,
which carries a direct impact on how our industry
functions, particularly in the post-dot-com era, and
how we all will do our jobs in the next five to 10
years. As the industry becomes more and more fragmented,
the research that BIG is doing will provide the edge
that media companies will need in order to stay ahead
of their competition in every way - content, advertising,
media planning, production, etc.
second would be would be working at AOL
- big time. They're going through some changes right
now, I know, and many are disillusioned. I was part
of a layoff, myself. But the company really does value
people who value working there, and as an employee
I very much appreciated that. I grew tremendously
while I was there, and that's what I remember most.
third would be covering minor league baseball in Greensboro,
North Carolina. That was just fun. :)
media coverage have you received to date?
the most recent ones:
* quoted in Editor & Publisher
* quoted in the Philadelphia Daily News
* a panelist at a blogging seminar in DC
* a panelist at a forum sponsored by New Directions
* a columnist at TVSpy.com
* profile writer for the New York New Media's Technology
is a full list of everything I'm doing that's community-related:
media platform do you:
most enjoy working with?
a writer at heart, but I think writers are often the
best online strategists because when you write a story
you have a beginning, middle and end that makes sense.
The same is true for a good piece of
interactive content - it has to take you somewhere.
find most effective for your clients?
truly depends on the client's need.
much impact are online bloggers having on the "traditional"
news business in America?
is a consistent debate about whether blogging in and
of itself is actually a form of journalism.
I really believe it's the start of what will become
a truly interactive form of journalism - in other
words, journalists will get help from the public in
collecting information in a way that is more formalized
than you see now. Now, it's primarily anecdotal. I
think you'll see formalized news gathering networks
people feeding news outlets with information, and
requesting information for journalists to pursue.
terms of its impact on the regular business of news
here, I don't think it has changed the traditional
approaches that exist - yet, but it will happen. It
took a while before internet-type thinking changed
the news business approached things. Now with more
and more outlets thinking graphically and incorporating
interactive into their strategies, there is a measurable
impact and change in public expectation.
American newspaper outlets making the change to online
newspapers quick enough, in order to "lock in"
don't think we'll ever see news outlets go all print
or all interactive ... intelligent outlets will identify
opportunities in both areas (perhaps even in video
or broadcast, as well) and satisfy them all, depending
on the constituency, size of audience, etc.
is a good example of a newspaper making the smooth,
intelligent, transition to offering an online alternative?
(eg The Washington
Wash Post is a fantastic example - I look at that
site regularly. I think the Wall
Street Journal is great, and the London
Times, as well. I love the Christian
Science Monitor online, too.
are some of your interesting, current projects?
of work, PhillyBlog (http://www.phillyblog.com)
is a pet project of mine. PhillyBlog is a discussion
board that celebrates Philadelphia and all that goes
on here. When I came back to town last year, I realized
that the city didn't have an active online forum where
anyone could have real, honest discussion about the
good things and the bad things happening here - so
six of us got together and started it. Now, we're
down to three running it, but we seem to have reached,
as one person put it, a tipping point of sorts ...
our membership has doubled in two months, we have
a partnership with our local tourism organization
(the ones who do the "Philly's more fun when
you sleep over" ads) and we just agreed to work
with the United Way of Southeastern
PA as part of their project Teaming for Technology.
The program provides access to the internet for financially
challenged neighborhoods here and encourages those
who live there to learn and use the Internet in the
hope that they'll develop skills that will improve
their lives. We'll be providing individual blogs for
these people to help them get involved in the community
and, hopefully, build the confidence they need to
have an impact on the city around them. I'm very psyched
about this ...
new, emerging technologies should the media and technology
savvy person be looking at?
obviously. I'm not well-versed on it yet, myself,
but I think that's the next big thing. I'd also keep
an eye on VOD and what Comcast
(which happens to be based in our town here in Philly)
is doing. Once you have VOD, you don't go back!
news services do you trust?
terms of newspapers, I trust the Wall
Street Journal, New
York Times, Philadelphia
Inquirer and Philadelphia
Business Journal for local news here in town.
On TV, I trust CNN
and FOX more
than anyone (strange combo, I know, but true). I'm
not a fan of the nightly news broadcasts on our networks
here, largely because I get the TV news each day from
CNN. I get depth by reading Time
and the New Yorker. I don't care for online magazines
anymore. I spend so much time at my computer that
I appreciate time away from it - though I've opted
in for tons of online newsletters with lists of headlines
- I scan them and if I see something interesting,
I read it. Mostly these pertain to market niches that
my business is either involved in or is targeting.
am motivated at any opportunity to improve something
- myself, my work, my clients.
I am motivated by leadership opportunities. I am motivated
by working with people who are of a similar mindset,
and equally interested in great relationships that
produce good work. Most of all, though, I am motivated
by spending time with my family and friends.
freedom of the press?
think that's a question for a Constitutional law professor.
terms of what falls under the heading "freedom
of the press" I'd argue that it should be the
pursuit of information that is in the public or community
interest - whether it's because it'll cost the public
to handle a situation (court case) or something relevant
to the people we vote into office, like how the House
and Senate voted on a bill, or just human interest
that pertains to the community's everyday life and
think there are those journalists who push things
too far at times under the guise of working for the
public good, and that is unfortunate, but that will
happen in a free society.
are your favorite networks?
favorite networks are HBO,
and IFC. :)
have you made a positive difference to the business?
contributing time to develop projects that will benefit
underserved people and move the industry forward.
(See my Community Involvement page, from above.)
you also get nervous before public speaking engagements?
: ) just a fun question.
Always. I over-prepare, but it never helps. Ask anyone
who saw me talk in Syracuse last spring ... oh dear!
:0 .. just keep practicing!
other important information should our readers know
about you and your offerings, should they be
interested in getting a hand with some of their requirements?
affordable. Lots of consulting firms charge a lot
of money - I don't have any overhead, and I know very
well from my own experiences what these organizations
are facing, so I work within their budgets the best
I just love what I do, so clients should know I'll
always get what's best for them.
anyone wants more info, they should just email me
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO & Principal Consultant
note: An true innovator in the media business. An
inspiring, interesting and educational interview.
Interviews like this one help keep Media Man Australia
an excellent source of information for anyone in the
media business. Keep up to date with Jennifer's activities
at the following websites:
Research official website
Daily Orange: Alumni Association
Business Networking: Jennifer Kronstain
York New Media Association
Finance: Media Planners Should Take A Long Look At
Radio - 24th July 2003