Ole! Media Group's Digital Academy Cadets 08 June , 2015

Following the inaugural success in 2014 of the TEAMtalk media sports Academy, the Ole! Media Group (TEAMtalk’s holding company) has created a comprehensive training programme that now incorporates all aspects of digital media. As one of South Africa’s fastest growing new media organisations, Ole! Media Group (OMG) is well placed to give the insights and skills training required for coping with this rapidly morphing sector.
Last year, two students, partly sponsored by the Western Cape government, were put through their paces on the course that was also nominated by Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) as the best Beta Work & Skills training programme in 2014. Both graduates have since been retained as employees at OMG, working as junior editorial staff and sports data analysts.

In 2015, the company has again partnered with DEDAT and now enrolled five new candidates. The participants, who require an NQF4 or above, were selected against criteria for assisted training, set by the department. Once again, the company was inundated with requests, highlighting the real need for internship programmes of this nature.

The six-month programme is intense and trains the cadets in all aspects of digital media. For three days of the week, the participants work hand in hand with various members of the company – from the editorial team, newsroom services, to the SEO specialists and data analysts and everything in between. In short, they are given a working knowledge and understanding of today’s media environment. They are also paid for doing so, with Ole! Media Group supplementing the Department’s sponsorship.

Jonhenry Wilson, Head of Newsroom Operations and the Academy’s chief mentor, commented: “While 2014’s beta phase afforded us the chance to learn on our feet, the Academy now has a definitive syllabus and curriculum for its cadets to work through and complete. Workshops, lectures, field days, assignments and plenty of on-the-job experience will see to it that the learners become eminently employable in today’s newsrooms or digital media environments as they become work-fit and we bridge the growing divide between theory and real-life.”

Deseré Orrill, Group CMO, agreed, saying: “The OMG Digital Academy provides a vital practical link between what they are ‘taught’ and what happens in a work environment. Each of the ‘cadets’ is therefore given a real-time project to accomplish. This includes analysing keywords and data, learning how to write for condensed news feeds and social media, setting up various social media streams like Facebook and then promoting and publicising their products through all the digital channels at their disposal.”

Orrill raises an important point. As the digital marketing sector grows in size and importance, the requirement for short-form ‘editorial’ writers also increases. The OMG Digital Academy is ideally poised therefore to facilitate this demand. It is her observation that few educational institutions appear to be geared towards teaching the skill of condensing long copy and articles into short byte-sized pieces – without altering the inference and overall point – a growing demand in today’s fast paced information age.

While the academy began as a form of the organisations’ corporate social responsibility, OMG has identified the real need to grow all-round digital media professionals and to this end, have also undergone registration with the appropriate SETA bodies.

To find out more details and to bookmark registration for the next intake, please see www.olemediagroup.com.

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