Q&A with Peter Gearin: Crossing to the ‘dark side’

Peter Gearin is the Director of Top to Tale Media, and one of Australia’s most accomplished journos.

He left the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) in 2014 and is now plying his trade helping organisations embed a newsroom mindset and cadence.

What do you do?

Peter Gearin

Peter Gearin

I’m a writer and editor with years of experience as a newsroom leader, mainly at the SMH. As a consultant specialising in brand newsrooms, I use my experience to help corporate teams organise their content and produce stories and visuals that appeal to defined audiences.

What mantra are you living by this year?

It’s time for action.

I think many Australian businesses see content marketing as a “nice to have” and do it half-heartedly. If they’re committed to doing it well, they need to connect with professionals who have newsroom and publishing experience to help show them the way.

What’s the most important thing marketers can do to drive commercial outcomes?

They need to align their original content with business goals and try to build loyal audiences around it. It’s difficult to create unique content with enough impact to keep audiences coming back for more, but that’s what you need to do to succeed.

What’s a cracking book you’d recommend, or a podcast you swear by?

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Killing Marketing by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose is a handbook for marketers who want to monetise their content (and perhaps justify their existence!).

I enjoyed the Brand Newsroom podcast by the Lush Content Agency but sadly that recently ended (though it’s worth listening to back episodes). Personally, I enjoy Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus detective novels. Rankin uses humour and builds tension while painting dense landscapes in readers’ minds.

Who are your go-to thought leaders, and why?

Robert Rose from The Content Advisory is a great thought-provoker, and I enjoy anything by Ann Handley or Doug Kessler. The missives in Josh Bernoff’s daily Writing Without Bullshit newsletter never miss.

In Australia, I’ve always admired Sarah Mitchell from Typeset and Global Copywriting. Then there’s Matt Allison, of course, whose work and general approach has inspired me (and I mean that). What attracts me are people who see content creation as much more than just a short-term marketing tactic.

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Our favourite qu: What’s your top beer or wine recommendation?

I love red wine, and I’m particularly attracted to a great pinot noir, sangiovese and tempranillo.

If this sounds like you too, seek out small Hunter Valley winery Domaine de Binet. Daniel Binet is an outstanding young winemaker. 


Matt Allison is the Managing Director of Ubiquity Lab. Click here to sign up to our monthly EDM, or here to follow us on LinkedIn.

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