The Fishbowl: Shira Jeczmien, Screenshot Media

The Fishbowl: Shira Jeczmien, Screenshot Media
The Fishbowl

The Media Leader’s interview series asks the media industry’s top salespeople 10 revealing questions, drawn from our fishbowl. The questions will be drawn at random and contain some tricky posers set by the commercial chiefs themselves.

This week, it’s Shira Jeczmien, founder and CEO of Screenshot Media.

Shira Jeczmien founded Screenshot Media in 2019. Its mission is to provide content to the next generation.

She has built a team of 40 people that manage multiple digital brands across news, entertainment, fashion, sports and internet trends, with a cumulative audience reach of 250m per month and 60% active audience aged 18-24.

Jeczmien has held previous roles at publisher Arthur-Frank, Southbank Centre, production house The Smalls and LYS Technologies.

She is also an associate lecturer at Central Saint Martins, where she teaches digital media to BA students, and advises on media investment readiness programmes including the BFI and The National Lottery’s Evolve.

Why are you passionate about media?

I’m super passionate about the way next-gen media is sending legacy media into a bit of a frenzy. There’s a shift happening and we’re part of that. It’s exciting for the whole landscape, because we’re seeing the true evolution of a space that, for so long, has been pretty inflexible in its movement.

We believe in giving audiences, in our case the next generation, the content they want, where and how and when they want it — whether it’s via our media arm and our owned and operated [assets], or via the work we do with our brand clients. This is not about shoving consumable content into the faces and phones of anyone and everyone.

For us, the current media landscape is exciting because it gives us the opportunity to take a truly platform-agnostic approach. We really don’t care where you’re watching our or our client’s content, as long as you’re watching it. The rest is up to the audience. This is a revolutionary moment for media consumption.

What are clients most excited about right now?

Our clients are excited about the evolution of the creator economy. How it gives them access to creators who actually have proven creative skill, rather than a knack for gamifying the algorithm. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

We believe in the power of nano- and micro-influencers. We’re building large-scale influencer pools across different markets that give our clients access to this particular way of working. Large-scale creator pools that can have local reach but on a global scale. Creators who’ll make original content that feels native to the platforms. Our clients are seeing the results — and keep coming back.

What is one important skill that you think everyone should have?

The ability to move at speed. I always tell my team to test things quickly. That way we can learn quickly and get better faster.

What is one of your greatest achievements?

Although I am the founder of a growing business, for me, the achievement comes from being part of a group of challenger companies that really, truly believe in their mission. A group of companies that believe in their business model’s success and its potential to be even greater.

I’m also proud of the fact that Screenshot Media creates significant opportunities for the next generation of talent. We’re careful in how we hire and believe in hiring and promoting for potential.

We promote quickly and will give people the space and the support to create the role that works for them and for us. With 85% of our staff under the age of 28, the next-generation mindset is what truly drives our business forward.

If you could learn any new skill from scratch, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to edit videos. This is something all of our social team members and presenters know inside and out.

So, if I was starting my career today, I would definitely teach myself how to use video-editing software. Not that it’s too late to learn!

Name all the streaming platforms you subscribe to.

Not the full suite but Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV. I love watching stand-up comedy and am a big fan of all the greats in that genre. It’s truly a unique art form and segment within the entertainment world that I appreciate.

Peer question: If you could work with any other media owner on a collaborative campaign for an advertiser, who would it be and why?

Our dream board is constantly changing, but I’ve always wanted to develop an IP that can be featured on the likes of the late-night shows in the US. I’m thinking Hot Ones-style. But on the agency side, a brand I would love to work with right now is Marc Jacobs. They are so fearless in their approach to embedding themselves authentically into not just trends but also the culture and I’m a big fan of that.

Question from Emma Callaghan, executive director of advertising and strategy, Reach

Peer question: What, if anything, is your business planning on doing differently this year?

We’re constantly changing how we work. I tell the team that as a fast-growing next-gen media company and digital agency, the systems that we work with now should not be able to serve all of our needs in six months’ time. This means that the team, and me, are always innovating and deepening our capabilities.

Question from Richard Bon, UK managing director and Europe commercial lead, Clear Channel

Peer question: Where or what do you get your best creative inspiration from?

I’ve always been obsessed with the world of media and entertainment. I’m a 1990s kid who grew up on MTV and that whole world always fascinated me.

I get inspiration from creative entertainers who always push the needle of what it means to create content and entertainment today, from live shows to films to albums to games and ads.

I love how Johnny Harris has built his YouTube channel and the content he creates. Andrew Callaghan’s Channel 5 is a powerhouse that has really changed the game in the documentary space. And I’m a big fan of Hot Ones — everyone at Screenshot knows that I talk about it a lot!

Question from Katie Bowden, director of commercial audio, Global

Peer question: Who are your role models?

To be honest with you, I don’t really have set role models. I look up to people who do great stuff and people who build great things while keeping their integrity. As our business continues to grow, the people I look up to also change according to my own needs.

I’m also constantly inspired and challenged by the team around me, all of whom bring different and brilliant ideas to the business. We are continually pushing each other to be better and that kind of energy is infectious.

Question from Davina Barker, sales director, Digital Cinema Media

Read more Fishbowl interviews here and see what media’s top salespeople say about working in the industry and what concerns their clients. To suggest an interviewee, contact ella.sagar@uk.adwanted.com.

Media Jobs