By Maya Johnson
From a small town in Queensland to the big smoke, Shelly Horton has climbed the ladder as an ABC crime reporter to a renowned media entrepreneur.
And she’s sharing her journalism journey at the third national Women In Media conference at Bond University.
ShellShocked Media is a video production company specialising in presentation and media training.
She also runs the Confidence Course, where she helps people find their inner Beyoncé.
Horton has been a journalist and a presenter/producer for quite some time now, from regular segments on television to co-hosting ABC Radio and web series. Her behind-the-camera credits go as far as producing Entertainment Tonight America, A Current Affair, and her very own UK TV show called What’s on in London.
These days she has weekly segments on Channel Nine’s Today Show, Today Extra, 3pm News, Weekend Today. She is also the lifestyle presenter for 9Honey.com.au and co-hosts Talking Married – a television chat show which dissects the ratings juggernaut Married At First Sight.
Four years ago, Horton and her husband Darren Robinson started ShellShocked Media as a way of working together and becoming their own bosses.
“I have actually been doing media training as kind of a side hustle my entire career as a journalist, and I’ve realised I’m very good at it,” Horton says.
“I take experts who are already good at what they do and teach them how to distil their knowledge into bite-size grabs.”
“I remind my clients not to use jargon and to give anecdotes [to their presentations]. I try to bring colour and movement to the stories they are trying to get across,” Horton says.
Horton believes the biggest challenge in switching from being an employee to running her own business is not being able to say “no”.
“Because you don’t have a steady income, you’re on the hustle the whole time, and if someone wants to use you, it’s immediately a yes,” Horton says
As a journalist, Horton has worked in all mediums – radio, television, print and digital.
“What I have learnt from being a journalist is to work bloody hard,” she says.
“I think when you’re starting, or when you’re establishing yourself, you need to put in those extra hours and that extra time to prove yourself.”
Not a lot of people have the skill to come up with ideas, produce them and be the face of those concepts. Horton does and it’s one of the many reasons why she is one of the speakers at the 2019 Women in Media conference.
Horton has always felt it is essential to give back to the media industry.
“I want to make sure women are supporting women, and I’ve been doing it on my own,” Horton says.
Horton has been mentoring 10 young female journalists for seven years now and plans to continue the commitment.
“To me, Women in Media is like the feeling I get when mentoring, but on steroids. I want to give back and help as many people as possible,” she says.
“I believe in giving facts and making sure people have their eyes open because this is a really tough industry. I can honestly say that journalism has been the best decision in my life.”