Media jobs are dwindling and reporters are being let go left and right, so everyone needs a leg up where they can get it. A lot of advice that we find is repetitive, but here are some insightful tips from Recessionwire blogger Laura Rich that she picked up from Mediabistro Circus speakers.
Although Rich says her tips are for not just for journalists — since “new work and new careers are emerging in the recession based on approaches that everyone needs to pick up in order to survive and thrive, and emerge from this downturn intact and better than ever” — we think reporters should take note. Whether you are currently unemployed, fearing for your job or comfortable where you are, taking advantage of these tools will undoubtedly help you build your own personal brand, which invaluable today.
Here are some of Rich’s key points:
“Build Your Brand. Bylines are one thing, but journalists have otherwise tended to align their identity with their publication. No more. Going forward, the name of the game is personal branding. Start a blog. Twitter. Be consistent and persistent in the ideas you get behind — they’ll get noticed and you’ll get a following. That following is valuable to editors who can count on you to help them build their readership.
“Crowdsource. This concept builds on the idea of ‘transparency,’ but it refers specifically to actively seeking participation in the development of your story. Take advantage of the efficiencies the Internet provides by sending out parts of your story to your following.”
“Interact with Your Readers. This is another area that is a radical shift for journalists who are used to simply sending their words out into the ether. In the new order, journalists absolutely must interact with their readers — learn from them and, yes, serve them — to ensure their careers. To make his point, Byrne tells his writers that their stories will stay on the homepage longer if they post responses to readers on the comment board.”
Earlier: Our coverage of Mediabistro Circus