Today, making it in journalism takes more than a degree (or two degrees in my case, even though Bootcamp has been rewarding). It takes more than an internship here and there at ThisandThat Monthly or What’sitsnameTV. It takes more than a simple interest in journalism or the desire to dip into it after attempting other professions. It also takes more than those long hours of paper writing that train journalists how to write. Simply put, I learned today that getting your foot in the door takes more than words.
According to Professor Amy Eisman, it takes a whole new thought process. Instead of simply being reporters or aggregators of information, we become mini-PR agents for our own brand name. I am branding Ladan Nekoomaram to whichever organization I apply to for an internship or job. What does Ladan Nekoomaram offer that Suzie Journalist doesn’t? Does she fill a specific niche or desire from the general public? Will people stay on her page for more than five seconds? Can she give us context, entertainment, insight, and aesthetics all bundled into one? Hopefully, the answer will soon be “yes.”
Eisman told us to think visuals. Rethink our competition, the way we do our job, the way we network, and the way we sell ourselves online. Add more visuals. Add keywords to make your page more searchable. Use titles that grab your attention, and condense paragraphs into digestable phrases.
When a reader goes through the “glance, scan, click” motions, give them something coming back for more.
Now, does my blog accomplish those goals? For now, I’ll just say, it’s a work in progress. If my titles are yawntastic (Eisman said we could make up words!), let me know. If I’m not talking about something you want to hear, write about it. Once I figure out how to upload videos, I’ll post some up here as well. But I promise I won’t go the way of Star Magazine or The National Enquirer, complete with BOLD FLASHING LETTERS and CRAZY TITLES. As I mentioned in my previous blogs, there is still merit in old-school good writing. For a great source for writing strategies, go to News University, sponsored by the Poynter Institute.