Thursday, June 18, 2009

brand yourself

Laura Rich provided this digest of the new rules for old journalists, gleaned from the recent MediaBistro Circus conference.

Read the rules -- most of which have to do with engaging with the audience, making best use of the Web and branding yourself -- here.

Good points, all. But left out of the equation were time -- lots of it -- and money -- little to none. The following comments, two of the few that questioned Rich's optimism, might be more reflective of the realities for reporters still on the job, or who want to be:

Interesting post - though I’m not sure how useful it will be for many in the field.

I’m now freelance, an author as well as a journalist, after 20-plus years in the field and I have a blog, a facebook page. I tweet, etc., because as a freelancer and author, I am the brand. But I am thinking about my husband, who works for a small paper. Over time, his job has grown to the point where he’s working huge hours, often blogging on what can’t fit into the paper. He’s on FB, but his job takes his all. I’m going to pass this along to him, but I can’t see him doing the independent branding - not for lack of will so much as time.

Maybe I can get him to start linking his pieces to his FB page at least…

All the techniques and branding in the world won’t do anything for your bottom line. As a freelancer for 20 years the going rate has dropped from $3/work to $0. Setting up a corporate model where the work is less important than the comments on it or the delivery method is counter productive. If you’re working on your facebook page, twittering and branding, you’re not researching, verifying and writing. There are only so many hours in a day and all these suggestions that fact as well as the fact that without places that buy a journalists work, it’s all just advertising a product, journalism, that doesn’t exist.
Most of the comments contained links to the commenters' blogs and websites: Rule #1 when it comes to branding. I should probably do likewise. bk

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