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"Getting out of the business" success stories

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by chigurdaddy, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. chigurdaddy

    chigurdaddy Guest

    This is a spinoff of the above-listed resource thread. Looking for ex journos who are doing well in other fields. What talents/skills/tools from sports journalism made them/you succesful in those fields? Or not? I have a friend who went into PR a few years ago, before things got really, really bad. I don't think he'd say it's his dream job, but I think he's happy, so that to count for something. Oh yeah, and he gets a paycheck. Just thought hearing about some success stories might have some value for those of us who've been laid off/bought out, are fearful they might be, or just know they will be. Let's all keep in mind that in this economy, options are limited, so the idea is to have an idea of what to do when, if ever, the economy turns around.
  2. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    1. I can write a little bit. Few people can write.

    2. I can have things completed on a deadline without always checking back to see if I am doing it correctly. You don't understand how important the ability to do something after you have been told only once is to a boss.

    3. I can organize thoughts quickly. Think of everything happening after a high school gamer you have to do quickly and correctly.

    4. I am good with a computer. All writers should learn Excel and Powerpoint. Now!

    5. I have this amazing ability to get my workplace in the newspaper, and I am not even the PR person.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I am pretty good with people, can speak in front of large groups and am not easily intimidated.

    I can also type 90 words per minute.

    Unfortunately, very few people outside of PR or advertising are very impressed with the skills we have gained during a journalism career.

    In my own situation, I had a friend call in a favor to get me an interview and I took it from there.

    There were other jobs that I felt overqualified for that didn't even want to meet me.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's very true. If you are looking to translate skills into the business world (corporate communications, management, whatever) what we do just does not compute in their world.

    Plus our terminology is different from corporate speak.

    So unless it is someone familiar with you, it really is hard to get a foot in the door.
  5. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    I have a friend in PR for a large banking company, a job he found after years in newspapers.

    He said the creativity lost amid newspapers has been reborn with a younger, Web-centric staff who never reads newspapers. They are able to combine his knowledge, their youthfulness, creativity and get good results.

    He also said their local newspaper ad people five years ago told them to fuck off during a meeting about getting better ad placements, unless they wanted to fork over more money. A meeting earlier this year resulted in a better outcome for both parties.

    He said the first meeting with "the old geezers who knew 'everything' " was a clear revelation he made the best choice of getting out. Seeing from the other side of the table one reason of how and why newspapers were dying was eye-opening for him.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If I worked for a bank, and a newspaper ad person said that to me. I'd beat the crap out of him and deposit his bleeding ass on the publisher's rug.
  7. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    This is from his email:

    "It's been interesting to watch the change in the newspaper business from the outside. I can remember meeting with the advertising bigwigs from the Podunk News about five years ago. We told them we weren't happy with our placement in the paper and wanted to know how they would work with us to make our placement better. They basically told us to go "F" ourselves and said that if we would double or triple our spending with them they might think about it. It was a crazy conversation and the story still gets told today as an example of how we as advertisers were told off by a group of old farts standing in the middle of an industry that was burning down around their ears.

    Now, we had the exact same meeting about three months ago with a new crew from the News and they were falling all over themselves trying to accommodate us on placement. How times have changed!!"

    There is a difference in letting advertisers dictate editorial coverage and working with a paying customer to best come up with ways to make each side happier.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    The Plain Dealer can always use a security officer to guard the remaining workers.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You've given me hope and a new direction in life. Wonder if I get a bullet?
  10. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Times two.

    As I said in the resource thread, embrace social media technology now. Blogs are not the devil, if you want out of the business and into marketing and/or media, public, and/or community relations.
  11. J-School Blue

    J-School Blue Member

    I think the most important thing about translating newspaper experience is putting what you actually do into terms non-industry folks can understand. Because we do a lot.

    As was said upthread: we can juggle several projects at once; we can complete them on deadline and with a healthy degree of accuracy; we can write well, and you'd be shocked by how rare that is; we can type quickly and usually have above-average computer skills; we are generally experienced at being civil and getting information out of people who are upset or don't particularly want to talk to us; we are used to putting in a hard day's work, usually for far less reward than most real businesses would dare pay their employees; most of us have more investigative skills than we probably think we do; most of us have college degrees, again it's shocking what a rare commodity they are in the real world.

    Putting stuff like that on your resume gets it more attention than just saying "I was a staff writer for Podunk Press" and expecting them to understand the kind of work that entails.

    I don't think it hurts to look at non-traditional sources when you're searching for alternate employment. I spent months slamming my head against the dying print wall before I finally started applying to other sources. I landed a job auditing liar mortgage loans (the one growth industry in the economy :p). I was surprised at how well my skills translated.

    Some newspapers have a way of emotionally devaluing their employees and making them believe they're less skilled and that their work is less difficult than it actually is (yes, I am bitter :p). Don't let the bastards win.
  12. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I remember a top SID telling me about his first gig (and it was big time assistant or intern) by saying in his interview that he was responsible for the stats at his town's slow pitch softball league.

    Nothing would ever equal the pressure of ruling your dad's or uncle's hit an error and costing them a batting title.

    It's all about communicating what you can do for them.
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