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What Are My Chances?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pete Incaviglia, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    With all the uncertainty in the newspaper business, I think I'm going to for the first time apply for a communications job.

    It's not an SID job. It's not even at a school or for a team/club/association I covered when in sports. It's actually at the city I live in.

    I'm not sure what my chances are. I had been in sports reporting for a decade before shifting to news in March.

    I'm wondering, does anyone have any advice on how to sell myself on a job like this? It's in the city's PR/communications department.

    I'd love to get the job. It pays the same as I'm making now. It's in the city I love. And, it would seem to be a little more secure than what I have now - even though, yes, I know, not any job is safe this day and age.

    At the very least, I'd like an interview. But I haven't applied for anything other than a sports reporter job in 12 years.

    Any advice?

    One thing I have going for me is they want InDesign experience. I have that. And love the program. I also recently started covering city committee meetings and the police board. And, way back when, I sometimes covered council at my first job.

    I guess I'm just asking those who have made the transition how they did it. What are my chances?

    In one breath, I say, pretty good. I'm in the town. I'm young-ish. I have "communications" experience in that I'm a reporter. I have InDesign experience.

    In another breath, I say, not good at all. I have zero corporate communications experience. I studied "journalism and new media" in college. I work at a paper that is the watchdog of the city.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. Any help or advice is appreciated.
  2. OTD

    OTD Active Member


    It sounds like you've got good experience for this job. Sell your strengths; you know the city, you know InDesign. Also, they won't have to move you.

    I haven't done this, but I'd say your chances are very good. Jump on this.
  3. jagtrader

    jagtrader Active Member

    I'd agree these are all factors in one's favor. The biggest problem I've run into while pursuing these kinds of jobs is there are a gazillion applicants and inevitably some have experience directly in this field.
  4. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    oh please, no way do they even give an interview to a clown like you.

    go airhogs!!!!
  5. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Yeah, that's what I figure. I'll be up against someone in the field.

    BUT, chances are, that someone isn't from this city. Doesn't know the inner workings of the paper they'll be directly dealing with.

    I'm torn. But I think I have to apply.
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    What's to be torn about? Apply, go for it. The worst that can happen is you don't get it but you still have a job.
    A no-lose situation
  7. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Just all the work that needs to go into applying and not knowing if I really am qualified. When I would apply for sports reporting gigs, I had sports reporting experience, so I felt I was qualified. This is something a bit different and I may just be wasting my time prepping a completely different cover letter and resume.
  8. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Which, even if you don't get this job, might serve you well down the road as life in the newspaper biz becomes more and more precarious.
    Plus, it's right in town so you don't even have to travel for an interview, probably with someone you know from covering some City government.
    Go for it.
  9. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    What if they asked you to do something illegal?
  10. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    Advice: Do not put on your resume or in your cover letter that you "have good communications skills." Those are the first in the stack to get tossed for PR work.

    Specifics. Specifics.

    What you will do with InDesign.
    Stretch the truth.

    Specifics, specifics, specifics.

    Talk to AMacIsaac.
    Go for it. Good luck.
  11. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    The key is not to try to impress them with how much you want the job, but focus on why they should want you.
  12. MrBSquared

    MrBSquared Member

    Too weird, Pete. Just did this myself. Exactly. Except, I finally punted on the biz after 25 years and working for a guy who made layoffs look like a good thing.

    Johnny is right: Specifics. What you CAN do. All the skills you developed (organization, planning, interpersonal communication, writing, designing, incorporation of the Web, buzzword-buzzword-buzzword). Can tell you that being able to work with someone and recognize when they want information and when they want affirmation (read: when to tell them what they need to know and when to tell them what they want to hear) is a good thing, too.

    Remember this: You are prepared for this. You already do and have done everything necessary to be successful in this position. It's not really a different skill set, it's a different mindset (see, 3 months in PR and already the platitudes).

    Be prepared, though. City government moves slower than an IRS refund check through the post office. "Deadline" takes on a whole new meaning ... that pace is frustrating at first. It's as important to use a project to build a working relationship as it is to get it done. That, easily, is the toughest adjustment.

    Well, that, and having nights, weekends and holidays off ... ;)
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