Awhile back a news newbie asked me, “Why do we have to market ourselves so much? I didn’t learn how to do that at school.”  Dare I say, the reason she didn’t learn that was because many J-schools are still sorting it out themselves.  Using social media to market yourself and your work is relatively new.  In fact there are still quite a few NDs that are struggling to understand how to market themselves and their stations online.

That’s all the more reason why you need to market yourself.  Being among the first to stick your nose out and develop relationships with your community will help make you an asset as your ND or station “comes around.”

The good thing about marketing yourself online is that you not only showcase how you can connect with people in a tangible way, you showcase how you will create community at any future jobs.  This can give you an edge in the job market.  Lord knows, we all want an edge.

It also can make it harder for your current boss to say you are irrelevant to the news organization if you have thousands of people checking in with you each day.  This goes for any job in the newsroom.  Producers, directors, assignment editors and photojournalists all provide interesting perspectives viewers want to see, hear and read.


You also want to get comfortable with the lingo and concepts being tested online.  No doubt that social media will continue to impact how news is covered.  Just look at the daily # trending on Twitter to see the influences.  You learn what is happening and how to participate by doing.  More and more companies are requiring journalists to get involved online.  It is nice not to have to do so “cold turkey.”

Finally, this is the way journalists are networking nowadays to find work.  You need to understand how to use it to your benefit in case you need to find a job quickly.  You need to see how the networking happens.  It also gives you a chance to connect with other journalists and exchange notes.  It is another type of job insurance that could be priceless.

So if you are starting out on social media and are trying to figure out what to do, my suggestion is to start with Twitter.  Check out #AMNewsers and #Backchannel for starters.  Watch how these “communities” work with each other.  Before you know it, you can create your own # network and get the bosses singing your praises.


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