As a sports journalism major, understanding the changing trends within media coverage is critical in the continued process of building a professional brand and identity. In today’s world of journalism, it’s about becoming an active voice and recognizable contributor within the online media. Now more than ever, journalists must be able to balance working on the same platform as readers and followers, while still distinguishing themselves as professionals in the field. While this can sometimes be challenging, its absolutely necessary to immerse ourselves in the tools of online media and brand identity.
Social media has become an overwhelming force in the world of journalism. The general population’s activity on social media makes it a premier medium to report news, post links to articles and columns, share stories, etc. Journalists simply cannot survive without being an active voice on social media, however, it’s important not to become too active as it may jeopardize one’s professionalism. For example, excessively quibbling with followers may lead to an irrational or heat-of-the-moment type post that could create backlash. It’s okay to engage with followers on social media, in fact it’s actually healthy because it promotes one’s brand and exposure, but it’s important to remain aware of the circumstances and not engage in heated or testy conversations. Remember, as a journalist the person you are arguing with rarely has anything to lose, but you have everything.
Another key component of journalism today is building one’s brand through producing professional material, creating contacts with peers and colleagues in the industry and growing one’s recognition throughout the online universe. In terms of producing material, the popularity of blogs is an effective method of producing professional content while also continuing to develop one’s skills. All up and coming journalists should create a blog in which they consistently post material whether it be personal columns, links to helpful or interesting articles, etc. Not only is it a chance to gain recognition online, but even if your blog doesn’t have a lot of followers or readers, it’s still a helpful tool for practicing your future role as a journalist. However, when using blogs, remember that anyone can create a blog and write about pretty much anything they desire, but as a journalist you must think of your blog as a professional atmosphere. For example, if a quarterback throws a costly interception a blogger may call him a “stupid idiot”, but as a journalist you have a reputation as well as a responsibility to your readers that you must uphold, therefore a more professional and supported statement is required.
Finding and obtaining contacts within the journalism industry is another method to increase one’s brand and standing as a journalist and with online sites and tools, contacts are now easier to find than ever. A site such as LinkedIn specializes as an opportunity for a person to create a professional online account where they can list work experience or accomplishments related to their field, connect with possible employers or colleagues and get their name out as a professional in the industry. Obtaining contacts via online sites such as LinkedIn is an effective and far reaching method to establish your credentials as a member of your respective industry or field.
All of these techniques assist a person in growing their online recognition which usually translates into overall recognition in today’s world. Being active on social networks, setting up and regularly posting to a blog and obtaining contacts to spread your name are all premier ways to get noticed online, and once your online recognition is enhanced, you will yield more results from search engines such as Google or Bing and grow your brand even further. Gaining a professional popularity and reputation on online search sites or SEO’s is the quickest and most effective way to become a household name within an industry.