Tuesday, April 28, 2009...10:28 am

Ways to survive the media recession, part 5

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Part 1;   Part 2;   Part 3;   Part 4;   Part 5;
At last, the end of the journey and a handy summary.
But first, Recovering Journalist Mark Potts has a very good post on Life After Journalism that is really worth reading.
A former 20-year journalist (hmm – like me), Mark Potts is now “an entrepreneur and consultant”. That means he managed to escape the media implosion – but still uses the range of journalistic skills he’s acquired in his new career. It’s a good post with some useful advice.
So, now – your eight-point summary.

1) Assess your existing skills

Think laterally – writers can sub, designers can do production, print specialists can move online and old journalists can teach. Also think about how your skills can work in related-but-different fields, such as corporate writing. 

2) Learn new skills

Build on your existing skills using a host of free web-based information, trial period software downloads and software training sites such as Lynda.com. Focus especially on web analytics and SEO for the web. Hobby-type skills can also come in useful – such as film-making, running workshops etc. 

3) Update your CV (resumé)

Create different CV/resumes that focus on different skillsets or media sectors. That way you can tailor your pitch more specifically to different clients.

4) Draw up a plan

Be organised and keep track of all your work hustling progress, day by day.

5) Talk to your friends

Mates look after mates, so always ask people you know in the business if they are aware of opportunities.
6) Contact others
Keep regular tabs on a range of job pages online – and even in print. Obviously follow Guardian.co.ukJournalism.co.uk and Gorkana. It helps to use social media too. I just got Twittered by a new site called Sourcethatjob.com – it doesn’t have much in the way of journalism jobs, but it could be worth watching as it may grow. Students may be interested to see it has a few intern-type posts (ie no pay, but experience). FleetStreetBlues has a nice post collating media job sites here.

7) Advertise yourself

Build up a presence online – blog, use Twitter, join something like LinkedIn maybe. Certainly use Facebook if you’re not an old crock like me. Think about a £50 freelance listing on Journalism.co.uk, or even join a professional media organisation such as the CiB.

8) Using freelance online marketplaces
There are pros and cons to marketplaces like People Per Hour. I discuss them in more detail here. It’s worth investigating for students I think.
9) Should you work for free?
Sometimes – pro bono work can get you experience, exposure and contacts. Just make sure you do unpaid work for people who wouldn’t pay you anyway.
And that about wraps it up. Remember, it may seem grim, but there is work out there – you just need to dig a bit to find it. Good luck!

Part 1;   Part 2;   Part 3;   Part 4;   Part 5;

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