She asked me if I would mind helping her friend explore career opportunities in corporate America. He was a Pulitzer finalist - so he can really write a report.
At the same time as layoffs are more and more frequent in newsrooms, corporate America is hurting for people who can write valuable content.
Many organizations may be holding off hiring at the moment, but this need is only going to increase for those companies that understand the value of content marketing to their bottom line.
News organizations and companies have the same kind of challenge, from a different point of view. They both hurt for people who are skilled at researching, writing and editing knock-your-socks-off, this-is-what-I-was-looking-for content.
While the news business is struggling to find a new revenue model, corporate America is seeing the increasingly diminishing returns of push marketing campaigns. Both news organizations and companies cannot afford not to employ people who are skilled at connecting with readers and customers.
There are a number of places where a great content creator can assist:
- Your company Web site - even if you forget SEO for a moment, which I'm sure you don't, ever. Web writing needs to be tight and to the point.
- Your news or press area of the site - as David Meerman Scott points out in this open letter to journalists, there are a number of companies that have or are in the process of creating a veritable newsroom on their site. Something very similar to what you'd find in the online property of a publication.
- Your content for internal and external communications - writing copy that can deliver information effectively and efficiently is no easy task. In this age where employees and customers are immersed in the social Web, it's also important not to write in gobbledygook. Instead, you want to use language that evokes authenticity and honesty.
Not all communications are created equal. Learning the mechanics of writing and communications is very important to get your message across. It takes a little and a lot more to influence people's behavior and attitude, to move customers to action.
Part objective presentation and exposition of facts, part point of view, the future of journalism may well be content marketing. Add to critical thinking a healthy dose of responsiveness to the needs of your customers and you have the starting point of a powerful recipe for success.
If the future of journalism is indeed content marketing, do journalists have all the skills they need to apply? What else would you recommend they learn and experiment with to succeed in a new career for companies? Do you have a friend who transitioned to copy writing? Maybe you have? How are you liking your new role?
[illustration by Robert Armstrong, companion to an article in the Sacramento NewsReview.com post titled Can we Afford the News? and dated April 2008]