This past weekend, April 17 and 18, was the Society of Professional Journalists Region One Conference held at the Hofstra University Student Center in Hempstead.
The panels that I found most intriguing and beneficial were “How to Brand Yourself” and “Emerging Trends in Photography.” The photography panel allowed guests to witness drone photography in action right there in the Student Center Theater.
While this was amazing to see in person and learn about (helicopter rides for aerial shots go for about $200-750+ an hour), I found the panel on branding oneself a little more valuable.
Bill Corbett, of Corbett Public Relations, Hilary Topper, of HJMT Public Relations, Rob Basso, of Advantage Payroll Services, and Giovanna Drpic, of FiOS1 News were the panelists. It was held in a small room, which kept things intimate.
The panelists explained various ways to market oneself based off of personal talents and interests. One student journalist in the audience asked how to narrow down her focus as a person interested in many topics, to which they responded that it is necessary to pick a single focus and hone.
Corbett, who refers to a cell phones as a “personal marketing device,” displayed his acronym BRAND in a digital presentation that he created. It stands for “believe in yourself and others will follow,” “reputation is your most valuable asset,” “authenticity builds trust,” “name recognition comes from personal marketing” and “determination is required for continued success.”
Corbett then followed this by saying that one’s follower count on Twitter is “job security.”
Drpic then explained that she was once asked in an interview, very bluntly, how many Twitter followers she had.
If that number isn’t high, and you haven’t marketed yourself and gained popularity yourself, a potential employer might reject you. Basso backed this up by agreeing that journalists these days have to build a following themselves that they can bring to the company, rather than rely on the company for an audience.