How to Land the Job of the Future

If you hope to land a job in the communications field then you will have to master social media and the analytics that come with it, according to career experts.

The information was shared by Diana Middleton who wrote about “Landing a Job of the Future…” in the Dec. 29 issue of The Wall Street Journal.  

If you’re in the Web field then you will have to keep up with the latest in Web marketing, user-experience design and other Web-related skills.

As we continue to hear, social media has opened the door to the growth of new kinds of jobs. I recently hired a Community Manager. Her role is to engage in conversation and monitor the analytics of the social media platforms we use. I could have named the position, social media manager, but I deliberately wanted to convey that we are creating a world-wide community of supporters so I used a title specific to the job function.

My organization is not alone in creating social media teams. Coca-Cola Co., for example has done so. Ford Motor Company has, too, and its blogger, Scott Monty, is revered for his authenticity.

Middleton writes that “employment for public relations positions should increase 24 percent by 2018.  Job titles, like interactive creative director – will reflect the duality of the required skills sets.”

Other key skills will be search engine optimization to maximize Web traffic and marketing analytics to decipher the company’s target demographics. I admit, I knew nothing about SEO when I took this job, but I have read books, listened to Webinars and have asked hundreds of questions of my consultants so I’m up to speed.

When it comes to landing that next job be sure you have the skills in the emerging trends. Take an on-line course, read the books and attend the NFPW conference Aug. 26-28 in Chicago.

Scoring a Touchdown with Sports Writing

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday it seems appropriate to talk about sports. When I was cutting my teeth as a young reporter I read Sports Illustrated voraciously because the writing was so good.               

Think about it. Each time it’s the same game. Two opponents meet. One wins. One loses. End of story.

But it’s the details that make the game so vivid. I asked veteran sports writer Mike Ashley a few questions. Here’s what he had to say.

What makes good sports writing? “I think good sports writing is like any other good writing; it engages you and tells a story. There is a freedom in telling these stories that one doesn’t often find in the news section but the best reporters – those able to find facts, dig for the truth, ask the right questions, elicit honest answers – are often the best writers.”

“I have always enjoyed the big Sports Illustrated feature or major newspaper pull-out pieces but the longer I’ve been in the business, the more I have come to appreciate the well-crafted, concise game or sports news story hammered out on a deadline (the pray-to-God-let-me-finish kind many other writers never face). To me, the true artists just may be the writers that can file an 18-inch game story on a deadline that requires it be in just at the final horn, and then can five minutes later place in the perfect quotes for the next edition.”

So who are some of your favorite sports writers? “Dan Jenkins was an early hero who could weave a tapestry of southern living and way of life into any football story and all the while make me laugh with outrageous comparisons and quotes you couldn’t believe people actually said.

“I later came to revel in the onslaught of facts and information David Halberstamm could pack into his books. The amount of real reporting overwhelmed me as someone who understood the mechanics of the process.

Other favorite writers include John Feinstein and Brian Hoffman and Mike Ives, both of Roanoke, Va.

Mike Ashley is a Fairfax, Va.-based free-lance writer who covers the University of Maryland for Terrapin Times magazine, and the ACC for several other national publications. He also writes features and a sports-humor column for Play by Play magazine, based in his hometown of Roanoke, Va. His work can also be found in NCAA postseason publications, the Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, and Lindy’s Sports Annuals.

I Spy a New Word

I happened upon a great Web site the other day, and I had to share. It’s Word Spy and is put together by Paul McFedries. He describes the site as the word lover’s guide to new words.

The day I went to it the word at the top of the page was “wheredunit,” which is a murder mystery or detective story where the location of a crime plays a central role. Those who know me, know I’m writing a mystery, but it’s not a wheredunit.   

   

The site is wonderful and as you read each of the new words, you realize that “yes, they should be in our lexicon.”

Of course, I wanted to know more about this person, so I began to search for him online. At first I got a hit with a long list of books – more than 50! I didn’t think I had the right person, but I did.

Turns out Paul also is a technical geek and has written lots of books to help explain the technical side of things. As he explains on his site Paul McFedries’ Tech Tonic, he’s “making the world a better place, one computer book at a time.”

So if you’re looking for a new word or how to make Windows 7 work, take a look at these sites.